Cider News – September 23, 2016


Here’s a recap of the best cider news worth sharing:

Euskal Sagardoa

1) Cidermakers and apple growers from throughout the Basque Country have banded together to create a Protected Denomination of Origin for Basque ciders. The proposed designationEuskal Sagardoa in Basque, Sidra Natural del País Vasco in Spanish—would apply to ciders that are made with 100% Basque apples and that meet a certain quality standard.

2) The next Oregon State University Craft Cidery Startup Workshop will be held November 7-11 in Portland. The instructors are Joel VandenBrink of Seattle Cider Company and Nick Gunn and James Kohn of Wandering Aengus Ciderworks.

3) A bumper crop of cidermaker profiles: Urban Tree Cidery in Atlanta; James Creek Ciderhouse in North Carolina; Kennebec Cider Company in Maine; Mad Moon Hard Cider in Columbus, Ohio; 1859 Cider Co. in Salem, Oregon; Hidden Star Orchards in California; and One Tree Hard Cider in Spokane.

4) Maddie LaKind writes for Make It Better on 8 Must-Try Midwest Ciders for Fall. The list includes producers from Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois. And Spike Carter writes for Bloomberg on Ditch Your Craft Beer for These Eight Complex Ciders. The list includes ciders from West County, Farnum Hill, and Aaron Burr.

5) Cider Chat gears up for Franklin County CiderDays in Massachusetts with two recent episodes: Going to CiderDays and CiderDays 2016 Schedule. (Not mentioned is that Brian Rutzen of The Northman and Dan Pucci of Wassail are my special guests for Sunday morning’s Cider Appreciation 101 guided tasting. Come join us!)

6) The National Association of Cider Makers has unveiled its new website. The association represents the interests of large-scale and small-scale cider producers throughout the UK. (NACM Communications Director Gabe Cook—better known as The Ciderologist—shares his personal thoughts on an inevitable cider revolution in From New World to Old – Innovation is Key for Cider.)

7) The Great Welsh Beer and Cider Festival is underway in Cardiff. As with most CAMRA festivals, the cider list features ciders and perries from local and regional cidermakers.

8) The inaugural Montana Cider Week—September 25 to October 1—will celebrate the state’s craft ciders and orchards. Keep an eye on the BudWood Cooperative Facebook Page for updates.

9) Also on tap this weekend: Honey, I Fermented the Apples in Oxford, Connecticut, Palisade Cider Bash in Palisade, Colorado, and Cider Swig in Gig Harbor, Washington.

10) Along Came a Cider reviews Angry Orchard Walden HollowCider Says reviews Stem Ciders Blood Orange CyserStem Ciders Malice, Number 12 Black Currant DryNumber 12 Sparkling Dry, and Number 12 Chestnut Semi-Dry. Drinking Cider reviews Starcut Ciders PhuzzThe Milled Apple reviews Blue Toad Blue Ridge BlondeSipology reviews Left Foot Charley Cinnamon Girl. Cider Society reviews Nine Pin The IdaredNine Pin Blueberry, and Embark Craft Ciderworks The Pippin. The Cider Drinker video reviews Herefordshire Cider Company HCC Gold and Circle Cider’s Cat’s Tongue. Cider Steve reviews McCrindle’s 2015 Vintage Cider. Cider Sense reviews Worley’s Red Hen. And Real Cider Reviews tries Spreyton’s Vintage Select 2016.

Have a great weekend!



Cider News – September 16, 2016


Here’s a recap of the best cider news worth sharing:

10 Ciders to Turn Wine Snobs Into Cider Snobs

Credit: Alex Lau / Bon Appétit

1) It’s the season when thoughts of the harvest start putting cider on the public’s radar. Alex Delany lists his 10 Ciders to Turn Wine Snobs Into Cider Snobs in Bon Appétit, Christian Conahan lists his 7 Fall-Inspired Ciders to Toast to the Harvest in Cidercraft, and Justin Kennedy shares his Guide to Hard Cider in Lucky Peach.

