CIDER EXCLUSIVE – Project Q by Merridale Estate Cidery

In Cider news…

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

If you follow my blog you already know that I’m a fan of Merridale Estate Cidery on Vancouver Island, BC. I’ve reviewed a few of their ciders and all of them have gotten very high praise in my books. Now, I’ve just recently found out from the fine folks at Cobble Hill that they are planning on releasing a limited production cider named ‘Project Q’ on March 16th, 2013.

Project Q is a cider that has been years in development in the minds and cellar of co-owners Rick Pipes and Janet Docherty. A limited release made from Quince, cider apples, and a mixture of heritage apples from the Cowichan Green Community’s FruitSave Project. It’s blended with local honey and broad leaf maple syrup and apparently some 5 year-old Quince Eau de Vie that was laying around. Who has 5 year-old Eau de Vie laying around? Merridale does!

Quince is probably the worlds oldest ‘apple’ and many claim that it was the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. Due to its astringency and sour qualities it’s typically used for Jams or Jellies.


This is the beginning of a trend for Merridale. You can expect 2 special releases per year in the Spring and Fall. Spurred on by the increase in competition from new upstart Cideries and a need to constantly evolve, Merridale have pushed themselves to ferment a cider from one of the most challenging fruit to work with. Janet told me, “no cider that we have made in the past 13 years has required so many hours of our attention for such a little volume. The challenge has been great, but the opportunity to be so creative has been brilliant.”

Another thing we can expect from Merridale’s limited releases is partnerships with community based organizations like Cowichan Green Community’s FruitSave Project, a volunteer program that collects urban tree fruit that otherwise would go to waste. Merridale is so committed to the program that they have decided to donate proceeds from their tastings this spring to the FruitSave program.

I’ve been told that this cider is aromatic, slightly sweet and carbonated. Sweeter than Traditional but less sweet than Cyser. If you want to be there to taste and celebrate this release of ‘Project Q’, sign yourself up for their 3-Course St. Patricks Day Dinner with The Sugar Beetles for 30 dollars.

You can expect a review of this on as soon as it makes its way to the Mainland.

11 responses to “CIDER EXCLUSIVE – Project Q by Merridale Estate Cidery

    • Yes!! It is only available at Merridale…but is Awesome! I brought a couple bottles back. One for a review and the others could be used for a hypothetical bottle exchange perhaps?? Wink wink.

    • Oh man! There’s so many!! I’m heading to Nova Scotia tomorrow for a week. I’m planning on bringing back a couple ciders with me.

      Let’s touch base and see what we collectively come back with!

  1. Just wondering if we can buy a bottle of project Q.We tasted it and would like to buy some more for parents in Victoria

    • Hi Marion,

      Your best bet is to contact Merridale directly. They had a very limited supply of project Q available when I was there in May – they might still have some!



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  3. Do you know of any cider pairing dinners (or lunches) on Vancouver Island around this time of year? Several years ago we went to Merridale and the food and cider pairings were memorable. We’re interested in trying a couple of locals if anyone knows of something great. Thanks

    • Hi Maurice,

      Both Sea Cider and Merridale host regular events. I would suggest signing up to their newsletters to keep up to date on the fantastic things they are doing.



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