Celebrate Spring, Drink Local and Enjoy Good Cider.
NWCA’s annual Cider Rite of Spring, March 21st, 12-5 PM Portland.
Explore New York Cider at the 1st ever GOOD CIDER event, March 18th from 6-9 PM.
From Our Boston Outpost:
Some time ago our intrepid Bean Town Cider Correspondent led a cider tasting somewhere in wilds of greater Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Tasters were a diverse batch – ranging in age from just-legal whippersnappers, to seasoned imbibers. Of the assembled tasters a select few were cider-philes, most had only a glancing familiarity with our favorite pome fruit beverage, and some were completely cider-unaware, having no idea what to expect from a fermented apple elixir.
Ciders were selected based on local availability.
The Cider Contenders:
Bantam WUNDERKIND of Massachusetts
Fatty Bampkins DRY hailing from Maine
Vermont Cider Co. FARMHOUSE No. 91
The 3 ciders were presented, glasses filled and the tasters let loose.
Our correspondent placed paper and pen by each cider bottle, and the testers jotted anonymous notes as they tasted.
Real people drinking actual ciders. Here is what they had to say:
Bantam WUNDERKIND Tasting Comments:
“The champagne of ciders!”
“Light, a wee sharp upfront, (illegible), like sparkling wine.”
“Good body, nice aftertaste. A little too sweet.”
“Good with Food/Meal.”
“Sweet & tasty, makes me want a donut.”
“More like apple juice. Sweet & crisp but blends well.”
“Good sparkle & flavor. Has mellow apple flavor.”
Fatty Bampkins DRY Tasting Comments:
“faint apple taste”
“Light/Fresh, Refreshing – Not Much Flavor”
“Very Adult. – DRY.”
“slight pickle scent??”
“No me gusta tambien. Very vinegary, not much apple flavor”
Vermont Cider Co. FARMHOUSE No. 91 Tasting Comments:
“sweet apple taste (heart).”
“Like soda-pop. Tastes like apples. (On purpose?)”
“delicious. very sweet. would prefer it to be a little more bubbly!”
“Flat but could be tasty otherwise.”
“Perfect for tweens.”
“Lacks effervescence, a bit sweet, but could be good in a cocktail!”
“Not enough effervescence for me, but the flavor is smooth.”
“Did I just drink alcohol? Pretty sure it was juice.”
The Consensus: Local craft cider Bantam WUNDERKIN is hands down favorite at this informal Boston cider tasting.
The Take Away:
1. We believe there is a cider for everyone.
2. How to find YOUR ciders? Taste Testing. Extensive Taste Testing.
3. Cider Tasting is More Fun in Groups. Cider knowledge shared while tasting is enjoyable, and informal, casual tastings brings out the best in most ciders, and certainly results in some interesting comments.
4. If you like cider and want to share the cider joy, an informal tasting like this is a good way to introduce your cider-curious friends to the wonderful world of cider.
Celebrate the 3rd Annual Cider Revival at New Amsterdam Market, Sunday November 24, 2013 from 11 AM to 5PM.
And a Cider Library collection of wonderful cider & apple books (pictured) will be raffled with all proceeds to benefit New Amsterdam Market.
From the New Amsterdam Market website:
On Sunday November 24, New Amsterdam Market will host the Third Annual New York State Cider Revival in collaboration with Glynwood, a continuation of Cider Week. The event will feature New York hard cider makers, reviving a century’s old tradition of the fermented beverage. Once one of the most popular beverages of New York, hard cider faced a quick demise as Prohibition ended legal sales. As cider orchards transformed into traditional apple orchards, the number of farmstead and craft ciders drastically reduced. Join us in celebrating the return of this historic drink, with numerous tasting and pairing from select vendors. The perfect accompaniment for your Thanksgiving meal.
In addition, our November 24th market will stock all your holiday essentials- from pies to poultry!
