My last stop on my cider trip around New Zealand is Wellington on the North Island. This is the home of Steel Press Cider, makers of the Brew Dry. Made with fresh local apples.
The Steel Press Cider story is your typical love story, You know Boy meets Girl. Boy impresses Girl with claims of owning a cidery. Boy makes good on claims by starting his own cidery. It’s a story as old as time. It took a little while to hone the recipes. The theory is to keep it simple. Start with fresh local apple juice and that’s it.
Depending on the season, the mix of apples in Brew Dry varies, but typically there are about 3-4 different types of apples in the blend. The wild yeasts naturally found on the apple skins are not washed off or sterilised. Instead, these free range bacteria are allowed to thrive, creating a nice dry “brew”. In fact, this particular strain is cultivated to ensure Steel Press Cider’s unique taste.
The bottle says that the flavour will develop over time. This is partly due to the absence of sulphites which are normally used as a preservative that sometimes doesn’t sit well with some punters. Having a spare bottle of Dry Brew it might be stashing it away in the cellar, just to see how is changes over a couple of years.
This is a strong-nosed cider, the scent is powerful. Blurring the lines between rose petals, antiseptic wipes and overripe red berries. With the wild yeast fueling the Brew Dry, there are many similarities to some of Custard & Co’s ciders. It’s intriguing and inviting.
It’s clear that the name Steel Press Cider must come from how they have pressed so much flavour into this cloudy cider. The smell is perfectly reflected in the taste. The heady mix of rose petal, ripe berries and baked apples resting on an oak foundation. It doesn’t have a typical sweetness, it does have a big fruit flavour. The wild yeasts take the Brew Dry on some unexpected turns that hint at the English country-style ciders.
The taste is an incredibly long-lasting finish that asks for another sip.
Final Thoughts on the Steel Press Cider Brew Dry
I rarely wish for a stronger cider but such a strong taste could benefit from a tad more booze, to turn it into a slow sipper. Maybe with a big old’ chunk of strong, maybe blue cheese. I’ll be looking for another bottle next time over the ditch.
|Steel Press Cider
|Country of Origin
|Wellington, North Island