HER FATHER’S CIDER BAR, TORONTO
“Within the next 10 years, cider is going to have a revolution like craft beer has had,” says Joshua Mott, owner of Her Father’s Cider Bar + Kitchen in Toronto’s Harbord Village. “It’s long overdue.”
Mott, it seems, has struck liquid gold with his prediction. The restaurant, which opened in late May, has been bustling ever since, with trendy Torontonians Instagramming the flights of cider and photogenic plant-based cuisine since day one.
With roughly 100 types of cider in bottles and cans and 12 more rotating seasonally on tap—the numbers are changing all the time as more product makes it through legal red tape—Her Father’s prides itself on serving up the largest selection of cider in any bar in Canada. The focus is on Ontario’s burgeoning craft cider scene, with offerings from cideries like Hamilton’s West Avenue and Beaver Valley in Kimberley, but the list is far from geographically restricted; the extensive menu boasts flag icons from Spain, France, the U.K., the U.S., and even South Africa, with many offerings being exclusive.
Separated into flavour profiles like dry, semi-sweet, and ice cider, the selection has something for everyone, and those who think they don’t like cider will be pleasantly surprised, Mott says, by the diversity of flavours available. Should some drinkers want to avoid the fruit-based beverage, a tightly edited selection of wine, beer, and spirits is available. Cocktails made with cider also provide diversity. Tasting flights are currently comprised from the varieties on tap, but Mott sees that evolving as they find their feet. “Eventually we’re going to design flights that come from a bottle;” he says, adding “maybe a Spanish flight or a Normandy flight.”
Open for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, Her Father’s offers a food menu, with snacks, sharing plates, and full meals available. Dishes by chef Ryan Barclay run the gamut from a smoked mackerel sandwich on rye, to a kale salad with Ontario strawberries and spinach, and raclette with lightly cooked vegetables (many options are gluten-free, in keeping with cider’s gluten-free appeal).
Her Father’s might be the first cider bar in the country, but it’s unlikely to be the last. “Cider is a traditional beverage with a strong heritage and roots in Canadian, European, and American culture,” says Mott. Its moment in the spotlight has been a long time coming.
Her Father’s Cider Bar + Kitchen, 119 Harbord Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 1G8, 647-347-7747.
All photos by Lisa Poshni.