The Ironbark Story
IRONBARK CIDERWORKS began with the vision of one woman who wanted to enjoy alcohol without compromising her health or her palate. After an exhausting search and many underwhelming drinks she realized that she wasn’t going to find what she wanted, so she decided to make her own. The result was Ironbark Cider: the “apple a day” for adults only.
Cat started home fermenting cider with her friend Cheryl in 2014 because she couldn’t find a drink that was gluten free and sugar free with no added sulfites and no yeast. After a year of trial and error and some crazy home ciermaking experiments, they started to make some pretty drinkable cider and got the idea of doing something with it commercially.
In 2016 Cheryl went in a different direction and Cat’s husband, Jim spurred her to accelerate her business plans. Cat invited Jim to join her in the business, but being an ardent feminist, Jim decided to work for Ironbark rather than take on a partnership role, leaving Cat in full control at the helm. So in August of 2016 Ironbark was born as a wholly WOMAN OWNED S-Corporation in the State of California. They promptly signed up for Fermentation Science classes at OSU and rented their space in Claremont. Ironbark opened for business in November of 2017.
Ironbark Ciderworks now crafts 15 unique hard ciders with cold pressed juice fermented in small batches for a naturally sugar-free, gluten free, preservative free, vegan-friendly alcoholic beverage with around 100 calories per 8oz. Ironbark cider is also crafted to be yeast-free and sulfite-free, with functional health benefits.
The thing that makes craft cider exciting is that even with the same recipes, each batch of cider is different to the next. Ironbark doesn’t use chemicals to keep everything uniform, they adapt to the fruit and make it work in the most natural, artisanal way possible. One of the biggest variables in cidercraft is the apple itself, because apples vary in character throughout the season. New season apples are quite tart, with higher acid content and lower pH and by the end of the season they are super sweet with a much higher pH. Ironbark’s cidercraft is specifically tailored to be an “all natural” process, so they don’t use sulfites or any other preservatives. They don’t use finings either, they filter (to sterile). The fact that Ironbark cider is fermented to dry and filtered to sterile, is what makes it naturally shelf stable.
The Ironbark tasting room is an assertively SAFE, INCLUSIVE SPACE where everyone can come together and enjoy a naturally light refreshing drink while being free to be themselves. No matter who you are, the Ironbark team is happy that you’re there.
If you are ever in Claremont, California, go visit the tasting room. It is fun, safe, inclusive and has a great variety of heavenly ciders on tap.