Western Australia's Margaret River region is well-known for its wine and increasingly for its craft beer, but there’s a new brew booming in the area: cider.
According to Julian Lelah, the local behind Margaret River Brewery Tours, the Margaret River region now has the highest concentration of cider producers in WA, at eight, with two breweries having released cider for the first time in recent months.
And with Bootleg Brewery, The Beer Farm, Bush Shack Brewery, Cheeky Monkey Brewery and Cidery, Eagle Bay Brewing Company, The Grove Experience, Colonial Brewing Company and Black Brewing Company all now producing cider, the drink is, after wine, "fast becoming 'the other drop'" in the region, Mr Lelah says.
"This is something that wouldn't have been anticipated a mere five years ago when Bootleg Brewery were the first brewery to release cider in the Margaret River region."
The trend has prompted Mr Lelah – who lays claim to being the first tour operator in Margaret River to work exclusively with breweries – to launch Margaret River Cider Tours, which gives guests the chance to sample cider at four local micro-breweries and enjoy a gourmet brewery lunch.
Mr Lelah says the cider tour is a good option for people who are gluten intolerant. It runs on the same bus as his beer tours, meaning friends and couples can choose from the two different options but still go on the tour together. Each of the breweries also offers wine.
The cider tour costs $100, while the beer tours are $100 for the full-strength tour and $70 for the mid-strength tour, which is suitable for light drinkers or wine drinkers. They all include pick-up and drop-off at your accommodation and lunch. Private charters are also available.
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