A New Brunswick apple orchard is hoping to make the best of Hurricane Dorian’s impact by creating a new cider.
Belliveau Orchard, the company which makes Scow cider and wines, says the storm has knocked down many apples before they’re fully ripe.
“The apples that we’re seeing on the ground now is a sight that we normally might be used after a busy u-pick weekend, but not usually before,” says Guy Gautreau, a project manager. “Hopefully in the next couple weeks we’ll have some good to come out of this so, lemonade out of the lemons.”
Gautreau says many people and other companies were hit a lot harder than they were in Memramcook, N.B., but they wanted to make the best of a bad situation.
“It’s probably going to be called Storm Cider,” says Gautreau. “We’re not allowed to use those apples for the fresh eating market, but we said ‘there’s an opportunity here to maybe make an alcoholic cider.'”
He says an estimated 10,000 litres of freshly-fallen apples could turn into about 30,000 cans of the new cider.
As Dorian swept through the region, it knocked down apples, bruised some still on trees, and toppled some other trees.
“We did have more trees coming into production this year, so we we’re expecting an increase in our yields. But because of the damage. ,the increase) will probably cancel itself out and we’ll probably expect an average crop or a slightly lower-average crop,” he said.
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Work is underway to start making the special edition cider, as Gatreau has started designing the label for it.
“ANBL does have a specialty and a seasonal listing process that usually allows for these types of listings,” he said.
But Belliveau Orchard cannot wait for final approval because “we can’t leave these apples on the ground too long,” according to Gautreau, so they’re going ahead and taking a chance.
Eric Noel, the wine and cidermaker responsible for the company, says there will be a learning curve working with apples that are a week or two shy of being fully ripe.
“Until I press them, look at them, analyze them, I don’t know what to say because it’s something I’ve never done,” he said.
If all goes well, staff hope the new cider will be on the shelves in the coming weeks.