CARMEL Cider Co in the Perth Hills has been crowned Australia’s best producer of pear cider at the 2017 Australian Cider Awards.
Andrew and Libby Carruthers won the prestigious ‘Best Perry’ award for their champagne-style pear cider produced on the family’s orchard in Carmel.
Mrs Carruthers said it was the first time they’ve entered the industry awards, after only getting approval to sell their cider earlier this year, and are delighted with the win.
“To be recognised as producing the best pear cider in Australia on debut feels amazing,” she said.
“Andrew and I really believe in our traditional hands-on cider making methods, and this is proof that our product is outstanding.”
“All of the fruit we use in our cider is grown in our orchard which has been in my family for three generations.
“We don’t use additives or reconstituted product in our cider and we think that’s really important.”
Mr Carruthers is from a farming family in Lake Grace and only turned his hand to cider making five years ago.
“We needed to diversify our business, so when Libby suggested we make cider I bought myself a book and gave it a go,” he said.
“I like to experiment with different flavours and techniques but I really enjoy the challenge of creating our champagne style cider.”
Mr Carruthers said the orchard’s pear cider matures in the bottle for up to four years.
“We have to turn those bottles by hand twice a day, every day during the final process. This is to extract the yeast and make sure the cider carbonates naturally.
“It’s really hands on, and takes a lot of time and effort, but when you taste the final product it’s spectacular.”
Mrs Carruthers said 2017 had been a big year for the family run cider company.
“We’ve held four pop-up cider events here in Carmel, been part of festivals in Fremantle, Highgate, Burswood and the Perth Hills, and launched into the wholesale market for bottled and keg products,” she said.