Cider and Apple News Roundup

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Yup, it’s fall!  So the cider news ticker is exploding.  Some of our recent mentions for your perusal follow…

From the lovely and talented Sarah Chappell on Palate Press, an overview of cider today in the US.  This segment makes the cut due to David Flaherty’s spot-on description of Steve Wood, our very own grower and cider maker. Chappell writes:

Now, almost 100 years since Prohibition began, hard cider is making a comeback. David Flaherty, Operations Manager of Hearth Restaurant and both Terroir Wine Bars in Manhattan and founder of the blog Grapes & Grains, oversees the beer and cider lists at the bars and restaurant. He believes that “in terms of food-pairing, cider is right on par with wine and beer… [It’s] a tool in any restaurant’s back pocket just waiting to be exploited.”

The beginning of this cider revolution is finding a home among young craft beer enthusiasts. An avid homebrewer and founder of the beer blog I Drunk That, Chris LeHault discovered artisanal cider while shopping for ingredients to make his own beer. LeHault’s search for “a proper alternative” to the “overproduced, sweet ciders” he had tried in the past led him to “really get into it and learn more about artisan American ciders.”

Now that the trend is catching on, places like Farnum Hill Ciders, in Lebanon, New Hampshire, are perfect for wine lovers to begin exploring this reestablished beverage. Cidermaker Stephen Wood (who is, according to Flaherty, “Doc from Back to the Future [if he] played with apple varieties instead of Deloreans”) has crafted ciders that recall the elegance of Champagne: searing acidity buffered by a yeasty brioche nose. The complex Farnum Hill Extra Dry Cider has a concentrated, focused tart fruit with a creamy mousse and pleasant herbal muskiness. And unlike the commercial and cloying ciders that have caused LeHault and many other Americans to initially shun the drink, Farnum Hill’s Extra Dry is actually dry. Bone dry. Their Semi Dry Cider is less sweet than round, with a fuller body and a richer, roasted note. More crabapple than ripe fruit, the Farnum Hill ciders bring Pollan’s “American grape” to the craft beverage competition.

Please check out the piece in full at http://palatepress.com/2010/09/american-as-apple-pie-the-resurgence-of-artisanal-american-cider/

Farnum Hill Ciders were also mentioned on Selectism.com, a online fashion magazine.  We posit that model-y types like cider due to its antioxidants and lovely slimming qualitites. Check it out…..

We’ve featured only one American cider ever here on Selectism, and that was almost one year ago. So, with Autumn on the way, we take a quick look at Farnum Hill Ciders. Located in Lebanon, New Hampshire, Farnum Hill (Part of Poverty Lane Orchards) produces ciders that are dry, sharp, and fruity. These tend to hit at 6.5 to 7.5% ABV. They are also clear on their goals, “We’re rooting for more skilled apple-growers to take up the horticulture and craft of cider. Then maybe distinctive American orchard-based ciders will return to their pre-Prohibition glory and variety.”

And New Hampshire’s Business Review mentioned the challenges of growing apples this year as well.

According to Steve Wood, owner of Poverty Lane Orchards and Farnum Hill Ciders in Lebanon, while his orchards were far from unscathed, the varieties of apples he grows specifically for nonalcoholic cider did quite well, especially those that bloomed later in the season.

Other apples he grows to add acidity to his hard ciders didn’t fare as well, however.

Hard, or fermented, apple cider actually bears little resemblance to apple juice, which can sometimes be called cider as well. Hard cider is about 6.5 percent to 8.5 percent alcohol and is made from apples that are grown specifically for that purpose.

Wood, who makes several thousand cases each year of his hard cider, said he would probably supplement his acid apples with some from Vermont.

“It’s a bit of a difficult situation, but not desperate. We’re not having to buy apples from all over the place. I believe we will be able to make some good cider from 2010,” said Wood.

Check out the full article here: http://www.nhbr.com/businessnews/statenews/860762-257/disappointing-apple-crop-hurts-wineries.html

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