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Business is brewing: Maritime Express Cider on track in Kentville

Jimi Doidge is the co-owner and head brewer of cider at Maritime Express Cider, a new taproom and cidery that’s just opened its doors in Kentville.
Jimi Doidge is the co-owner and head brewer of cider at Maritime Express Cider, a new taproom and cidery that’s just opened its doors in Kentville. - Sara Ericsson

Cidery grand opening to be held Nov. 17 at Cornwallis Inn

KENTVILLE , N.S. – The latest craft brewing business to set up shop in Kings County is on track to introduce Kentville to a new way of enjoying its famous apples.

Maritime Express Cider has opened its doors in Kentville and will offer its customers a taste of ciders made from apples sourced from its own backyard.

Owner and brewer Jimi Doidge says the business, located inside the historic Cornwallis Inn, is on track to a booming first week of business. He and business partner Scott Hearn say so far, so good.

The cidery currently has two ciders – the Flying Bluenose and the Dayliner – plus several Nova Scotia-produced craft beers to try.
The cidery currently has two ciders – the Flying Bluenose and the Dayliner – plus several Nova Scotia-produced craft beers to try.

“It’s been great – pretty busy, for keeping quiet about it. We just put our ‘Open’ banner on display outside, and people started coming in,” says Doidge.

The cidery launched a soft opening Oct. 24 and has since been offering its Flying Bluenose dry cider – “it’s crisp, clean and very dry,” says Doidge – and a semi-sweet cider called the Dayliner, in both tasting and full-glass sizes.

“That one is a bit sweeter. We don’t call it fully sweet, because then people might think it’s full of sugar. It’s more apple-y, and smoother,” says Doidge.

The cidery is equipped able to fill and sell growlers for customers, and already has another cider ready to start serving next week – rhubarb, which Doidge says he’s really excited for.

The cidery is located inside the town’s historic Cornwallis Inn, and was named in honour of the building’s railroad history.
The cidery is located inside the town’s historic Cornwallis Inn, and was named in honour of the building’s railroad history.

It’s been a solid start, considering the business nearly avoided being without enough tanks to produce at capacity.

“We had our last fermenting tank arrive, and it was too tall for our brewing space. We had to send it back… but when it arrived we put cider in right away, and have been going since then,” says Doidge, who added he just put 4,000 litres of fresh juice to ferment in the tanks Oct. 26.

Doidge and Hearn are planning on creating hopped and winter cider varieties, and to start serving snacks like charcuterie boards soon at the cidery. They are currently serving a large selection of Nova Scotia-produced craft beers alongside their cider and say seeing people try the crat products for the first time is rewarding.

“We had our last fermenting tank arrive, and it was too tall for our brewing space. We had to send it back… but when it arrived we put cider in right away, and have been going since then,” says Doidge.
“We had our last fermenting tank arrive, and it was too tall for our brewing space. We had to send it back… but when it arrived we put cider in right away, and have been going since then,” says Doidge.

“We’ve been finding a good mix of people who like the sweeter cider, and who prefer the dry. We even see people who think they’ll prefer one, and find it’s the other they like better,” says Doidge.

The two partners will host the cidery’s grand opening Nov. 17, and will continue tweaking small finishes until then, as well as introducing people to their cider.

“That’s really what it’s about – to be able to talk with people who come in and explain it to them,” says Doidge.

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