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Core Cider House Spring Fest

Home > Perth > Breweries | Escape the City | Food and Wine | Lunch
by Douglas Sutherland-Bruce (subscribe)
Douglas has been a professional food writer since 1986. He is also an award-winning actor and director in Community Theatre and has been for many years. His blog may be found at: www.urbaneguerilla.wordpress.com
Published October 13th 2014
There are more uses for an apple than demonstrating gravity
Cider is an ancient drink - not as old as ale perhaps but pretty old, nevertheless.

It has been brewed for centuries all over the world. When the Romans arrived in Britain in 55BCE they found the Saxons in what is now Kent drinking cider.

In Western Australia cider was brewed in the lovely Pickering Brook Valley, an area perfect for pears and apples, by Giovanni-Battista 'Jack' Della Franca who settled there in 1926.

Core Cider House, Fest, Pickering Brook, Live Music
Core Cider House (Photograph by D Sutherland-Bruce)


The fourth generation of his family are still there, and still brewing cider.

Now known as Core Cider House the original concept has been broadened and adapted so that now there is a restaurant, wide verandahs to eat on with sweeping vistas over the valley and orchards. How breathtakingly lovely it must be like in blossom season, I can only imagine.

Every Sunday in October Core Cider House is hosting their Spring Fest.

Core Cider House, Fest, Pickering Brook, Live Music
Core Cider House (Photograph by D Sutherland-Bruce)


Angela and I dropped in to see what the place was like and what was on offer. The day was overcast with the occasional shower, but that did nothing to dampen the spirits of the large and enthusiastic crowd enjoying the cider, food, live music and crisp spring air.

Core Cider House, Fest, Pickering Brook, Live Music
Core Cider House (Photograph by D Sutherland-Bruce)


The Core Cider House is arranged on several levels, the entry to the restaurant on the top, at road level. Then a little lower down is a mezzanine with more tables and a small stage where on the day we were there had Adrian Wilson playing smooth, undemanding music, perfect for a Sunday afternoon. Core Cider House has live music every Sunday afternoon.

At the lowest level is the grassed area plus tables and chairs under sailcloth above a lovely sanded bocce court.

Core Cider House, Fest, Pickering Brook, Live Music
Core Cider House (Photograph by D Sutherland-Bruce)


The area is well planted with apple trees and for the occasion, a tent where Chef Duane was cooking and serving the most delicious pork and cider bratwurst-style sausages served with home-made red cabbage sauerkraut of exceptional flavour and taste.

Naturally, we had to try the cider - all revolving punnishly around 'core'. A tasting paddle costs $14 and you get five to sample. Hard Core is extra-dry, too dry for me, but crisp and sharp. Core Reactor is a pear and apple cider, medium dry and with a deep, fruity, flavour.

Core Cider House, Fest, Pickering Brook, Live Music
Core Cider House (Photograph by D Sutherland-Bruce)


Core Meltdown was my favourite at slightly sweeter, but elegant with fruit. Then came Peace Core - a sparkling perry (pear) cider reminiscent of Babycham of happy but distant memory. The last of the tasting paddle was Pith'd, so called because of the heavy lemon content. I found it very sharp, I would think it would go well with food.

Which brings me to the restaurant. Having tasted what Chef Duane can do with a sausage makes me determined to take lunch there. And soon. In the meantime - drop in on a Sunday in October for the Spring Fest, or any Sunday for a real treat.

Very Highly Recommended.

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Why? Great cider, food and views
When: Weekdays 10am to 4pm, Weekends 10am to 5pm
Phone: 9293 7583
Where: 35 Merrivale Rd., Pickering Brook, WA
Cost: Free Entry
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