Drinkers awake to a new brew from Morningside

Move aside craft beer, there’s a new beverage on the block for people who love different flavours while they socialise. Apple cider can have all the taste, freshness and originality of craft beer, especially in the hands of a boutique cider master like Tim Shallard of Morningcider.

The Morningcider brand has taken its place on New World liquor shelves around the country in 2020 as Tim and his partners expand the cider brewing and hospitality business they launched five years ago in Auckland’s inner-west area of Morningside. Cans of Morningcider proudly display the funky street art painted on buildings nearby, and of course GS1 barcodes and GTINs.


“We want to create fun and interesting flavours that people can really enjoy and talk about,” says Tim. So far in 2020 there have been over 30, including some “leafy” and “smokey” flavours and other brews that have lime or chilli added (not to mention some fine classic dry and sweet ciders).

In fact, this beverage has its own “block” – the Morningside Precinct, a cluster of light industrial buildings that have been repurposed as a hospitality hub with eateries and bars to service the wider Mount Eden-Kingsland area. Tim opened his “Morningcidery” there two years ago, having been one of the originators of the hub and of the neighbouring Crave Café. (Crave has become an Auckland landmark, frequented by locals and by thousands of rugby fans on their way to Eden Park which is only a block away.)

Also, there’s no big rivalry with craft beer. Tim readily admits that Morningcider is largely inspired by the joy that craft brewers have brought to beer – and he makes most of his cider using the facilities and services of Urbanaut Brewing Company, in Kingsland. It takes two weeks to brew most of the ciders, starting with braeburn and granny smith apples from the Hawkes Bay, although Tim also does some longer, barrel-fermentation in a cellar near the Morningcidery. He serves a constantly-evolving range – alcohol content varies between 2.5% and 9% -- from a bar in his corner of the Precinct.

Many beer drinkers will, on occasion, happily opt for a cider which also has its own dedicated following. “We have a real mix of customers ... they include gluten- free people because cider, unlike beer, has no gluten,” says Tim. “There is no stereotypical drinker ... often the toughest guy will order the sweetest cider!”

For this 28 year old theology graduate with early work experience in food and hospitality, cider was a discovery in Washington State (USA) where he and friends stumbled across a “cool little cider bar” offering 50 different varieties. Tim brought the idea home. “A winemaker gave me some tips and we ended up with a good and easy system for making really interesting ciders.”

The ideas keep coming and next year, Morningcider will include its first batch produced from apples grown in Morningside itself. In 2019 Tim bought 200 trees (mostly the vintage kingston black variety) and distributed them to customers for planting in their backyards. “We can’t afford to establish our own orchard in central Auckland and this is the next best thing,” he says.

So there could be a Morningcider “Drink Local Apples” brew or similar coming to a supermarket near you as Tim and partners continue growing their volume and supplying more to supermarkets as well as serving their loyal customers at the Precinct (with support from Urbanaut which contract brews and packages the complementary form of beverage).