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Tuesday 2 August 2016

Cider Bar fulfills a doctor's passion

Wherever you go in the world you'll find wine bars, cocktail bars and bars devoted to artisan beers. Less common are bars with a cider focus like The Cidery Bar and Kitchen in Sydney.

The Cidery is one of the latest projects of plastic surgeon turned hotelier Jerry Schwartz, who loves the idea of matching a range of ciders with different foods.

The Cidery, a comfortable, laid back venue, is located at Schwartz's Rydges World Square Hotel and is a real family affair as it highlights his brother-in- law Richard Feyn’s Sydney 
Cider range, which is produced in-house at the hotel.

The new bar, which does also serve beer, wines and cocktails, is focused on matching cider with food. In summer, it has an outdoor deck perfect for people watching. 

“I have been married for five years and my wife’s brother has been trying to let loose on the Australian market with his cider,” Schwartz said.

“You don’t need as much space to make cider as you do to make beer so the area underneath World Square seemed perfect for launching this idea.

“The response so far has been fantastic."

Cider maker Richard Feyn
Feyn likes to see Sydney Cider served in a wine glass. "We think of it as apple champagne," he says. "More and more people are enjoying cider, just as they are enjoying craft beers." 

Rydges World Square food and beverage manager Evan James says the chance to sample several different cider brands with foods had proved extremely popular with both hotel guests and workers from nearby offices.

Among the dishes matching well with ciders are pork and slaw sliders (delicious!) with the sweeter Sydney Cider Agave and Ginger), and a cheese board with lavosh and muscatelle grapes. A shredded duck salad has proved another winner, as has slow-cooked ribs cooked in Sydney Cider. 

There are daily specials, a chilled vibe and tours of the basement cider operation on Wednesday afternoons.

The cider list (there is something you don't see often) also features name like Napoleone and Co from the Yarra Valley, Batlow Cider, Apple Jacks, Pippin Dry from New Zealand and The Hills Cider from the Adelaide Hills, along with more commercial names like Rekorderlig.

The Sydney Brewery, owned by Schwartz and with beers that are brewed in the Hunter Valley but filtered and bottled in Sydney, contribute names like Pyrmont Rye IPA, Surry Hills Pils, Paddo Ale and Glamarama Summer Ale to the artisan beer list.

Schwartz, who has a large portfolio of hotels, says he enjoys juggling several projects at the same time. 

“It is not a challenge for me; in fact, it is great fun to have so many different things happening at once,” he said.

“Having my own venues has also really helped launch this cider in Sydney. A lot of wannabes try to establish their own breweries and 'it might be nice' stuff but they just can’t find anywhere to distribute it.”

Wasting no time between ventures, Schwartz says his next project will be the launch of a premium whiskey, The Spirit of Sydney.

The Cidery, Rydges World Square Hotel, 389 Pitt St, Sydney. (02) 8268 1888.

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