After a two-year hiatus, a cider festival reinvents itself and boosts its products

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After two years of shutdown, a cider festival reinvents itself and boosts its products

Quebec ciders are featured at the Soif de cidre festival.

Formerly known as “Mondial des cidres”, the event takes place on the banks of the Canal-de- Lachine until Sunday to discover the know-how of Quebec cider makers. Its new name: “Soif de cidre”. Cider is now singular, although the plural could have illustrated the whole variety of authorized by-products.

The offer has never been so diversified with many new players, small cider houses who go all over the place and offer many new products, confides Frédéric Le Gall, second vice-president of the Producers of cider of Quebec, organizing association of the event.

Since Friday, festival-goers have had access to tastings offered by some thirty Quebec producers by means of coupons available for purchase.

According to Quebec regulations, cider designates an alcoholic beverage obtained by the alcoholic fermentation of apple juice and whose alcohol content is at least 1.5% and at most 15% by volume.

About fifteen sub-categories can also take advantage of this designation: aperitif cider, amber from Quebec, or even corked cider on lees, whose authorization dates back to last June, explains Frédéric Le Gall, in an interview on the show D'abord l'info, broadcast on ICI RDI.

A little over 10% of Quebec apples are made into cider.

En all, it is 11% of Quebec apples that end up transformed into cider, illustrates Mr. Le Gall who owns the Chemin des Sept cider house, located in Saint-Jean-Baptiste-de-Rouville on the slopes of Mont Rougemont.< /p>

His association brings together more than a hundred members and has recently welcomed new ones, further proof of the dynamism of the sector in Quebec. Over the past two years, there have been 10 to 15 new cider houses, he explains. There are also about fifteen projects in progress.

The producer evokes a very young industry that is bubbling with creativity and which mainly targets consumers between the ages of 18 and 34.

“They don't have the prejudices of the older generations. It is a niche product that attracts them, located between beer and wine, with less alcohol. »

— Frédéric Le Gall, second vice-president of the Quebec Cider Producers

Quoting a study on the economic impacts on cider companies regarding the renewal of permits, the association of Quebec cider producers (PCQ) estimates that the quantity of this drink consumed by Quebecers has gone from a can (in 2016) to a bottle (in 2021).

According to the same study, the cider industry generated 555 jobs in Quebec in 2021 and had $51.1 million in product sales.

Consumers first go to grocery stores to get them (39%), but also get their supplies directly from cider houses (24.7%), before turning to SAQ stores (16.5%) and specialty retailers (9.3%).

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