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
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
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.