FH Cider Forecast: ‘Dooryard’ bottles await labels


5/20/2011 Dooryard Latest: bottles filled, labels coming.

Wow, the paragraphs below look pretty whiny now. For months it’s been Dooryard Dooryard Dooryard in the cider room, kegs going out, good reports so far. Bottles filled up and stacked high.

Next big step: find out whether anyone wants all this bottled Dooryard. When the new labels come in from the printer, we’ll stick them on. Then it’s time to call the truckers and see what cider fans will do. The label, though it’s hard to see here, has a little print of our actual, yes, dooryard at the bottom there. It looks tidy and peaceful, as in a dream. (LS)


Old News: Every year the FH cider room has been the scene of painful moments: charming cider batches THROWN OUT!

Why? Well, till now it’s taken all our nerve and energy  just to get our regular blends noticed in a country where most people hearing ‘cider’ think ‘apple juice.’ (Imagine pitching your nice clarets in a strange land where ‘wine’ usually means ‘Welch’s.’ ) Occasional delicious FH fermentations would emerge — but would not play nicely in the blends behind our existing labels. So, we’d drink a few gallons from the maverick batches, and let the rest go. Very professional.

Two years ago, we got brave enough to start Growler Day, based here in the dooryard, for local cider explorers. They liked most of the outlier blends that we liked! Now, pioneering taverns in N.H., Massachusetts and Vermont have taken a few kegs here and there of various small-batch blends. Strangers drank them right down. No shock reported.

So in February ’11 we’ll apply to the Feds for Dooryard label approval. If we get that you’ll see bottled Dooryard with a batch number written on each label. That way, inquiring minds can come to the website, find the batch number, and see which varieties and fermentations came together in that bottle. (All DY batches will sport 7.5% abv.)

More news in a whileif all goes well, the Dooryard Files will appear under Farnum Hill Ciders on the home page. (LDS)

Dec. 2010: Cider News Roundup…hooray!

October and November have been busy months at Poverty Lane Orchards, home to Farnum Hill Ciders.  We bottled SemiDry, are cranking through a big bottling of Farmhouse to deliver for holiday feasting, and we’ve also seen cider colleagues from both sides of the country.

I (Corrie) traveled to Portland, Oregon a few weeks ago for a fantastic cider weekend, aided and abetted by our friends at Wandering Aengus.  A number of left coasters poured there — and they’ve also banded together to form the Northwest Cider Association.  Nice work!  Then Steve and Jess mingled at the Franklin County CiderDays at the beginning of November down in western Massachusetts.  Foggy Ridge Cider’s Diane Flynt paired cheese with ciders at her annual tasting at Murray’s Cheese in NYC, and our own Louisa Spencer was featured on video in conjunction with Astor Wines’ fall cider special.

Blog mentions included reviews of our Kingston Black at Hoptopia, a fabulous mussels and cider recipe from the Palate Jack, and this lovely piece (and photo) by Chris Lehault at Serious Eats:

…This is where America’s new crop of artisan cider-makers come in. With a complexity on par with your favorite white wine, hard cider complements roast turkey perfectly. Cider’s acidic backbone (from the presence of naturally occurring malic acid) helps cut through the richest gravies and the densest stuffings. Here are few great ciders to serve at your Thanksgiving celebration.

Farnum Hill Semi-Dry Cider: With grassy mineral notes, tropical fruits on the nose and solid tannins, Farnum Hill’s flagship cider will win over even the most die-hard wine drinkers. This deep-gold colored cider is dry without being champagne-like, and packed with flavors of nectarine, pineapple and honey. Farnum Hill’s Semi-Dry will stand up to everything from baked potatoes to cranberry sauce, and it’s wonderful with turkey.

And finally the New York Times’ Eric Asimov reviews the cider category today, leading with a thought near and dear to our hearts:

The truth is, cider is a wonderful, overlooked beverage pretty much year round. The apple harvest is an autumn phenomenon, but cider — hard cider, as apple juice fermented into an alcoholic beverage is often called in the United States — is available any season.

So find your local cider, pick up a bottle, and enjoy! (CWM)

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