It’s fall! Tis the season for apple cider, Halloween, the end to cutting the grass, and did I mention apple cider?
Nothing better than a mug of fresh cider with a cinnamon stick and a shot of Kraken rum in it. Kraken is my main go-to for a dark rum, because it’s got good flavor and won’t break the bank. But if I want a post work ‘beer’- and I usually do- my go to is almost always hard cider. I prefer it to most beers, and there’s dozens of ciders being produced now. Thank you, 21st amendment, for fixing a big mistake. Thank you also One Tree, Spire Mountain, Blackthorn, Finn River, Two Towns, Incline, and the list goes on…. for making my life a bit tastier.
Hard apple cider dates back roughly 1300 years or so. If humans can grow it, and find a way to ferment it, we will. Back in the day, fermented drinks were sometimes safer to drink than your local water source, something I take to heart whenever I have problems with the well on my property. 1300 years ago, apples weren’t nearly as tasty as all the varieties we have today. So instead of eating them, people back then turned them into booze.
I live in the biggest apple producing state in the U.S., so finding fresh cider’s pretty easy in my area. The Pacific northwest in general is a huge cider and beer brewing area, and cider is taking off again in popularity. My local dive bar has one of its eight taps dedicated to ciders, which was a very nice surprise. It doesn’t have to be just apples either. Just like with meads, you can add fruits, herbs, and spices to hard cider for unique combinations. Two favorite ciders of mine use lemon, blackberries, basil, and hops as ingredients.
And just like mead, it’s possible to make your own hard cider. I haven’t tried it myself yet due to a lack of space. Someday. I’ve had some very tasty homebrew ciders though, and that’s more than enough to convince me to put it on my project list for the future. Preferably while I’m living in Washington, because foraging is easy here and plenty of folks are happy to let you pick apples in trade for some of the finished product.
Happy fall to everyone! If you have a favorite brand of hard cider, toss it in the comments.
Links and articles:
The Ancient Origins of Apple Cider– Smithsonian
The 21st Amendment
One Tree Cider
Spire Mountain Cider
Finn River Farm and Cider
The Cider Journal– articles about cider and reviews of different ciders.