Pagan – Evangelizing cider from Tasmania

Tasmania recently got into the spotlight when whisky distiller Sullivans Cove earlier this year beat out an entire phalanx of renown competitors – Scotland’s Bunnahabain, Aberfeldy, Glenkinchie and Glenlivet distilleries, as well as Japanese powerhouse Yamazaki, – to be named the world’s best single malt whisky at the World Whiskies Award for its French Oak Cask expression. But the Australian island state has been churning out some impressive alcohol products for a while now; Launceston-based James Boag’s, for example, brews a fantastic lager from its pristine waters, while Tasmania’s wine sector sees some 230 individual vineyards with around 1,500 hectares under vine.

But a tiny little Tasmanian company wants the spotlight to be shone on its ciders; boutique cidery Pagan Cider leverages on the results of Tasmania’s long apple-growing history – especially in its native Huon Valley – and state-of-the-art cider-making technology to make some of those most premium ciders yet.

Pagan Cider was founded in 2012 by four friends – Brooke and Harry Moses, and Katri and Mick Dubois –  both couples WHO had moved to Tasmania from Sydney at different times. They met at a dinner party in Hobart where Mick and Harry discovered their mutual passion for brewing beers and ciders, and the rest is cider-making history.

“(Co-founder Mick Dubois) and I completed many brews of both cider and beer, and it was after going to the many festivals and markets held in summer around Tasmania we tasted other ciders and beers that had been made by craft brewers,” shared Harry Moses, one of the founders of Pagan Cider. “We thought ours was good enough to bottle and after talking with the girls it was agreed we would try and make a business out of our cider brews.”

Moses believes that their specific niche in the Tasmanian craft cider making space is their passion to keep things fun, use only Tasmanian fruit, and not be restricted in any way by traditional methods of cider-making. In fact, no sugar is added at any stage of production, and whole fruit is used, separating Pagan from many commercial cider producers.

Pagan Cider operates a cellar door on its premises where you can visit to try their ciders in various stages of ferment, ciders infused in different woods, or even flavoured with different adjuncts such as peppers and herbs. 

Pagan’s first cider was served on tap on 22nd October 2012 at the New Sydney Hotel in Hobart, which was quickly followed by internationally acclaimed Hobart attraction MONA (Museum of Old and New Art). Pagan ciders have remained on tap at these venues since. Pagan Cider’s core range currently includes an apple cider, a pear cider, and the Cerise, an apple cherry cider. Various products are under development, such as quince and strawberry ciders, as well as an oaked apple wine.

Pagan ciders are now available in Singapore at specialty purveyor and cafe The Providore (with outlets at Pasar Bella and Mandarin Gallery); the Pagan Pear and Apple ciders retail for S$8.90 a bottle or S$33 for a 4-pack, while the Cerise apple cherry cider goes for S$10.90 per bottle and S$40 for a four-pack.


Official Tasting Notes

 

Pagan ciders

Pagan Apple Cider

Lightly coloured, green-gold tinge, with sparkling clarity. Fine, almost champagne-like bead. Fresh apple and spicy aromas lead in well-balanced tangy apple flavours. Lovely mouthfeel, with a lingering medium-dry finish.

Maker: Pagan Cider
ABV: 4.5%
Volume: 330ml

Pagan Pear Cider

Pale straw colour, distinctive clarity, soft pear aromas. Subtle spicy notes of cinnamon, cloves and vanilla. Fine mousse, with a pleasant mineral backbone. Lush palate with a refreshing crisp, dry finish.

Maker: Pagan Cider
ABV: 4.5%
Volume: 330ml

Pagan Cerise Apple Cherry Cider

A lush blend of 40% cherries and 60% apples, with an enticingly spicy perfumed nose and claret/burgundy hues. The palate is a playful métisse of dark cherries and plums, with rich Christmas fruit cake notes.

Maker: Pagan Cider
ABV: 8%
Volume: 330ml