Sea Cider: Applying the Squeeze to Apples in Saanichton

Cider Victoria

If you’re so inclined (and you should be), it takes less than a half-hour to get from Victoria International Airport to some serious spirits or fermented beverages. My first stop was Victoria Spirits for aged rum and hemp vodka, followed in quick succession by Sea Cider, a apple cidery from Kristen Jordan who opened in 2007 midway between the airport and the city of Victoria.

The interior features arched wood ceilings, a roll up garage door, communal wood tables with metal chairs, thrones (?!) and a patio overlooking…

Apple Blossoms Victoria
…blooming apple blossoms and the timber-lined seashore.

Pumpkin Seeds Victoria
No matter what you order, expect addictive sunflower seeds roasted in cider vinegar and honey.

Cheese Victoria
My aim is often to eat local when traveling, and that includes cheese and meat. Luckily, Sea Cider sold both. Their Artisan Cheese ($8) plate featured two “island cheeses” – Camembert and cheddar – plus seasonal raspberry preserve and soft rustic bread from The Roost, a local bakery.

Cider Victoria
Sea Cider offered eight different ciders, ranging from dry to sweet. Ordering the Short Flight ($7) allowed me to order three samples, anything goes. Wild English was a brut fermented with wild yeast, 7.2% ABV and made from Herefordshire bittersweet apples. Pippins was off-dry, effervescent, 9.5% ABV and made from yellow Newton Pippin apples in “Prohibition style.” What that means was unclear. To explore more of the spectrum, my third choice was semi-sweet Rumrunner, 12% ABV and featuring winesap apples aged in rum-soaked bourbon barrels.

Sea Cider turned out to be a welcome departure that helped redefine cider for me. First of all, it was alcoholic, much different than the fang-less farmhouse cider I grew up drinking in New Jersey. Sea Cider’s product also had a wide range and wasn’t as syrupy sweet as the ciders that robbed me of a Whistler ski day in 1995. For that, I’m doubly grateful.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Leave a Comment