Cydr Podlaski is one of the youngest ciders in Poland. The founders – Piotrek (Peter) Marzęcki and Marcin (Martin) Seliwoniuk – started their production last year in the eastern part of Poland – Podlasie. They met each other at the university and soon became business partners and friends. Peter has the know-how, Martin has a place so it was obvious that they would start making cider.
I met Peter in Asturias (Spain) at SISGA event. He really enjoyed taking part in meetings, tastings and workshops. It was a great opportunity for him to meet other cider makers from Europe and exchange knowledge and experience.
His adventure with alcohol began when he was a teenager. He made his first wine and poured it into small glass bottles. It was vermouth made of rice and raisins. When bottles exploded in his cupboard he then realised what airlock was for :). However, he didn’t give up. Peter kept on learning. He made more wines – some good, some very bad. He often invited his friends to try some of his homemade drinks.
When he met Martin at the university, he also gave him a few bottles of his wines. After they met and talked for a while, they thought about each other “What a strange guy!” But they decided to set up a business. Peter got interested in ciders soon. In 2015 he wrote a thesis about economic and technological aspects of making ciders in Poland. It was the times when Russia imposed an embargo for Polish apples.
The boys applied for EU funding and started their ardours work – they need a lot of documents, permissions, and licences to set up a legal cidery. In the meantime, they had problems with a fraudulent supplier. It was a very stressful period for them because to obtain permission, they needed to have everything ready on time. So, if they couldn’t make cider, they made non-alcoholic cider which didn’t need so much paperwork. Their “Zero Alcohol Cider” won an award in the competition organized by Polish cider association. Well done!
Soon everything was ready and the 23rd of April 2019 is their official starting date and first ciders were fermenting.
Their plans for the future are to develop non-alcoholic cider and start producing meads. Their latest product is a cider with a hint of honey. They believe that Polish ciders can compete with other ciders from Europe. We have a lot of very good apple varieties. The only obstacle is the Polish law – complicated and it doesn’t make it easy to produce cider. Peter also said the duty is quite high and ciders makers have to label every single bottle with duty stamp. It is time-consuming, expensive and useless. They hope it will change one day.