“Raise Your Glass” to Hard Cider!

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I have eclectic drinking tastes, which include some of those malt-flavored

drinks that resemble ‘wine coolers,’ from the seventies. I have an occasional

beer, support Fatheads’ micro brews, since they help my brother’s artistry in

their logo-painted walls. I enjoy wine, savoring the layers of flavor, such as

can be found in Lake Erie wineries. I enjoy the reds like Cabernet Sauvignon,

Merlot and Pink Catawba wine made from Catawba grapes. Recently, though,

I have ‘discovered’ the Cincinnati, Ohio company of Boston Beer Co. which

produces the biggest hard cider in the U.S. I think you will recognize, even if

you are not a hard cider drinker, the name of “Angry Orchard.” Business in

the hand-crafted apple cider area of beverages is booming! From 2007 until

last year’s total sales of hand-crafted hard cider, it went from $200 million

dollar business to a tripled amount of $600 million!

The largest areas producing hard cider can be found in New York, Michigan,

Washington and Oregon. Great locations for apple orchards and to create

this hard cider, you need to be close to where they grow. A man named Peter

Moon, used to have a shop in Columbus Easton Town Center called, “Color

Your World.” He has been working on his own personal recipe for hard cider,

seeing great potential in the Central Ohio area.

Historically speaking, we may consider the American apple pie an icon for

our country, but apple cider made into hard cider came over on the Mayflower,

with those Pilgrims. We can find records of barrels of fermented apple juice

packed along with all the other necessities needed to start a community in

America. This makes sense since apples were readily available to farmers and

the Pilgrims needed to ‘brace’ themselves, so to speak, for a whole different

World! This could be considered America’s first ‘drink’ they toasted safe arrival

here…

To go even farther, this article I found discussing apples being fermented into

hard cider, it is totally possible that the signers of the Declaration of Independence

had pewter goblets of this ‘brewed’ cider.

I am happy to soon ‘ditch’ the Angry Orchard brand of hard apple cider for a new

‘brew’ made by Peter Moon who is calling his cidery, “Mad Moon Craft Cider.” You

know my fascination with the moon? This means it is ‘fate’ that I travel southward

and check out this new place he has. I need to try this!

In a recent Columbus Dispatch article, introducing this new company, it mentions there

is a humble organization and simplicity in the Mad Moon company’s headquarters.

There is a sign hanging by the office,

“Cider for the People.”

It is representative of the company’s signature. These 4 words are a ‘take off’ of a Populist

slogan and sentiments from William Henry Harrison’s 1840 Presidential campaign. W. H.

Harrison was known to be a ‘hard-cider-drinking frontiersman.’ (Sept. 12, 2004 Columbus

Dispatch article.)

When Prohibition came along in 1920. hard cider lost its’ place in the people’s popularity

of beverages to imbide in. There was moonshine and illegal brews, but when Prohibition was

repealed, beers were the most popular drink.

Today’s society is always looking for something ‘new’ to discover and try. There are many of

the population trying homemade beer and apple cider brewing, along with winemaking.

They ‘crave’ unique beverages and as hosts and hostesses, offering a variety of choices.

In Columbus, Ohio we have around 13 beer breweries, some hobbyists and home brewers

are now opening ‘cideries.’ It is just a small beginning, the tip of an iceberg of beverages and

there is an ‘open market’ for this here.

Starting at the ground level, Peter Moon, has 750 gallons of apple juice fermenting in three

of Mad Moon Craft Cider’s 10 large tanks. The labels are still in ‘rough draft’ stage of the

business. I liked the bottle’s design in the photograph accompanying the Dispatch’s article.

Apples need to be originally grown from European seeds, what is considered “old seeds.”

They are stronger flavored apples, with savory and distinct ‘tones’ to their taste. Ohio farmers

find them to not be able to resist fungi and diseases. This seems to be a concern and a ‘work

in progress.’ So far, one of the farms that is selling their apples for hard cider has been able

to recommend the strength of ‘gold rush apples.’ I can relate to this search, when I make my

homemade apple crisp I like the softer apples of Rome, Gala and have tried others, too.

In Licking County, (Ohio), there is a hard cider being sold as, “Legend Valley Cider.”

This company has 50 accounts on their ‘books,’ so far. They await the end of the apple growing

year of crops to start their second year of production.

This is a stretch of my imagination, but I think Benjamin Franklin would have been proud of

the return to apple cider fermentation. It is what Early Americans would have respected. Freedom

to consume and continuing in the independent spirit of free enterprise, too.

So,  “Raise Your Glass” to toast the return of hard cider!

(Thanks to Pink, (2010) song, “Raise Your Glass!”)

 

What are you drinking?

If you don’t like alcoholic beverages, do you like apple cider?

I sure do associate apple cider with Fall or Autumn.

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35 responses »

    • Well, it went ‘underground’ and then when the prohibition laws were repealed, it did not get reach as large an audience. Some of this information, I ‘culled’ from different resources… Thanks for being here to add to the party!

  1. I’m not really an apple cider fan but I love pear cider. In Sweden both apple and pear cider is available on tap at any bar, so when I moved here 14 years ago I tried ordering it but it was never really available. I have noticed in the last year that is starting to become more popular and there are lots of different brands. I’ve even found a place that keeps pear on tap. 🙂

    • I am amazed, Maria at this “new” beverage selection, to me! I would enjoy pear cider, I am sure! It may be even sweeter? I have one fourth Swedish blood flowing through me, so just on that account, I need to find a local pub with this delicious sounding hard pear cider! Thanks for this tip!

