Malcolm Jolley talks to Ryan Monkman about making cider like wine in PEC…

Ryan Monkman does not put Fieldbird Cider in a can. He bottles it like a wine, and that’s what it tastes like, only with more apple (or pear for Fieldbird’s perry). The story of Fieldbird started in 2015 when Monkman and his wife Nicole decided to move to Prince Edward County on their first visit in 2015. They bought a small farm on the Danforth Road where they planned to grow apples biodynamically and Ryan would make cider at rented space at the Kent-He winery near Wellington. Then, lots of things happened, as Ryan describes in the video interview below taken at his cidery on Highway 62 in the heart of The County….

Email versions of this post won’t display video. Please click here to see the video at GFR.

Fieldbird Cider is distributed across Ontario by the Drink Better agency (click here to see what’s on offer). Through them, Ryan Monkman sent me an array of still, traditional sparkling and Charmat method sparkiling ciders and perries, some single variety and some blended. We discuss them in the video above, but I was most taken with the 2017 Buzzing Chatter, a $15 still cider made with a field blend of ‘experimental’ apples planted in the 80’s by the government and barrel fermented to a lean 9% abv. Fresh and bone dry: great apple fruit without any sweetness. I also very much enjoyed the 2017 Sing Song  traditionally made sparkler, bone dry again with vigorous boules and lemony note on top of the apples. It’s sold in a six pack for $150 and would be great fun as a way to launch a backyard, socially distanced gathering.