With beautiful tones from St. Edmunds Church choir and sparkling cider in our glasses The Cider House was launched as the 12th ÉCONOMUSÉE in Norway. In the garden 60 guests were gathered from the local society, the municipality of Balestrand, representatives from the government, other ÉCONOMUSÉE companies and students from an Erasmus project. It was a beautiful sunny day in Balestrand and in perfect surroundings the Minister of Agriculture and Food, Jon Georg Dale, and the Ambassador /Head of the EU Delegation to Norway, Helen Campbell, officially launched TheCider House as a member of the ÉCONOMUSÉE family.
The Minister of Agriculture and Food and head of the EU delegation to Norway opens The Cider House ÉCONOMUSÉE. Photo: Hordaland fylkeskommune.
ÉCONOMUSÉE, (Artisans at Work) is a concept that was developed in Québec and involves partners from Canada, Norway, Sweden, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. There are currently 70 ÉCONOMUSÉE workshops across these 8 countries with an additional 20 to be launched by March 2018. Phase III of the ÉCONOMUSÉE project began in April 2015 and is funded by Interreg VB Northern Periphery and Arctic Area Programme 2014-2020.
Behind The Cider House we find the couple Eli-Grethe Høyvik and Åge Eitungjerde, their children Gard and Heidrun and daughter-in-law Tuba Ardic. The Cider House produce traditional Norwegian apple cider. They grow their own apples and have over decades developed different sorts of fine cider, from sparkling to fruit brandies. Åge’s grandfather planted the orchard in 1922 and Åge continued managing the farm from 1995. He then looked at a new way to exploit the fruit and the result was establishing Balholm and the The Cider House. Balholm was created as a pioneer product, the first completely natural fruit juice at the Norwegian marked. The Cider House was completed in 2005, however they are constantly improving. Gard and his wife Tuba from Turkey established a restaurant and they have remarkable success with the food, other activities and international cooperation through Erasmus-projects.
After a tour in the museum and we had a lovely lunch, made by Tuba and her family from Turkey. With dishes from Turkey and Norway and off course homemade cider. During the lunch, there were many congratulations and good wishes for the future from many of the guests.
Recently the Norwegian government changed the law concerning sales of product that contains alcohol produced on the farm. Fortunately, The Cider House, can now sell their products that contains up to 22 vol % in their farm shop. Many of the guests appreciated this change in the law.
We whole heartily welcome The Cider House to the ÉCONOMUSÉE international network, and give our best wishes of luck in the future!
The shop where you can buy products from The Cider House.
Eli-Grete Høyvvik is guiding The Royal Norwegian Society for Development in Balestrand. A lot of history in this beautiful village.