Geo Cider Co.
by Malcolm Yates the Sea to Sky Beer Guy
Photos by Malcom Yates
In our last issue we gave you an origin story, of sorts, where we tongue-in-cheekily introduced you to Cliffside Cider and Northyards Cider Co.. If you haven’t had a chance to try craft cider here in Squamish you really must. Especially since the rhyming couplet has now been joined by a third. GEO Cider Company is that rare, rhyming triplet; adding depth and melody to the medley that is the Squamish cider scene.
GEO Cider is no flight of whimsy but a well thought out plan more than two years in the making. It started with the cider and its maker, Geoff Menu. Geoff had been perfecting his craft for friends long before any thoughts of going pro. But his product was too good and spreading the cider to the world at large seemed inevitable. Originally, Geoff was involved in a cidery set to open in Britannia Beach. But after a year spent trying to push the concept past council, that particular group and dream dissolved. Britannia’s loss was to be Squamish’s gain, however, as Geoff teamed up with friends Glenn & Ryan Ennis and Gregor Heieis to re-tool and relocate a little further north.
The team took note of a stretch of Queensway Road that housed A-Frame & Backcountry Brewing (with Northyards Cider soon to follow) and found a place to put down roots. The only hiccup? The building hadn’t been built yet. Time passed. In that time, Cliffside and Northyards opened their doors. And what does Glenn Ennis think of that? That, when GEO started becoming a reality, there were no cideries in Squamish and now they’re the third?
“It’s great!” the big man muses.
I had the pleasure of talking with Glenn for this article and he is a man of accomplishment, to say the least. He played football for UBC and rugby for Canada’s national team as well as professionally. Glenn is an actor, stuntman, stunt coordinator and, along with his brother, Ryan, one of the principles in Peacemaker Filmworks. He’s tall and handsome but also open and humble and one of the nicer humans you’re sure to meet. Back to the proliferation of cideries:
“We love that the two other cideries are in town,” Glenn says. “It raises the visibility of cider in general and the profile of Squamish as a destination.”
Boyd Folkard, Co-Owner & Cider Maker, Cliffside Cider
That these establishments are all within easy biking or mild to moderate walking distance is a boon not a bug and GEO has some marketing in the works to highlight that very point. But enough preamble, let’s talk GEO. The name itself is Greek, meaning “Of the Earth” and speaks to the partner’s personal journeys, travelling the world and learning all they can of the cultures and experiences each niche has on offer. Their name is also the company’s ethos: taking & trying new things while treading lightly upon the earth. To that end, one of the ways GEO walks the walk is with their six pack can connectors: they’re completely biodegradable, fish & turtle friendly (“they can eat them!”) and a first in Canada from a beverage company.
Speaking of cans, if you can’t stay for a glass poured straight from one of their eight taps, GEO Cider is stocked and canned for purchase on site. As for wider distribution, they’ll be available in some of your favourite pubs with liquor store distribution soon to follow. As far as variety goes, GEO’s fairly flexible. Their Old World (dry) and New World (semi-dry) form part of the core, but such divine concoctions as Navy Rum, Peach, Iced Tea, Blood Orange, Tequila lime, and Watermelon Mint also frolic in and out of the mix. Oh, did I mention food?
GEO takes their food very seriously, offering up a full menu and full table service. “We wanted to distinguish ourselves,” says Glenn. “You’re greeted at the door, taken to a table, with flights delivered as you look at the menu. There’s no lining up at the bar here.” There’s a point of pride in Glenn’s voice, backed up by the people I’ve talked to who can’t say enough about this place. But don’t take their, Glenn’s or even my word for it, folks. Check out the latest addition to the Squamish scene and see for yourself how special GEO Cider is.
Follow Malcolm Yates the Sea to Sky Beer Guy on his quest on Instagram @seatoskybeerguy