2) While Ontario’s cider makers struggle with restrictive regulation, New York’s cidermakers will benefit from Legislation to Strengthen New York State’s Craft Beverage Industry. The key provision is that—in addition to their own products—farm cideries can sell any New York-made farm alcoholic beverage by the glass at their production facility or off-site branch store.

3) The stories of two rapidly growing businesses started as undergraduate exploration: Innovation by Design: Revel Cider’s Move Forward and Downeast Cider Expands to East Boston in September.

4) Ronald Sansone writes for Cider Culture on educational opportunities in Cider School Is in Session! And Michael Wilcox writes for the BJCP Newsletter on Judging Specialty Cider and Perry. This article is useful for both cidermakers and cider judges looking to improve their craft.

5) Prior to their sold-out pairing dinner at Wassail on Tuesday, Tom Oliver of Oliver’s Cider & Perry and Ryan Burk of Angry Orchard recorded Power To The Cider with Beer Sessions Radio. Also in studio are John Reynolds of Blackduck Cidery and BR Rolya of Shelton Brothers.

6) Registration is now open for The International Cider Awards 2017. The judging—which takes place March 7-9 in Burton upon Trent, England—is unique in that only commercial cidermakers are allowed to serve as judges. The competition’s reigning champion is Mac Ivors Traditional Dry Cider from County Armagh, Northern Ireland. (Registration is also open for the inaugural US Open Cider Championship. Entries must arrive by October 14 to be included in the judging.)

7) Cider Says recaps Cider Summit Seattle in two acts: The Event and Tasting Notes. CiderScene recaps the Meadful Things & Outciders Festival in Indianapolis. And Cider Soms visit Sonoma Cider and Tilted Shed on their Sonoma County Cider Road Trip.

8) On tap for Saturday: the Virginia Cider Festival in Fredericksburg. For more on Virginia’s cider scene, read Five Stops Through Virginia Cider Country and Wine and cider sales up in Virginia.

9) Also this weekend: the Mendocino County Fair & Apple Show in Boonville, California. Visitors to the fair can sample medal-winning ciders from the California Cider Competition and Mendocino Apple Show International Cider Competition (see Results for the awards from these sister competitions.)

10) Along Came a Cider reviews Crispin Browns LaneCider Says shares tasting notes from a flight at Schilling Cider House and reviews Square Mile Spur & VineSchilling Trouble in Paradise, and Dunkertons Black FoxI think about cider reviews Etienne Dupont Cidre Bouché Brut de Normandie 2014. The Cider Drinker video reviews Worley’s Harvest Moon. And Cider Steve reviews Cornwall Cider’s Apple Slayer.

Have a great weekend!


Cider News – September 9, 2016


Here’s a recap of the best cider news worth sharing:

Washington Cider Week 2016

1) The 6th Annual Washington Cider Week is upon us. The flagship event is Cider Summit Seattle, held this Friday and Saturday at the South Lake Union Discovery Center. The popular tasting festival features 150+ ciders from the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

2) The New York Times chats with Brooklyn Cider House’s Peter Yi in The Hard-Cider Craze Will Get a Hard-Core Pub. Inspired by Basque and other Old World cidermaking traditions, Brooklyn Cider House‘s ciders are fermented with natural yeasts and contain little to no residual sugar.

3) Vermont Technical College is offering an Introduction to Hard Cider Making course on October 15-16. The training takes place at the Woodchuck Cidery in Middlebury and will be led by Woodchuck’s Ben Calvi.

4) Citizen Cider in Burlington, Vermont announces its third annual Olmsted Apple Project. Named after prominent landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, the project encourages Burlington residents to collect local apples that Citizen will then press and ferment into a limited release cider. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Vermont Foodbank Gleaning Program.

5) Apples from the historic orchards at Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania have been used to create a special release cider that commemorates the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. Learn more in Seedling to Cider Project Collaborates with Good Intent on Centennial Cider from Kristen Kwiatkowski at Cider Culture.

6) Cider Chat interviews pomologists John Cline and Derek Plotkowski of the University of Guelph in Ontario. Good Beer Hunting interviews Ryan Burk of Angry Orchard Cider. (For more on Burk, the newest installment of A Year in the Life of a Cidery is August: The Art of Blending.)

