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Episode 84 – Green Bench Brewing Co. – Brian Wing

This episode features Brian Wing of Green Bench Brewing Co.

For Chris and Brian the partnership began as home brewers.  The brewery opened in 2013, all along, mead and cider was in the plan.  They honed their craft and built up a following with their beer.  They enjoyed drinking cider and mead so much in Florida.  However, craft mead and cider was not common.  They introduced mead and cider to the Saint Petersburg faithful in 2015.  We had a lively and spirted discussion about Cidercon 2022, apples, orchards and all that is Green Bench Brewing.  

Brewscuits is the sponsor of the podcast.  Be sure to check them out at www.brewscuits.com.  Type in Fermented Adventure at checkout to get 15% off your first order.

51133 Baum Ave N, Saint Petersburg, FL 33705 – (727) 800-9836 – www.greenbenchbrewing.com – Facebook

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Highlights From our Discussion:

Cidercon

Tampa Bay Beer Week

VinoShipper

Community

Saint Petersburg

CIDERCON 2022

We arrived at the Richmond Convention Center, in Richmond Virginia, just in time for Cider Share. Approximately 40 cideries from across the United States lined the perimeter of the ballroom. Bottles were open and on ice ready to be sampled and discussed. Cidercon welcomes those from all stages on their own cider journey. From experienced cider aficionados to newbies the convention provided something for everyone. Dawn an I made our way to the farthest corner where the throngs of attendees had not gathered yet. Our first cider experience was with Two Broads Cider Works. They hail from San Louis Obispo, CA. From the moment that we took our first sip we knew we were in for an incredible tasting experience. We talked to producers from Oregon, Washington, Florida and even cider producers in our own back yard that we had not yet tried. We sampled ciders from Virginia, New York and Maryland. There were single varietals, apple blends, barrel aged and even an iced cider. The evening was about more then tasting. It was about the energy and people sharing their love of these nectars produced from apples. We had conversations with people that still had not produced one batch of cider but where looking to open a cidery. There were quite a few newbies in the room. Well established cideries got exposure to methods and apples that they were not familiar with. The 90 minutes went by in a blink. We only made it around half the room. The room was full of laughter and shouts of sadness that it had to end. Convention goers spilled out into the hallways, the lobby bar and into Richmond. The night was still early. Great discussion, more cider and delicious food awaited.

The convention opened with a presentation and discussion of Lessons for the 21st Century: The surprising history of southern apples and cider and what it means for modern growers and makers. The keynote helped to set the tone of diversity and growth in todays cider industry. It touched on American ciders rich past and fruitful future. The struggle of those that have been laying the foundation of bringing back lost apples and cultivating trees for future generations. One theme that echoed loudly was that when you are growing apple you are living each day in history. When you drink cider you are drinking that history.

The next 2 days were full of classes. Our first class that we attended was 400 years of American alcohol: Cider, History, Cocktails and more. The standing room only crowed was there to hear The Drinking Coach, Tiffanie Barriere. She definitely brought her energy and knowledge to the stage. She taught about the historical black figures in cocktail American history. There were 2 delicious cocktails created with what else… cider. Check her out at: www.thedrinkingcoach.com

For Cidercon attendees there were 32 classes to choose from. Truthfully, it was hard to select which classes to go to. They all were fascinating and informative.

We made sure to stop by and explore the vendors at the trade show. Bottlers, Canners, Barrels, flavoring, yeasts, tip handles and labels are just a sampling of those offering to help the cider producers improve on their craft. There were even more ciders being offered for tasting and enjoyment.

The first afternoon class that we sat in on was High Latitude Ciders from Michigan. The presenters for this class were: Dan Young of Tandem Ciders, Bryan Ulbrich of Left Foot Charley and Dion Stepanski of Presque Isle Farm Cider. It was such a learning experience to understand how the location, climate and the fermentation process have such an impact on the flavor and character of cider. It is so comparable to the wine industry and their regions. The terroir plays such an important role in the creation of cider. For us it was so much fun to sample each pour and provide our own tasting notes on the nose and palate of each cider. Nicole LeGarnd Leibon moderated the panel and was excellent at pointing out her own observations on the ciders and cideries.

One class that we continue to fall back on was yeast-derived characteristics and hands-on blending. Aaron Homoya and Anne Flesch gave us an amazing perspective of how yeast impacts the flavor profile of cider. The key here is how much we are now able to pull out the yeast notes in beer, wine and even whiskey.

