Beer: Growers Extra Dry Apple
Brewery: Growers Cider Company (Oliver, British Columbia)
Alcohol: 7.0% ABV
What can I say about cider? It’s hit or miss for me, but when it’s good, it can be damn good. When it’s bad, it can be too bland or too tart or too sweet. There are all kinds of things that can go wrong with cider, but when you look at the shelves of your local liquor store, chances are there are plenty of choices.
Like all Growers products, Growers Extra Dry Apple comes in a 330mL clear bottle with a twist-off cap. If it was a beer, I’d complain about the clear glass bottle, but it’s a cider, so it really doesn’t make a difference. The cider pours almost white — off-white with yellow-ish hints, actually. I suppose it kind of resembles the flesh of an apple in that respect. Plenty of big bubbles stream up from the bottom of the glass, so if heavy carbonation isn’t your thing, stay away from this (and all Growers) ciders. It’s about as far from still as you can get.
The nose fills with the scent of fresh apple with a touch of alcohol. It’s about what to expect from most common ciders.
I don’t care what they call it; I would not call this “extra dry.” In fact, “slightly sweet” is more like it. The apple flavour is subdued, and it has some acidity that is fairly common in ciders, but there’s enough sweetness accompanying the mild alcohol and heavy carbonation that rolls around on the tongue. It’s a bit harsh in body, presumably because of the carbonation.
“Mediocre” is the word that comes to mind. Served nice and cold or with ice cubes (the horror!), this would be a nice sipping drink in the middle of summer, but compared to something like Blackthorn or even Strongbow, Growers Extra Dry Apple falls a little flat. The Growers ciders tend to get consumed like they’re coolers rather than ciders by many Canucks (my mother is one of them; she even calls them “coolers”), and it’s clear why. They’re sweet, heavily carbonated and best consumed as cold as possible.