7) The latest in Wassail’s Cidermaker Dinner Series is Oliver’s + Angry Orchard on Tuesday, September 13. The four-course meal features six ciders, some of which will be making their public debut. Tom Oliver and Ryan Burk will be on hand to discuss their creations.

8) The inaugural Txotxfest takes place in Durham, North Carolina. (I’ll be there!) Friday night’s dinner at Mateo Bar de Tapas features chefs from Black Twig, ANXO, Wassail, and Mateo pairing their dishes with ciders from Eden, Citizen, Stem, and De Maison Selections. Saturday afternoon’s tasting festival at Black Twig Cider House features ciders from the Southeast and beyond. For more details, read What is Txotx? from The Local Palate and follow Txotxfest on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

9) Also on tap this weekend: the Mid Mitten Cider Fest at Uncle John’s Cider Mill in St. Johns, Michigan and Celebrate Life on a Slow Day in Apple Country in Sebastopol, California. (Read Hard Core: Four North Bay Cider Makers Who Are Shaping the Artisan Cider Movement from Edible Marin & Wine Country for more on the local cider scene.)

10) Along Came a Cider shares her European Cider RoundupCider Says reviews Dunkertons Organic PerryDunkertons Dry Organic Cider, and Wyder’s Prickly Pineapple. The Milled Apple reviews Doc’s Draft Raspberry Hard Apple CiderSipology reviews Uncle John’s RussetI think about cider reviews Eric Bordelet Poiré Granit 2014. Real Cider Reviews tries Winemakers Cider Co’s Granny Smith. And cidersense reviews Ross on Wye Headless Man.

Have a great weekend!


Cider News – September 2, 2016


Here’s a recap of the best cider news worth sharing:

ANXO Cidery & Pinxtos Bar

Credit: Deb Lindsey / The Washington Post

1) The Washington Post lavishes praise on DC’s newly-opened ANXO Cidery & Pintxos Bar in Anxo pours on the charm with complex ciders — and finger foods to match.

2) “Here and now, let me say: We are not here to pick fights.” Melissa Madden of the Finger Lakes Cider House elaborates on comments made in a recent Slate article in Quality of Apples…Fundamental. (Andy Brennan of Aaron Burr Cider is not nearly as diplomatic, weeping for the future of the US cider industry in What gives cider depth.)

3) The Alchema Smart Homebrewer has raised over $300,000 on Kickstarter. The machine promises to “turn fruit into personalized craft cider…with the simplicity of making a pot of coffee.” (If set-it-and-forget-it isn’t your style, Drinking Cider has some helpful advice in DIY: Picking a Yeast for your Home Cidermaking.)

4) In other crowdfunding news, Mershon’s Cidery in Wisconsin, Cider Corps in Arizona, and Lassen Traditional Cider and Sonoma Cider in California are seeking funds to open their taprooms and to fund equipment purchases.

5) Cider Chat interviews Sebastian Lousada of Flag Hill Farm Vermont Hard Cyder.

6) Meet the Cider Maker: Philippe Lecrivain is Holly Tennant’s latest piece for Cider Culture. Lecrivain operates Le Pressoir du Mont with his wife and brother in Brée en Tanis, Normandy.

7) Cider Australia is seeking to exclude cider producers that use imported juice or concentrate from receiving federal tax rebates. See WET Rebate only on 100% Australian juice cider from Real Cider Reviews for commentary. (In related news, cider expert Bill Bradshaw previews his late September visit in Australia: Cider & Treasure.)

8) Tickets for this year’s Franklin County CiderDays—held November 4-6 in Western Massachusetts—are now on sale. Wheel-View Farm—one of many small growers and cidermakers that make CiderDays such a unique festival—will open its cider tasting room to the public this weekend.

9) On tap: the annual Ross on Wye Cider Festival in Herefordshire and the inaugural Meadful Things and Outciders Festival in Indianapolis.

