This week there is a new cider hitting the shelves. Granite Belt Cider Co. is the latest to launch a new cider. Treehouse Cider is their debut release. What makes Granite Belt Cider Co. unique is the fact that it uses Australia’s most northerly commercially grown apples. So How does that affect the Taste?

Rule number 1 of growing apples. You need a cold climate with a cold winter to encourage the trees to flower and in turn grow apples.

Rule number 1 of Byron Bay…. Whoa, whoa, whoa who said anything about rules, aren’t they more like suggestions? Man, I’ve got to think this over at the beach. Well at least what I learnt when in my years at university there.

So when Stone & Wood Brewery, Granite Belt’s parent company, decided to branch out they choose to break the rules and look for their apples over the border in Queensland. For my international readers, Queensland grows more pineapples than Malus domestica (apples). It never rains up there, and when it does its liquid sunshine falling from the sky.

However, there is a little pocket of high country in the south-east of the state called the Granite Belt where you’ll find the town of Stanthorpe. Stanthorpe often gets a little snow in the winters, or is that frozen sunshine?  The altitude of the area nudges 1000 meters above sea level which makes for cool summers. The mountain range was pushed up millions of years ago by a volcanic system that formed the Great Dividing Range down Australia’s east cost. The volcanoes left behind fertile but sandy granite soil. All commercial Queensland apples come from the Granite Belt region and Queensland was Australia’s 3rd biggest apple growing state in 2008. This all adds up to sweet apples. Particularly the red apple like the Johnathons, Galas that are used here. As well as a few Granny Smiths.

The Nose

When I poured the bottle into my glass, I saw an extremely pale white yellow cider. I thought this is going to be another samey sweet cider that every brewery is attempting?

My fears were blown away by the smell bursting out.

There is something very interesting about the Treehouse Cider. Smokey tones are the first thing that comes to mind like an apple wood smoked cheese.A bottle of Treehouse cider by Granite Belt Cider Co. Ready for review

The Taste

Those smokey notes carry over into the taste. Backed up by some gritty minerals.  Granite Belt Cider Company have taken the Treehouse Cider in that eggy farmhouse direction. Don’t worry it’s tempered and perfectly restrained. It doesn’t over power, just a little something to think about.

There is sweetness but it’s cut by a little bit of that tartness that Aussie ciders are becoming known for, but it’s the minerality that does most of the work. This makes for a pretty refreshing cider when it’s ice-cold.

Final Thoughts on Treehouse Cider

While there are some big and unique flavours, I couldn’t recommend serving it over ice. Instead try in nice and cold with a slab of BBQ spare ribs dipping in sauce. Smokey pork and a smokey cider you know where I’m going with this. Give it a go.

Product Tree House Cider
Company Granite Belt  Cider Co
Sweetness Medium
Alc/Vol 4.8%
Country of Origin Australia
Region Made in Byron Bay, New South Wales.
Grown in the Granite belt region of New South Wales and Queensland

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