  2. Great post, Robin. It’s that time of year again! I’ve already downed two gallons of ‘Apple Cider’ from our local Farmer’s Market. So refreshing, crisp and clean. Rarely do a drink alcohol, but so love the apple cider!!

    • I enjoy apple cider, at holidays due to a member of my family being part of AA program, we tend to serve sparkling non-alcoholic apple cider! That is so delicious! I also go to a local farm market and buy at least a couple of gallons of plain old apple cider, from September to November. I agree, it is delicious and I love it, too!

    • I am pleased that you endorse both cider and microbrews, Eric! The different variations of apple beverages are all so delicious and I feel I am adding some nutrition to my ‘diet’ too!

    • Beth, I love all of the items on your apple list! An apple for you, my special Kinders’ teacher! I was ‘out and about’ with my good friend, Jenny, yesterday. I mentioned one of my favorite childhood memories was when the school cafeteria ladies made homemade, with pure brown sugar, oats, real butter and fresh apples, Apple Crisp! Yummy!

    • Maria introduced another cider, she mentioned it is from Sweden, is on tap, along side hard apple cider, there! She found a location for this one, I think it sounds scrumptious! As far as hard apple cider, you may look up to see if anyone is serving Angry Orchard, it has an apple tree on it, I have found it around here. Other than that, maybe someone out in Arizona and your ‘neck of the woods,’ knows how to make it or where to buy it. It is simply delicious, Luanne! Do they at least have apple cider out there? Enjoy a sparkling non-alcoholic apple cider… I wish you could come over and we could ‘split’ a bottle, the conversation would never end… Smiles to you, Luanne.

    • I think he could ‘wax on about it’ for quite some time, without needing my post to inspire him, then! Thanks for sharing this about your husband, Hollis! I admit it may be a little tart for some tastes!

  3. I’ve heard of hard cider, but I’ve never had it and never knew what the differences were. We’ve had a lot of micro-breweries popping up in the area. I’m enjoying a glass of Shiraz at the moment. Happy Weekend, Robin! xo

    • I like Shiraz, one of the darker and more flavorful red wines! I enjoy a wide variety of wines, but am not very sophisticated and generally buy ones that are $12 or less a bottle, Jill. I have found some lovely tasting ones World Market and some local places, too. We have a Wine Bar, right across the street from my apartment building! No, I am not even a familiar face there, just if I bring my youngest daughter in!

    • I would NEVER call you, old fashioned, Chris! When I asked a 30-ish year old, at a local sports bar, “What kind of wine coolers do you have?” He answered with a quizzical look, perplexed…”What?” and then his co-worker shook her head and asked, “Huh?” I said, “Well, something like Bacardi Raspberry or Smirnoff’s Lemonade.” They said, “Those are considered malt liquors, they don’t have any wine in them!” hahahaha! You and I, Chris, must seem like ‘dinosaurs’ in the wrong setting! Enjoy your weekend, Chris!

    • I was so surprised and honored by your visit! I hope it was okay what I mentioned and you are most welcome for any kind of positives you felt from this. I would love to participate in your inaugural batch bottling days! This is a fine and generous offer. Tell Pete thank you, too!

      • It was most welcome of the mention! We just bottled and kegged our unglued caramel apple! cHOPWired hopped cider next. Then pressing again!

      • I am so glad to hear about your flavors and wish I had more time in my life, to come and take you up on your offer. I will keep my friends here informed… Good luck and happy Autumn to you and all of your company members!

      • Hi Joshua, I am sending you a message. I was in Powell, Ohio at a fine restaurant named, “Kraft House No. 5” and guess what they have crafted beers, some wines but NO hard cider! I hope you still get this somehow we may still be connected. . . I mentioned your Mad Moon Cidery, but there wasn’t a manager nearby to talk to… Hope you and Peter are doing well during the holiday season.
        I am not on Facebook, just Linked In and WordPress so did not know how to pass you a hint to contact this great restaurant. I had a pair of porkchops with a glazed sauce and kale salad, which your caramel flavored hard cider would have been so delicious with…
        Smiles and continued blessings for your cidery business! Hugs, Robin

    • Annet, thanks so much for this comment and this is probably where Benjamin Franklin (while visiting France) discovered his ‘taste’ for cider. I came back to this page belatedly to send a message to Josh and Pete at Mad Moon Cidery in Columbus and realized I had missed your comment.
      Hope you have a wonderful holiday season and thanks for mentioning the French Connection!

  4. Great, interesting read. I’ve got some Angry Orchard in the fridge right now–brought to the house by a friend. I’ll keep an eye out for the Moon. And Pear cider? Bring it on. I love pears.

    • Thanks for this comment, which I long ago missed. I was back here visiting to figure out how to send a new message to Josh and Peter at Mad Moon Cidery, when I discovered your comment! I am so glad you will keep your eyes peeled for this new cidery. I live in Central Ohio and really need to visit this place. I am surprised how few people who are my good friends have any spare moments. Life is sure busy!
      Hope you have a wonderful holiday season and raise your glass to Hard Apple Cider and Pear Cider, too! smiles, Robin

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