Day two found us attending the class, Southern Cider Apples: A recipe for complex flavor in a changing climate. Diane Flynt from Foggy Ridge Ciders was the moderator. She was also the keynote for the opening of the convention. Her knowledge of southern cider is unparalleled. The presenters were: David Thornton of James Creek Cider House, Will Hodges of Troddanvale at Oakley Farm and Tim Wright of Wise Bird Cider. Three states represented the south. It was enlightening to try ciders from Kentucky, Virginia and North Carolina side by side.

OK, so, introductory palate training was an experience for the taste senses. Sour, acidity, sweet and bitter were all covered by adding a varying degree to a host cider. Like the yeast class, this for us increased our appreciation for cider and our ability to select complex notes and nuances. Darlene Hayes from www.allaboutcider.com and author of Cider Cocktails – Another Bite of the Apple, took us on a fantastic journey. Teaching us where different flavors and textures fall on the tongue. We learned more of why we are sensitive to bitterness and why we shy away from those IPA’s.

During the breaks there was even more cider to swirl, sip, swallow and converse about.

Sadly, it came time for the last class. Rich selected Barrel programs: A wine perspective for cider, moderated by Jocelyn Kuzelka. Dawn selected Social media advertising 101. Once again, each offered a treasure trove of information.

Check out our podcast wrap up of Cidercon 2022.

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In our first episode of 2022 we review OK Cider Company, Party Pic. A hopped cider from Oklahoma City.

A huge takeaway from the convention is that craft cider is poised to enter the main stream even more than it already has. Consumers will find ciders that rival a fine wine. Ciders will be competing strongly with craft beer taps across the country. This heritage beverage from our past has a bright future. What we can look forward to in 2022 is seeing more cideries open and share their individual expressions.

We can’t wait for Cidercon 2023 in Chicago.

Episode 80 – Blake’s Hard Cider – Jennifer Wawrzyniak

This episode features Jennifer Wawrzyniak of Blake’s Hard Cider.

Blake’s is cider with a story.  It began in 946 when Gerald came home from WW2 and decided that he no longer wanted to live in Detroit.  He and Lovely purchased 100 acres in Armada, MI.  Today it’s a 1000 plus acre U-Pick Farm with wine, beer and cider.  In 2013 Andrew arrived back from college and saw an opportunity to expand into hard cider production.  The ciders base comes from a proprietary 5 apple blend.  

Jennifer is a regional sales manager with Blake’s.  In this episode she shares her experiences and also what she does best.  Introducing and creating new fans to Blake’s.  Pick some up and enjoy while listening to this lively episode.  

Brewscuits is the sponsor of the podcast.  Be sure to check them out at www.brewscuits.com.  Type in Fermented Adventure at checkout to get 15% off your first order.

17985 Armada Center Road, Armada, MI 48005 – (586) 784-5343 – www.blakefarms.com – Facebook

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Highlights from our discussion:

Valley Forge Beer & Cider Festival

Starfish Junction

Pommelier

Pets for Patriots

U.S. Cider Open

The Union Craft House

Bartari

Beer Wall on Penn

Cider Con

Valley Forge Beer and Cider Festival 2021

It was an amazing scene at The Greater Philadelphia Expo in Oaks on Saturday, December 4th. Over 2,300 beer and cider fans had their choice from over 40 breweries and cideries. There was even a winery too. The theme, of ugly sweaters, brought even more merriment to the party. Of course this made for some great people watching.

The lines moved quickly and there were certainly plenty of choices to please even the most discerning palate. It was great to see some old friends and make some new ones too. We enjoyed tasting an array of stouts, IPA’s, amblers and lagers. There were sweet ciders and dry ones. Fruit filled expressions and some most comparable to a fine wine.

Brewscuits was on hand for the dog lovers in the crowed. Uncle Alex was there from Phygit foods to make sure everyone had their pretzel necklaces. Franky-Deep was there to tantalize the hot sauce aficionados and the Jerky Hut had so many flavors it was not easy to choose. Oh, and the bacon. We can’t forget Bacon on a Stick That’s It. HOLY PORKAPALOOZA! We were glad that we didn’t miss Truly Pure & Natural with their hand crafted raw creamed honey.

The DJ kicked the vibe up a notch. The floor was packed with a cornucopia of laughter and movement doing line dancing and holding onto their glasses as they turned and twirled. Close by the sounds of axes striking the target made for its own melody.

As for us, we had a fantastic time interviewing the breweries, cideries and other vendors. It’s always fun for us to be educated and discover new flavors. Some close by and others from places that we can’t wait to visit.

We are looking forward to the next events produced by Starfish Junction. Keep an eye on their website, social media or sign up for their news letter to stay informed.