Photographer: Rothstein, Arthur – United States. Resettlement Administration
Credit Line: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Collection, [reproduction number, LC-DIG-fsa-8a07722 (digital file from original neg.) LC-USF33-T01-002196-M3 (b&w film dup. neg., 70mm size) LC-USF3301-002196-M3 (b&w film dup. neg., 4×5 size)]
For more Virginia Cider 2013 Visit: CIDER WEEK VA ciderweekva.com
50 STATES OF CIDER: Ciderland USA: VIRGINIA
Includes Makers of Cider, Perry, Fruit Wines, Meads, and Ice Ciders.
Last updated November 24, 2013.
Have an addition, correction or found a broken link? Leave a comment or send us an email.
VIRGINIA CIDER MAKERS (8):
Cider Makers of Virginia:
Albemarle Ciderworks North Garden, VA
Blue Bee Cider Richmond, VA
Bold Rock Cider Nellysford, VA
Castle Hill Cider Free Union, VA
Foggy Ridge Cider Dugspur, VA
Old Hill Cider Timberville, VA
Potter’s Craft Cider Free Union, VA
Winchester Ciderworks Winchester, VA
Cider Week Virginia November 15 – 24, 2013
Please visit the individual cider makers websites to see what events they have scheduled throughout the year.
Apples of North America: 192 Exceptional Varieties for Gardeners, Growers, and Cooks by Tom Burford, Timber Press 2013.
Old Southern Apples. A Comprehensive History and Description of Varieties for Collectors, Growers, and Fruit Enthusiasts by Creighton Lee Calhoun, Jr., Chelsea Green 2011.
VIRGINIA APPLE & CIDER FACTS:
Virginia apple country includes the mountainous region of the northern Shenandoah Valley through the Roanoke Valley, the rich countryside of Albemarle and Rappahannock counties and the southwest counties of Patrick and Carroll. The majority of apples trees are grown in the Shenandoah Valley. 1
Virginia is the number 6 state in commercial apple production. 2
Famed Virginia apples included the Ablemarle Pippin (also known as the Yellow Newton or Newtown Pippin) and the Virginia or Hewe’s Crab. 3,4
1 Virginia Apple Growers www.virginiaapples.org
2 U.S. Apple Association www.usapple.org
3 Apples of North America: 192 Exceptional Varieties for Gardeners, Growers, and Cooks by Tom Burford, Timber Press 2013.
4 Old Southern Apples. A Comprehensive History and Description of Varieties for Collectors, Growers, and Fruit Enthusiasts by Creighton Lee Calhoun, Jr., Chelsea Green 2011.
Visit CiderGuide.com to view current US Cider Map and to see if Virginia has any new cider makers.
Please leave a comment if you have VIRGINIA cider resources to add.
Albemarle Ciderworks North Garden
Blue Bee Cider Richmond
Bold Rock Cider Nellysford
Castle Hill Cider Free Union
Foggy Ridge Cider Dugspur
Old Hill Cider Timberville
Potter’s Craft Cider Free Union
Winchester Ciderworks Winchester
Cider Week Virginia November 15 -24, 2013
There will be tastings, pairings, home cider making workshops, cider cocktail competitions, an East vs West Cider Smackdown and that’s not all. Check the Cider Week Virginia website for all the details and get ready to Celebrate Cider Week Virginia!
Image: Fall Orchard View at Ablemarle CiderWorks & Vintage Virginia Apples
19th Annual Franklin County CiderDays will be held this weekend, November 2-3, 2013.
CiderDays is one of the premier events of the North American Cider Season.
From the website:
“CiderDays is a community event celebrating all things apples in Franklin County, Massachusetts. 2013 marks the 19th year of this event and there will be two days (November 2nd and 3rd) of orchard tours, cidermaking and tastings, workshops and much more. This is for all who love apples, fresh or hard cider, apple cuisine, apple orchards or just being in New England in the fall.”
Franklin County CiderDays November 2 – 3, 2013
Two days celebrating and enjoying The Apple.
A few of the 2013 Event Highlights that caught our eye:
• Second Annual Cider Days Harvest Party 2013 Friday, Nov 1st – A kickoff event to benefit CiderDays & includes the début of West County Ciders releases for 2013.
• The Cider Salon — “the world’s largest hard cider tasting with more than 60 individual cider brands from across North America”.
