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Daily Bulletin

There’s nothing traditional about Ironbark Ciderworks in Claremont.

The new craft cider house has created beverages that are free of sulfites, preservatives and sugars.

On top of that, some of them are pro-biotic, which means it’s healthy for the gut, said Catherine Fleming, brewer and owner of the cidery.

“We don’t want chemicals, we want healthy alcohol,” she said, pausing for a brief moment. “Well, as healthy as we can get for being alcohol.”

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Claremont Courier

“We want the Ironbark experience to be a colorful, inclusive celebration of life,” said Ms. Fleming. “It’s not just for one sector of the community, it’s for everyone. We will have local musicians, poets, writers, artists and actors perform here, and we may even host TED-type talks.”

Brewing cider has a long history in Europe, and some Americans are no doubt familiar with the sugar-forward version served in British pubs across the US. But that’s not what Ironbark is going for. Their brews are decidedly dry, all-natural, and are surprisingly low in sugar.

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The Fifty Best Holds A Cider Tasting

The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of hard ciders with members of our judging panel. Strict tasting rules were applied. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. Each of the ciders were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles and served well chilled. Only ice water, neutral unflavored crackers and chips were available to cleanse the palate.


The judges wrote down their impressions of each wine on score sheets. The scoring was done on a 5-point system, with 5 as the best. Double-Gold, Gold and Silver medals are awarded based on a set range of final point scores received from the judges. There were no bronze medals awarded for this tasting.


The tasting notes that follow are summaries of the judges’ opinions, with all replicated commentary eliminated. The states of origin and other tidbits of inoformation are identified for each cider.

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