News

Big time for Small Talk

By Harley Davidson, Standard Staff

Nico DeBruyne, a retail worker at Small Talk Winery holds a can of Shiny Pinot Cider, dressed in the gold-medal it won at the Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition in Grand Rapids, Michigan in April.
(Harley Davidson/Standard Staff)

Nico DeBruyne, a retail worker at Small Talk Winery holds a can of Shiny Pinot Cider, dressed in the gold-medal it won at the Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition in Grand Rapids, Michigan in April. (Harley Davidson/Standard Staff)

Small Talk Vineyards will be representing Niagara’s craft beer culture at the Toronto Festival of Beer on July 19.

According to Davide De Laurentiis, marketing and communications manager for the Toronto festival, Small Talk will be the only vendor attending from Niagara this year.

The winery, which doubles as a cider brewery, is locally known for its cider varieties and sparkling-wine fusions.

Small Talk will be bringing three types of cider to the Toronto festival this year, their award-winning Shiny Apple and Shiny Pinot ciders, as well as a “bootleg” whiskey barrel cider, says Ben Hirst, marketing manager for Small Talk.

“We’re always happy to represent Niagara,” said Hirst.

This April, Small Talk took home two medals in the Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition in Grand Rapids, Michigan (a cider is an alcoholic beverage made with apples. Perry is made with pears).

The winning ciders were its classic Shiny Apple Cider, which became the first Niagara cider to hit LCBO shelves two years ago, and its Shiny Pinot Cider, a wine-cider fusion which was added to LCBO stores this summer.

The two ciders took home silver and gold, respectively.

“Obviously the area is really known for wine, but it’s good to show people that there’s more going on here than just wineries,” said Hirst.

They have been making cider for the last three years and were the first licensed cider brewers in Niagara-on-the-Lake — the license for brewing cider being separate from the license to brew beer — according to the Ontario Craft Cider Association.

De Laurentiis said he hopes more Niagara breweries will participate in the Toronto festival next year.

hdavidson@postmedia.com

@Harley_Standard