Wines of Canada
By Robert A Bell

Red Island Cider


Red Island Cider

A small cidery in PEI capital city Charlottetown owned by Robert Hamon and James VanToever. The third cidery to open on Prince Edward Island and the only one located in Charlottetown. Last year we won "New Cidery of the Year" at the Atlantic Canadian Brewing Awards.

Robert and James met as babies and grew up not far from each other in rural P.E.I (Mayfield & New Glasgow). They share fond memories of building forts, swimming and playing sports together.

As teenagers both of their families moved away to different parts of the world. Robert started a career as a photographer and travelled the world focusing on climate change and working for clients like National Geographic Traveler and Canadian Geographic. He spent years living in Europe where he met his future wife and dance partner, Anna Keenan. In 2015 they came to PEI to raise their son and take care of family.

James moved to the US, was a professional cyclist and eventually became a physiotherapist. He practiced in Ottawa for years before meeting his future wife, Caralynn, there. On vacation in 2016 James found himself sitting on the patio of a cider house in Prince Edward County, Ontario. He found the landscape familiar; rolling hills, farmland, sandy beaches, forests. A dream was born, a cider house on Prince Edward Island.

Then, as these things happen, James’s mother mentioned his dream of opening a cider house to Robert. Robert’s family had been making cider for years so the interest was there. A phone call, a meeting and Red Island Cider was born.

With the support and aid of their partners, Anna and Caralynn, the four of them worked hard to get a locally produced cider into the bars in PEI. 17 months from idea to opening at the Charlottetown location and they haven’t looked back.

Red Island Cider tasting bar

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