Talking Dooryard Cider with Chris…
Serious Eats/The Cider Press’ cider man, Chris Lehault, was at a recent meeting at Jimmy’s 43 to plan the first NYC Cider Week, a celebration of all things cider and apple-y this fall during the week of October 10.
I updated Chris on some of the new things going on at the orchard, and he was thoughtful enough to sample some of our current ciders. In particular, we’re happy to get the Dooryard concept out with more explanation from Louisa, the “mom” in our “mom and pop” organization. A short excerpt from the interview is here — or check it out online when you have a moment.
Tell us a little about Farnum Hill Cider’s experimental cider line,
The experiment is really a test of public taste, to see whether Americans can enjoy the kind of stronger bittersweet blends that are common abroad. Most of the Dooryard blends are more tannic and more funky than the fruity profile of our regular labels. Over the years we’ve often had to let go certain blend batches that we found just delightful but that would not wear any of our usual labels. We were nervous about releasing them so early in the development of American cider taste.
Then came 2010, a severe year when early spring heat pushed the tiny apples so far ahead that when regular temperatures returned in May, most of the crop was destroyed by frost. Hardest-hit were the high-acid varieties needed to achieve the flavor profiles behind our regular labels. Many cider varieties, perhaps because of their crazy sugar content, came through better. So we stopped thinking about trying out bittersweet-heavy blends on the market, and decided to just do it.
The ‘Dooryard’ name comes from our recent history of selling small-batch blends from the barn to growler customers who come back with their bottles, taste through whatever we’re offering, and refill with their favorites. Dooryard is an expanded version of that ‘small-batch’ approach.
For lucky locals, come by Thursdays for your growler refills. Cider surprises await you at Poverty Lane Orchards.