A handcrafted, super-premium cider from Canada is due to land in the UK. Its first listing, appropriately, is to be in the Greene King outlet, The Maple Leaf, in central London. Initially it will be available in 330ml crown cork glass bottles priced at around £4. It will later be available to the on-trade in 20L kegs. Later in the Spring, Bulwark is expected to be on sale through retail outlets also.
With cider sales breaking the £1 billion barrier in 2017 (Source: Nielsen) and an interest in Canadian products in the run-up to Brexit, the timing is right for a high quality cider to come to the UK.
Made from a signature blend of five apples, the Bulwark Cider product represents artisanal cider- making at its best. The apples used are Golden Russets, Northern Spy, Cortland, McIntosh and Honey Crisp. It is this blend that provides just the right balance of sweetness, acidity and tartness. The resulting cider is akin to a very crisp and pleasing lightly-sparkling white wine.
This cider is a simple product made with North American apple varieties using wine-making methods. It is made from fresh apples, pressed on site, combined with yeast. However, this simplicity of method masks the complexity that comes with any skilled wine, cider or beer production. The success lies in the combination of the natural fruits, correct blending of those five apples and outstanding craftsmanship. The final ingredient is time - as one batch of juice is fermented at any one time to ensure the signature bland represents the quality for which this brand is known at home. It is this which sets the product apart from the ciders currently on the market in the UK.
Bulwark will initially be importing into the UK only one of its four cider blends – its award-winning Bulwark Original. It is crisp with apple blossom aromas and fruity notes but with a light mouth feel. With an ABV of 5.8%, it is perfect for those who are wishing to find a distinctive and sophisticated alcoholic drink that is relatively low in alcohol. Its similarity to sparkling wine in taste profile, but without the cost normally attached to champagne and prosecco, makes it an attractive alternative to these products.
This cider had its origins 400 years ago when French settlers planted trees to create some of North America’s first orchards. Its taste profile make it ideal as an accompaniment to foods as well as being an appealing drink to enjoy either at lunchtime or evening.
Calum Cameron, Category Manager for Spirits, Cider & Craft at Greene King Pub Co, whose outlet The Maple Leaf is the first to list Bulwark, said: “We’re excited to support the launch of Bulwark in the UK and I can’t think of a more fitting venue than The Maple Leaf. Premium ciders represent a growing category which is why an authentic and well-made product such as Bulwark Cider is of interest to us”.
Brand owner and co-founder of Bulwark Cider, Germain Bergeron, decided to bring his brand to the UK following an exploratory visit to consider the market which was arranged as part of the Atlantic Canada Trade Mission to Europe through the Canadian Embassy in London, and supported by Agriculture Canada “Growing Forward 2” programme
Germain Bergeron said: “Our cider has been selling since 2011 but the tradition of making cider from the apple varietals and other fruits that grow near-by our property has a distinguished history dating back some 400 years. We are proud of our products and craftsmanship and given the UK consumers’ interest in cider, artisanal products, and authentic foods and drinks, we believe the time is right to launch a full juice cider fermented with 100% juice content with no sugar added as opposed to most other ciders sold in the UK that have only a 30% to 50% juice equivalent and even less for Swedish- made ciders. Our ethos is a true expression of what Canada is all about: clean, pure, high quality and natural. People in the UK are more aware than ever of Canada.”
Bulwark Cider currently sells in Canada, the USA, Hong Kong, China, and will soon be launching in Thailand / SE Asia, Germany and the Netherlands. The brand launches in London in March 2018 and will be available both for the on-trade and off-premise outlets. UK distribution is through Brand Central, run by Paul Hinks from its Nottingham base: firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Hinks of Brand Central said: “It is particularly exciting to be bringing a product to a new market that effectively pioneers a new category in the UK: that of super-premium cider. This product offers a taste, provenance and unique proposition that make this launch one to anticipate keenly”.