It has been a good year for Casa Nova Fine Beverages of Bear River East, which was among the medalllists at the recent Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards.
The business, which has launched four ciders this year, won silver and bronze in the Atlantic competition.
It won silver for its 1606 Good Cheer Craft Cider and bronze for its Buddy’s Original Craft Cider.
“We are very happy,” said co-owner Karen Enright. “We have several varieties of cider. Those are our first two that we launched and they have remained fan favourites.”
The 1606 brand commemorates the year of the founding of the Order of Good Cheer at Port Royal.
Karen and her husband Brendan Enright – co-owner of the business, cider master and wine maker – have seen the cider market grow substantially.
“There’s a couple of reasons, we figure, for that,” Karen said. “(Cider) is a nice, fruity drink. We use only Nova Scotia fruit. We really support Nova Scotia fruit growers. And our mandate is to promote where we live ... The other thing is the cider is gluten-free, and with the gluten-free issues out there nowadays, it’s a viable option for many people.”
The Enrights also medalled this year at the national level, getting a bronze for their Buddy brand at the All-Canadian competition.
Meanwhile, they have launched a couple more ciders, first a blueberry one and, more recently, a cherry product.
“We don’t have a lot of growers of cherries in the province,” Karen Enright said, “so it’s not a fruit that is readily available, but we wanted to do something different and we also wanted to do something that represented the area ... so Bear River has still got the cherry carnival every year.”
She says they have been struck by how popular the cherry cider has been.
As for the blueberry one, she said, “Of course, it’s promoting Nova Scotia blueberries and we use wild blueberries from the south shore. Anything blueberry in this province is great.”
Meanwhile, another brewery from the region also picked up a medal at the Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards. Boxing Rock Brewing Company in Shelburne picked up a bronze medal in the North American Style Amber/Red Ale category for its Temptation Red Ale.