Steve and Lisa Goddard opened Hard Way Cider in 2016 after friends were constantly asking them for more of their home brew. After finding great success with their brews, the pair have opened a new location in Kingston’s west end.
According to the Lisa, Steve had the initial idea of making small batches of homemade cider. Once they started consistently making “really tasty” ciders, they thought: why not start a business? With a desire to own acreage, and to be in business for themselves, she said Steve’s background in food science made this a natural decision.
The pair were living in Kingston when they started making their kitchen cider batches. “We moved to the country because of the 5 Acre Rule for having a cidery retail store,” Lisa told Kingstonist.
The 5 Acre Rule is a rule put in place by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission (AGCO). The rule requires all wineries and cideries to have five acres of planted fruit in order to be able to apply for a retail store license.
Hard Way Cider’s previous location was just north of the village of Bath. “We were down the road from our friends at MacKinnon brothers,” Lisa said. “That location is no longer operational, as our manufacturing license only allows for one location.”
Having already taken out the taproom in their previous location to make way for more manufacturing space, the pair seized an opportunity to expand when one presented itself to them.
“Due to the pandemic, the AGCO temporarily suspended the 5 Acre Rule, so we decided to make a go of it and move in to the city,” she said.
Hard Way Cider is now operational at their 748 Development Drive location. They source their apples locally and said they have some grand plans in the works for this new space.
“We want our ciderhouse to be a place that people can swing by after work or on weekends, meet with friends for a drink, chill out in a relaxing atmosphere and enjoy some tasty cider and guest taps,” Lisa explained. “We hope to someday host live music events, maybe a trivia night, and some Sunday morning yoga with the barrels as a backdrop. There are nearly no Urban Cideries in Ontario, because of the 5 Acre Rule, so it’s exciting to know we’ll be amongst the first to open.”
Their plans include a taproom with seating, as well as a patio. They said they plan to have a regular rotation of food trucks, but don’t foresee a full kitchen at this point in time.
“We will finally be able to give proper tours of the manufacturing operation (when COVID restrictions allow.) Our old space was so small the tour was basically turning in a full circle and pointing everything out,” Lisa said, laughing.
“There’s a huge difference between the two locations,” she continued. “No more tripping over each other, lots of room to move, it’s bright and airy and it’s nice to feel like a part of the Kingston community instead of tucked away in the country. We’re also seeing a lot of new, super excited faces. Lots of people have been waiting patiently for our bottle shop doors to open and we’ve been thrilled with the warm reception.”
Hard Way Cider is currently open from noon until 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Visit them at 748 Development Drive, and place orders online at www.hardwaycider.com/
“For those who haven’t tried our ciders, we specialize in low/zero sugar ciders that are aged in a variety of spirit and wine barrels,” Lisa concluded. “We offer online ordering via our website and free, contactless delivery within a 25 km radius of our Kingston location. You can find us at some establishments around town, as well.”