• CiderDay Locavore Harvest Supper
• Spanish Cider Tasting and Discussion with James Asbel of Ciders of Spain
• North vs. South Heritage Apple Smackdown, Part Deux, a tasting and discussion with Tom Burford and John Bunker.
• Michael Phillips talks about Apple Varieties for the Organic Orchard
• Finding a Great Cider Apple in Your Backyard with John Bunker and Claude Jolicoeur
• Apples for Juice and Cider with Claude Jolicoeur and Alan Suprenant
• Organic Orcharding Practices: A Primer with Jennifer Williams and Steve Gougeon
• So You Want to Be a Commercial Cidermaker with Steve Gougeon and Andy Brennan
• Cidermaking 101 Workshop with Bob Delisle and Charlie Olchowski
Visit Franklin County CiderDays website for ALL the details and a complete list of events.
Note: A bit about CiderDays from the website:
“CiderDay began in 1994 when Terry and Judith Maloney organized a small event to celebrate their harvest. Now called CiderDays and sponsored by the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, it is a two-day event which celebrates its 19th year in 2013. The event is always held on the first weekend of November, when even the late-bearing cider apples have been picked.”
Pomme Fruit: Gravenstein Apples In The Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California.
The Sebastopol Gravenstein, a vividly colored, aromatic, flavorful heirloom apple is historically important in the Russian River Valley. So dominant in the region, the ribbon of roadway running through the acres of orchards became known as The Gravenstein Highway – honoring the apples prolific presence. Declining prices for processing apples, the increasing popularity of other more ‘commercially viable’ apples, and a booming West Coast wine industry, all led to Gravenstein orchards being ripped out to make way for the extremely lucrative wine grapes that now populate the region.
David Karp, writing for the LA Times:
“Gravenstein is still a favorite in northern Europe and is cultivated from Nova Scotia to the Pacific Northwest, but it reaches its greatest perfection in the Sebastopol district of western Sonoma County, at the border of the maritime and inland climatic zones, where the morning fog gives way to a moderately hot afternoon sun. The area’s fine, sandy loam soil is well suited to apples. The huge trees, grafted on seedling rootstock, develop roots deep enough to survive the dry summers without irrigation.”
Concerned Sonoma County cider makers are working to revive interest in this heirloom apple by focusing on the Gravenstein’s many desirable cider worthy traits, crafting ‘Gravs’ into unique ciders that celebrate and express the heritage of the apple and the region.
Saving Apples by Making Cider. Drink a Gravenstein Today.
Find A Gravenstein Cider:
Tilted Shed Ciderworks: Graviva! Semi Dry Cider
Apple Sauced Cider: Save The Gravenstein! Cider
Devoto Orchards Cider: Gravenstein first release October 14, 2013
Gleanings (sources for further reading):
Gravenstein apple image (detail) – credit: “U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD 20705”
Link: The future of Gravenstein apples hangs on a thin stem. July 12, 2013 By David Karp. Special to the Los Angeles Times
Cider Mapping: See the NEW Map of United States Cider with A-Z List by State at Eric West’s Cider Guide.
A click on the map (below) will take you directly to Cider Guide.
(Our view of the map is current as of 10-4-2013. Go to www.ciderguide.com for the latest information).
When you want to know whose making cider, state by state in the US of A – check Eric West’s new map and list at ciderguide.com.
Cider Guide’s US CIDER map & list are helpfully color coded by category, and the list is organized by state. The information includes current & announced cider producers, and producers of perry, ice cider, fruit wine, mead, and apple & pear spirits. Bottle shops that feature cider, and cider bars & restaurants are also noted.
Cider Guide’s current Stats for Cider in the US are:
Cider Producers – 199
Perry Producers – 19
Ice Cider Producers – 17
Fruit Wine (Apple/Pear) Producers – 46
Mead (Apple/Pear) Producers – 26
Spirits (Apple/Pear) Producers – 20
Cider Bars/Pubs/Restaurants – 11
Cider Bottle Shops – 14
Cider Producers In-Planning – 27
Visit Cider Guide for a full view of the new US CIDER MAP and take a look at the cider maps for the rest of the world as well.
If you have notes or additions, please visit Cider Guide and leave a comment www.ciderguide.com.