Cider latest fire victim
THE summer bushfires have left Tasmania’s cherry cider tasting “like an ashtray”.
Pagan Cider is now desperately looking for alternate ways to use $1 million worth of juice — and have had to cancel international orders.
Co-owner Harry Moses said: “We were pressing [the cherries] while the fires and the smoke were at their worst. If you pour the juice you basically got an ashtray.”
PAGAN Cider may have to dump 36,0000 litres of cherry harvest worth $1 million after it was tainted by summer bushfires.
The Huon Valley business has had to call off a shipment to new customers in Hong Kong so it can supply local and longstanding clients.
Pagan Cider co-owner
The fermented one made it pretty obvious, if you pour the juice you basically got an ashtray — HARRY MOSES
Harry Moses said they were unaware when harvesting during summer that smoke from bushfires in the area would so strongly impact the taste of the fermented cherries.
“We were pressing [the cherries] while the fires and the smoke were at their worst,” he said.
“The only way to find out [if they were tainted] was to send the juice to the lab in Hobart and to ferment it. The fermented one made it pretty obvious, if you pour the juice you basically got an ashtray.”
The business is looking into alternative ways to use the juice.
Mr Moses said any health impacts would need to be investigated.
“So now the focus is what we can do with this product between now and the next cherry season and then we’ll have to make the decision whether or not to dump it,” he said.
Simple Cider, a cidery based at Franklin, said 30 per cent of its cherries used for stock was also tainted by the smoke.
But co-owner Patrick Meagher said because of its smaller size the business wasn’t as impacted by the bushfires.
“We were able to find some alternate suppliers to help us get across the line,” Mr Meagher said.
“It ended up being OK for us. I think in part because we’re a lot smaller than Pagan.”
Pagan Cider has in recent years been selling much of its product overseas, mainly to Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan. [email protected]