It all started when Sean (the boy) told a little white lie to impress a girl. Sean had been working at Crumpet bar in Wellington for a few years and in his time there he’d gleaned a thing or two about the alcohol trade – so much so that in his head, he’d long since started a boutique cider brewery catering to the kind of crowd that frequented Crumpet – discerning sorts who knew their way around craft beer and good wine, and would appreciate an apple-based option that wasn’t just made from pasteurised, reconstituted juice fermented up and then doused with sulphates and chemicals.
Enter the girl, love interest, discerning palate possessor. She wasn’t really a fan of beer but loved a glass of cool, crisp cider, and when Sean told her he not only loved cider himself but also had his own brewery, she was more than impressed. The catch? Sean’s fledgling brewery still only existed, at this point, in his head. But he somehow neglected to mention this fact. And when quizzed he was ready with answers: the cider he brewed was the traditional English sort, tangy, cloudy, drier than your typical mass-produced made-from-concentrate stuff. He bought all his apples from local markets and orchards, had a few recipes down, even had a sweet ginger cider in the works. He didn’t use any sulphates or additives. As for when could she try some – uh, well…
Fast-forward two years and they decided to finally make good on the promise of that early, not-quite-true boast: they founded Steel Press Cider. The company’s signature varieties – Brew Bee and Brew Dry – are made in the traditional English cider way, with nothing added but apples, and select New Zealand ingredients such as the honey that gives the Brew Bee varieties their sweetness. They won’t deliver the denatured sweetness of supermarket-bought, made-from-concentrate cider, but they will give you a refreshing, thirst-quenching hit of the compex flavours and distinctive apple aroma of cider brewed in the traditional way.
And as for the protagonists… Well, they lived happily ever after, of course!
This simple start up is mirrored in the Steel Press Cider philosophy, brand and production. We believe that a new age of NZ cider is here and we'd love to take you along for the ride.