Our journey to cider and back to our agricultural roots truly did come out of nowhere. From a third generation British Columbia ranching family, life had lead us both away from the ranch to the big city. It wasn’t until a random idea turned into an amazing adventure that would end up taking us home.
While living in Vancouver, Kate had a great idea and a very understanding roommate. Why not try and make a batch of cider in a bucket in her kitchen? Using the internet as a guide, her first attempt into the world of home alcohol production was an overwhelming failure with her hard work finding its final resting place down her bathroom tub drain.
Not to be deterred, Kate signed up for a week long cidermaking course at the University of Washington taught by renowned English cidermaker Peter Mitchell. Kate’s eyes were opened to the world of ‘real’ cidermaking and she was hooked.
That summer Kate bought a small apple press and recruited her first cider devotee, her dad Gord. Having had his own youthful dreams of moonshining, Gord was right onboard.
Together they made their first batch of cider using dessert apples and some small crabapples from their neighbour’s trees. It wasn’t half bad. Well, at least good enough to get Theresa and Deb onboard and the wheels really started to turn.
Theresa and Gord enrolled in Peter Mitchell’s cidermaking course and Kate headed to England. Kate decided that if she wanted to learn how to make traditional English-style cider, it only made sense to go to the source to see how it was done.
Kate was lucky enough to get the opportunity to apprentice with master cidermaker Mike Johnson at Ross-On-Wye Cider and Perry.
Theresa, Gord and Deb then joined Kate on a tour of the ciderhouses of Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Somerset. Inspired by the cider culture that they had all fallen in love with, they return home ready to get to work.
With a LOT of help from their friends and family, Theresa, Kate, Gord and Deb began commercial cider production at Left Field Cider Co. in 2011 and have been making small batch full juice cider ever since.