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Albemarle CiderWorks

Albemarle Ciderworks ~ Albemarle County Virginia Albemarle Ciderworks ~ Albemarle County Virginia

Vintage Virginia Apples, one of my favorite website sources for apple varieties and information put up an announcement last year publicizing their intent to make cider. Needless to say I was quite excited to read about the prospect. One would be hard pressed (no pun intended) to find a more better selection of vintage and heirloom apples in North America than at Vintage Virginia Apples. I absolutely convinced their knowledge, dedication, passion and artisanship will translate perfectly into a truly delectable craft cider.

Their time has come and the cidery has been named Albemarle CiderWorks. Their website claims they will be opening their tasting room to the public on July 15th. Being on the West Coast it'll be hard to lay may hands on their cider but I'm betting it will be worth a visit. From their pictures the tasting room and patio looks to be coming together nicely. If you are anyone you know are in the Albemarle County region I highly suggest you make a stop and support their efforts. We need more craft ciders like I'm sure Albemarle CiderWorks will prove to be.

Press Published after post date:
Daily Progress - Charlottesville VA - Published: July 5, 2009

North American Cider Photo Group on Flickr

Westcott Bay Orchards - Cider ApplesSo a while back I started a North American Cider Group upon Flickr. If any of you all out there in the cyber-orchard would like to take a look I invite you to check it out. I'd also invite those who use Flickr (or are willing to use Flickr) to become a member and help post new photos of our North American Cider culture.

These images can be but do not have to be of commercial licensed cider operations. Orchard, blossom and apple pictures are welcome if they fall under the cider umbrella. Pressing process photos are welcome provided the juice is to become cider... Fermenting processes and equipment are welcome too of course.

I would rather keep the table apples and apple juice pictures out if possible. As some of you out there already know anywhere else other than North America cider isn't cider unless it is fermented and I intend on honoring craft cider tradition.

Cider on Ice? Not on my watch...

nociderandiceJust a quick post and a link to pub etiquette via the
"Cider drinking happens in big cities but with ice. Asking for ice with your cider in a cider-making area will be met with suspicion bordering on violence. Alcopops are the closest things to anti-freeze you can order in a pub and have much the same function."

Pub etiquette is something more Americans should embrace. They only briefly touch on cider but the sentiment is one we all should take to heart too. DO NOT ICE YOUR CRAFT CIDERS. Remember you are drinking someone's pride and joy, their art and craft. Would you start dropping ice cubes into your wine glasses in Napa? No. Respect it please no matter what country or region you are in. I liken adding ice to your cider to adding salt, pepper, soy sauce, etcetera in a really great restaurant. Just don't.

We have a newer "cider" manufacturer here in North America mimikcing, and riding the coat tails of Magner's cider on ice campaign. I won't give them the satisfaction of posting their name in this blog. However f you see anything like this and you appreciate craft make a jusdgement call please avoid these "six pack" products they are giving our good ciders a bad name.

On the home front. Life has been pretty busy with my own cider blending, bottling. I've also been trying desperately to prevent the dreaded film yeast in this warming weather with my inadequate equipment and storage.

I've got a couple great ciders to taste and review in the near future. A "Summer Cider" from a top of the list favorite of mine, Farnum Hill Ciders in New Hampshire. I also received a great cider from Sutliff Cider in Iowa of all places. Iowa is a new State for my cider map. 10 or so down 40 or so to go.

Stay tuned...

Mutineer Magazine

Mutineer MagazineThere is a new beverage magazine in town and it's name is Mutineer. Mutineer Magazine offers it's readers approachable fine drink related content with a little more edge and lot more attitude. Case and point... Mutineer's National Launch party on May 18th in L.A. will be hosted by non other than Three Sheets host Zane Lamprey. Zane is a perfect choice for the job and a personal hero of mine.

Mutineer's content looks to be the perfect blend of content covering favorite subjects like Coffee, Wine, Beer, Liquor and even the cultures that surround each. This might just be the magazine to do a well deserved and long awaited in-depth story on North America's emerging cider scene. I'm betting Mutineer will educate, elevate and enlighten. I've been following Mutineer for going on two issues now and I've seen really great stories on the Northwest Regional Barista Competition, Jone's Soda, Absinthe, Seattle Coffee and yup an interview with Zane Lamprey.

If this sounds like your type of thing I encourage you head on over to Mutineer's subscription page and make it happen. Want a test run? You can pick up this fine beverage magazine at a host of major retailers like Barnes & Noble, Borders, Hastings, Books-A-Million and B. Dalton's.

Mutineer also maintains a great blog where they usually post great beverage related a couple times daily.

Red Barn Sweetie Pie Gravenstein Cider

Red-Barn-Sweetie-PieRed Barn's Sweetie Pie is sweet by craft cider standards but not nearly as sugary as some of the commercially produced "ciders". It is rich yet fresh and inspiriting. Sweetie Pie has a great body (no jokes) and just enough cider apple and Gravenstein tannin characteristic educate those new to the sensation and tease those of us yearning it.

For my taste it is a little on the sweet side for regular consumption but for many folks out there it will be your ideal cider. While not my favorite this is an excellent high quality Northwest made cider. Sweetie Pie is an excellent "gateway" cider for those interested in gebuine craft ciders that have character. Look for it in Western Washington's progressive grocers and bottle shops.

Red Barn (Tulip Valley Winery) makes 4 different ciders to date. Sweetie Pie, Jonagold, Fire Barrel and Burro Loco. They have a great tasting room located just outside Mount Vernon Washington. Give them a visit if you are in the area and get a taste all of their ciders

Happy Spring all! My poor neglected blog... Seems that I've been having a hard time sitting down to write a post the past few months. I have been busy cider making, cider reading, propagation class taking and tree grafting. I thought I'd jump back into things with this quick review. I do have many a book to discuss and I will be sitting down this week for an in depth tasting and notes session for a review of Farnum Hill's Extra-Dry Still Cider. Check back soon I promise it will be up with in a week or so of this post and then more regular from here on out let's hope.