Leonard Koningswijk owner/cidermaker of Bear Cider in the Netherlands is turning his country towards cider one palate at a time. The idea was sprouted at his family home in the rural village of Beerze on the border of Germany. (Beerze means bear in Dutch.) Like many cider folk he saw the bounty of apples laden on the trees and thought something must be done with those apples. Via the internet he learned how-to press apples and make cider and took a course with Peter Mitchell on cidermaking.
He knew his country was great for growing apples but there are not any large volume of cider apples being grown. Note this is changing as the demand for cider increases, most notably south east of Amsterdam where UWE Betuwe Cider has an orchard.
The cider revival is slowly gaining speed in Amsterdam, Utrecht, Den Haag, and Rotterdam. Listen to 002: Wouter Biljs | CiderCider, Rotterdam and 010-Margot Sanderse | Het Ciderhuis, Utrecht and see how two importers are making craft cider cool again.
In this chat, Leonard and I discuss how he makes cider, by importing apple juice from Herefordshire, England, the lack of cider apples in the Netherlands, and the uphill push to educate the public on the virtues of drinking cider.
Launched as Beer Cider in 2012, the name has been changed in 2016 to Bear Cider. Leonard and I discuss the branding of his product, which startup cidermakers should find particularly interesting.
Bear Cider cidermaking process
- Imported 350 hectoliters of apple juice from UK in 2015 – equals 9,246.02 gallons
- Shipped in a 1000 liter IBC, which are a square plastic vessel
- Ferment right in the IBC
Beer Cider Contact
- De Boomgaard 11-1
- Telephone: 035-887 52 22
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- Sprankelende Nederlandse Appelcider 5.3%
- Sprankelende Nederlandse Appelcider 5.3% corked
- Stille, Vintage 2014 “Single Variety” Dabinett appelcider 8%
- India Wheat Cider, Collaboration with Brouwerij (brewery) Het Uiltje 6.5%
Look for the new “Cascade” hopped cider
Netherland Cider Tourist – Landing at Schiphol airport
- Bear Cider in Albert Heijn’s right in Schiphol Airport
- Located right outside the terminal is Citizen M hotel, which serves Bear Cider
- In Amsterdam,
– Appels en Peren, new retail cider store by Rembrandtplein.
– de Sterk go via the tram from Centraal Station which has a great selection of ciders and beer