10) Along Came a Cider reviews South Hill Cider’s Stone Fence FarmCider Says reviews Slyboro Hidden StarScandinavian Green Apple Craft Cider, Ross on Wye Traditional Farmhouse Medium Dry, and Angry Orchard Easy Apple. The Milled Apple reviews Blue Bee Charred Ordinary. The Cider Drinker video reviews Celtic Marches Abrahalls Cider and Strongbow Cloudy Apple. And Real Cider Reviews tries Flying Brick Pear Cider.

Have a great weekend!


Cider News – August 26, 2016


Here’s a recap of the best cider news worth sharing:

The Spillover

Credit: Zachary Fagenson / Miami New Times

1) “The goal is to educate Miami on a category of an amazing drink that hasn’t been represented properly.” Matt Kuscher’s new restaurant—The Spillover—pairs sustainable seafood with quality cider. Based on the dozens of glowing Yelp reviews, the concept is a hit. Read more from the Miami New Times in Coconut Grove’s The Spillover Has Enough Cider and Mead to Swim In.

2) The new issue of Cidercraft Magazine should reach your mailbox (or inbox!) soon. My educational feature Cider’s Sweet Spot: The Balancing Act Between Cider and Sugar begins on Page 64. Visit to subscribe to the print or digital edition.

3) Adrienne So writes for Slate on Why artisanal hard cider-makers hate the sweet stuff sold in six-packs. Quoted in the article are Autumn Stoscheck of Eve’s Cidery, Melissa Madden of Good Life Cider, Nat West of Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider, and Kevin Zielinski of E.Z. Orchards. (If the 200 comments at Slate and 50 comments at Reddit are any indication, this topic elicits strong emotions.)

4) Boise State University in Idaho will offer The Business of Craft Cider course on October 17-21. The course—which is led by Dr. Chris Blanchard of Longdrop Cider—will allow students to experience a working orchard and cidery and to learn about recipe and fermentation processes, strategic planning, and the sourcing needs required to start and run a successful cidery.

5) Cider Chat interviews Colin Davis of Shacksbury, the Portland Beer Podcast interviews Abram Goldman-Armstrong of Cider Riot!, and Beer Sessions Radio chats with the crews from Millstone and ANXO.

6) The Herefordshire cider community pays tribute to Ivor Dunkerton, who has died at the age of 83. Dunkertons Cider was founded in 1980 with a commitment to organic fruit and traditional cidermaking methods. The company will continue under the ownership of Ivor’s son Julian, and their ciders and perries will soon be available in the US. For more on Dunkertons, read the Adam and Eve chapter of James Crowden’s excellent book Ciderland.

7) The Cider Link is an online craft cider marketplace where Australian cider drinkers can purchase cider directly from Australian cidermakers. Visit Shipping to learn more about the process, and Makers for detailed interviews with the participating cidermakers.

8) The second annual Toronto Cider Festival takes place on Saturday. The inaugural Rigtig Cider event takes place on Sunday as part of the Copenhagen Cooking & Food Festival. And coming to a close this weekend are the Fiesta de la Sidra Natural in Gijón, Asturias and Tokyo Cider Week in Japan.

9) On tap in the US: Cider Dayze at Blake’s Hard Cider in Armada, Michigan and the Cider Circus at Copper Mountain Resort in Frisco, Colorado.

10) Along Came a Cider reviews Lyme Bay Cider Company’s Jack Ratt Vintage DryDrinking Cider reviews Woodchuck GumptionAngry Orchard The Old FashionedWilliam Premium Hard CiderBaladin Sidro, Stem Ciders Malice, and Far From The Tree NovaCider Says reviews Alpenfire Calypso – Blackberry Rum Barrel Aged CiderLe Brun Organic CidreMagners Original Irish Cider, and Reverend Nat’s ¡Tepache!. The Milled Apple reviews Bold Rock Peach CiderFoggy Ridge Handmade, and Blacksmiths Winery Fatty BampkinsThe Cider Drinker video reviews Rich’s Golden Years Lambrook Pippin. And Real Cider Reviews tries Small Acres Appscato.

Have a great weekend!