Australia’s cider industry is mourning the loss of Harcourt orchardist and cider maker Drew Henry, who passed away earlier this week.

Drew was the founder and co-owner of Henry of Harcourt based in the valley of Harcourt in central Victoria. President of Cider Australia Sam Reid described Drew as a respected leader in the cider industry and one of the pioneers of cider apples.

“The industry is in shock at the passing of Drew following an accident at his orchard.

“He contributed so much to the cider industry and this is a devastating loss to his family, the tight-knit community of Harcourt and all those who were lucky enough to know him.

“The cider category in Australia would not be what it is today without his vision and foresight and he will always be remembered for his strong opinions and generosity in sharing his knowledge”, Reid said.

Max Allen described Drew as an Australian cider pioneer, who worked hard at pushing people to make and drink real cider made from real fruit.

“Drew Henry was one of the leading pioneers of the modern Australian cider industry,” Allen said.

“With his wife Irene and son Michael, Drew started making traditional real ciders at the family’s orchard and cidery in Harcourt, central Victoria, in the late 1990s, years before the current cider boom took off, long before the market was ready for them.

“He sought out more than 40 English and French varieties of cider apples and perry pears in heritage collections around the country and planted and grafted them in his own orchard.

“He was a passionate advocate for cider tradition and culture – and an outspoken critic of bland, industrial ‘alcopop cider’ – encouraging many people to plant, make and drink real cider and perry made from real apples and pears, generously supporting them and advising them along the way.”

Cider expert David Pickering added: “Drew’s ‘Henry of Harcourt’ was an entrant in the first Australian cider competition in 2007 held at Lenswood. Against Australian and international entrants Drew received the Best in Show award for his Perry and topped the Dry Cider class and the Dessert Cider class. As usual, ahead of his time, he went on to develop various varietal ciders based on the English cider apples in his collection.

“A lot of cider fans and potential producers will remember Drew for his tasting presentations at field days and conferences. He was an expert in the area of tasting and the differences that could be achieved with skilful apple blending and cider making.

“Drew was also a foundation member of the producer organisation Cider Australia. He always fought for ‘real’ cider to be made from ‘real apples’ i.e. cider apples. Perhaps not surprisingly, the Henry of Harcourt motto is ‘cider for grown-ups’.”




Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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