Talking About Cider

AllBottles

If you are reading this it is likely that you agree with me that Cider is a wonderful, refreshing and sometimes complex alcoholic beverage and not just a simple sweet supermarket six pack drink to catch a quick buzz. As I travel and endeavor to  drink cider around the world, I meet a lot of people who share my passion for cider; not only drinking it but making it and talking about it.

Fans of cider always love to talk (especially after a few pints) and always have stories to share; their first cider, their favorite orchard, the unique personalities of the people that make the cider, division of cider purists and people who prefer the sweet stuff, the best places to drink cider and how it all comes together for them, so much to talk about!

Last year, Patrick over at the Crafty & The Beast blog started putting together #ciderchat twitter discussions and invited some of the best known people in the cidersphere to join together for a pint at his informal virtual cider bar.  It was a great way to meet the people behind the cider and talk about ciders, pairings, events and where the cider world is headed. In time #ciderchat sadly faded (hopefully resurrected some day?) but it was a nice way to meet cider fans and industry people from around the world, a lot of them that I  keep in touch with on social media still.

Not too long ago a more formal opportunity to take the cider conversation further on twitter arose that was hard to pass up. Tina Morey and Protocol Wine Studio was doing an online month long Tuesday evening cider discussion with tastings from Lebanon, New Hampshire based Farnum Hill Ciders one of my long time favorites and a cider maker that i steer every new enthusiastic cider drinker toward. Four great ciders were to be tasted; Farnum Hill FarmhouseFarnum Hill Extra DryFarnum Hill Semi-Dry, and Farnum Hill Extra Dry Perry.

There were four weeks and four bottles to try, each week had a discussion topic that we followed along and joined in on amongst the twitter noise, asking questions about the orchards, cider production, blending ciders, and the cider world. Discussions and responses were fast and evolved quickly over the internet, lots of questions crossing in the aether.

  • Week 1 : Old Orchards Abroad Inspire New Orchards at Home
  • Week 2: Cider Growers, Orchard Ciders – What are True Regional Ciders?
  • Week 3:  The Tastemakers Session
  • Week 4: The Big Cider Tent

The overall cider online twitter chat experience was great, this was a more guided chat with topics being discussed and questions coming in from cider fans around the world. I met some new cider passionate acquaintances and got to catch up with some long time cider friends, drank some world class ciders along with them and shared the discussion online. One of the sessions I was in NYC for my birthday and had an opportunity to share the cider and twitter chat with ‘CiderSnob‘ Bill Lyon and Dan, Jen and Ben, at my favorite cider bar, Wassail. Talking with Steve Wood online and in person at Wassail about #orchardcider and a focus on the apples and the orchards changed my perspective and how I was approaching some of my home cidermaking decisions and I think his wisdom will help this years batch.

If you have an opportunity to try any cider from Farnum Hill I highly recommend it, the Perry is a favorite but not too easy to find in stores. Farmhouse was also one that I find myself ordering whenever possible, it is described by them as “Our most casual cider, pale gold, bubbly, with a hint of sweetness amid tart, bitter, and fruity elements: citrus, pineapple, bittersweet apple, and a whiff of good barnyard funk. Farmhouse isn’t madly astringent but shows a certain tannic bite. A clean, appetizing finish makes it congenial with food, from the snackiest to meatiest and whole-grainiest.” I think this one is a top pick if you like an easy drinking  balance of funk and fruityness.

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Since the wrap up of the #winestudio talks I have also had a great opportunity to discuss Cider in America in an article for Ale Street News, The most widely circulated beer newspaper in America! Download or read the issue online here! Keep the discussion going and get out there and drink some cider!

Also check out the classic Farnum Hill video we posted a link to!

Cheers!!