By Jenna Hickman
As soon as you pull into Upside Cider, you’re already planning your next trip back. Tucked on the hillside on Gale Road, just behind Highway 97 across from the Kelowna International Airport, Upside Cider produces fresh organic cider and tasty food.
Established in 2017, Upside Cider is Kelowna’s first organic cidery. It prides itself on its sustainability and its environmentally conscious approach to farming. Originally from Cawston, BC, co-owner Isaac Potash grew up knowing the importance of sustainable farming. His father founded Cawston Cold Storage, now the largest organic fruit-packing house in Canada, and helped to create the Certified Organic Associations of BC (COABC) movement. Farming also runs in co-owner Mike Large’s family, as the property itself was purchased by his father in the 1970s.
Respect for the Land
From pouring tastings straight from the keg, to not supplying any plastic bags, to not using any pesticides, to composting, the team at Upside Cider is committed to respecting the land they farm. As a constant reminder of the greater ecosystem, they even have a family of red-tailed chicken hawks who have lived right next to the property for 14 years.
“We’ve been organic farming from the beginning – before it was a ‘thing’,” says Potash. “You do it because that’s the way you want to live – you want to create something that is beautiful.”
It comes as no surprise that this way of farming also produces better-tasting cider.
“We have some of the best cider in the world because we have access to the best apples in the world,” says Potash. “We use over 50 different varieties of cider apples. I just planted winter banana apples – they’re bright yellow and have a bit of a banana aroma to them.”
Eat, Drink, Enjoy
If you don’t feel like drinking cider, Upside Cider has many local wines, craft beers, and spirits from Okanagan Distilleries to choose from. Their entire bar menu, and nearly everything on the food menu, is local.
“Supporting our community is very important to us,” says Potash. “We want to support people pursuing their dream, the same way we are.”
Potash and Large wanted to create an atmosphere where people could come and enjoy themselves, whether for a family outing or on a date.
Upside Cider has spaced out their tables throughout their patio, lounge and market space, and has live music booked for the summer. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the cidery has scaled down the market side of the building – limiting it to just products they grow, to allow more room for socially distanced tables.
The cidery is open Sunday to Wednesday from 11 am to 8 pm and Thursday to Saturday from 11 am to 10 pm.
Whether you’re visiting for the crisp cider, delicious food or the live music, Upside Cider is where you want to be.