The History of County Cider
Curious to find out more about the deep history associated with our location at the County Cider Company? Our cidery was officially established in 1995, making it the oldest cider-producing company in all of Ontario. We’re technically considered an estate winery, but we specialize in authentic hard apple ciders that come in a variety of unique flavours. Even though we have resided here for quite some time, our location history dates all the way back to 1776 where the township of Marysburgh, one of the original townships that formed PEC, was just one of the many settlements established by the United Empire Loyalists. It became home to a small group of German mercenaries, one of the earliest German speaking groups to settle in Ontario. Settlers Hendry David and his wife Elizabeth were amongst these early settlers, and in 1830 their son Conrad David was given the title to the lot which County Cider resides on today. Fun fact, our tasting room was actually the first structure built on the property, which was used as a small pig barn at the time.
By 1850, orchards established by the David family were robust and producing apples. These are the same orchards that you see on our family farm today, although over time the trees have all been replaced. Fast forward to 1970 when the property was purchased by William and Berva Howes. Their son Grant Howes took over the orchards in the early 90s with a dream of producing the best tasting cider around. By 1995 Grant was able to produce a cider good enough to impress the LCBO, and in two years later County Cider was found on LCBO store shelves all across Ontario. Grant’s passion and outstanding commitment to producing the best quality cider coined him as the Godfather of Ontario Cider.
In 2017, Grant sadly passed away suddenly at the age of 60. In the blink of an eye The County Cider Company had lost a friend, father, founder, and so much more. The loss was great, but Grant’s dedication to his dream and his passion lived on through the tight knit team at County Cider. Grant had lived over 20 years immersed in doing what he loved, and we pride ourselves on carrying on that legacy by continuing to produce the cider that Grant worked so hard to make a name for. Today we grow over 16 varieties of apples on our two orchards. That’s over 40 acres of apple trees producing roughly 160 tonnes of apples, which in turn produces about 150,000 litres of our famous cider each year!
The County Cider Company is known for its rich history and background dating back to the early settlers that established a name for themselves in what is now Prince Edward County. This history and culture has made our beautiful location the incredible spot it is today, with plenty of historical significance to go around. Want to learn more about The County Cider Company and our family orchard? Visit the ‘The Cidery’ page to read more about our story.