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and more…

Highlights From our Discussion:

Attic Brewing

Blakes Hard Cider

Log Yard Brewing

SWIG

Brother Monk Ciderworks

The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery

Bad Seed Brewery

Stickman Brews

Free Will Brewing

Northwest Cider Club – Date Night Chronicles – Free Water Cider Company and Woodinville Ciderworks

We are on the road for this episode of “Date Night Chronicles”.  We come to you from Montpelier, VT where we share our latest adventures and taste 2 great ciders that the Northwest Cider Club provided… Free Water Cider Company – Opal Dry Cider – Barrel Aged and Woodinville Ciderworks – Red Flesh Hard Apple Cider

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and more…

Highlights from our discussion:

West Overton Village and Distillery

Valley Forge Beer and Cider Fest

Caledonia Spirits

Whistle Pig Whiskey

Taconic Distillery

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze

Foam Brewers

Stowe Cider

Citizen Cider

Smugglers Notch Distillery

Prohibition Pig

Oaks & Evelyn

Von Trapp Brewing

Whole Foods Market

Mad River Distillers

Brewscuits is sponsoring this episode.  Be sure to check them out at www.brewscuits.com  Type in “Fermented Adventure” at checkout to get 15% off your first order.

Emily Ritchie – Northwest Cider Association

This episode features Emily Ritchie of Northwest Cider AssociationThe association was founded in 2010 to connect cider makers with cider drinkers.  Emily brings together and coordinates 100 plus producers of cider.  The large region covers: Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, as well as, British Columbia. Emily focuses on growing the market for cider, helping to improve and increase the quality of cider and create community.  We sample 2 amazing ciders from the Cider Club.  Listen as Emily provides a sensational education in the world of cider.  

We welcome Brewscuits as a sponsor of the podcast.  Be sure to check them out at www.brewscuits.com.  Type in Fermented Adventure at checkout to get 15% off your first order.

(360) 336-3727 www.nwcider.comFacebook

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Highlights from our discussion:

Northwest Cider Symposium

Bushwacker Cider

E.Z. Orchards

Centre Ring

Wenatchee

Whole Foods Market

Episode 56 – Original 13 Ciderworks – John Kowchak and Petra Manchina

This episode features John Kowchak and Petra Manchina of Original 13 Ciderworks. John’s Grandfather Charles Steckel worked in apple orchards and learned how to make hard cider.  John’s journey began as a home brewer of beer.  On a fateful day he had a conversation with his grandfather who shared with him that he made hard cider in his basement.  John pays tribute to has grandfather with the Sir Charles line.  John saw opening a cidery in Philadelphia as a continuation of his families entrepreneurial roots.  In 2013 Original 13 was born and at the time there were no cideries in Philadelphia.  In 2017 they opened the doors.  In this episode John and Petra share their take and vision on the cider and mead that they are creating.  The cocktail program, tasting room and restaurant.  They are producing some incredible and complex cider.  Full of flavor, character and some wonderful surprises.1526 N American St, Philadelphia, PA 19122 –

(215) 765-7000 – www.original-13.comFacebook

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Highlights from our discussion:

Samson & Surrey

5:dirty Martinis

Magners Irish Cider

Atacama Dessert

Blueberry Capital of the World

PA Cider Guild

Punch Buggy Brewing Company

Capitol Cider

Clint Holmes

Hale & True Cider Co.

Basque Cider

Strongbow Apple Cider

Peter Mitchell

Cider & Perry Academy

Arsenal Cider House

Applejack

Episode 43 – Hook & Flask Still Works – Mark Farrell and Devin Flickinger

This episode features Mark Farrell and Devin Flickinger of Hook and Flask Still Works.  2 friends with a 15 year relationship decided to open a distillery.  Devin was home brewing beer and making wine before entering into the world of distilling.  They took off doing market research by visiting other distilleries, asking a lot of questions, taking classes and shadowing other distillers.  The result is a fire themed establishment that pays homage and honors their roots.  They are refining their craft one bottle at a time.  Creating a delicious mix of cocktails, food and fun.  We discuss their growth during cover and the development of their brown spirits program.137 N Hanover St, Carlisle, PA 17013 – (717) 601-2770 – www.hookandflaskstillworks.com – Facebook

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Highlights from our discussion:

Grand Illusion Hard Cider

Five Saints Distilling

Fireball

Brewscuits

Deer Creek Malthouse

Adirondack Barrel Cooperage

Big Hill Cider Works

Sunday’s Mill Company

Black Button Distilling

Davis Valley Distillery

Cumberland County

US Army War College

Episode 39 – Ben Wenk – Ploughman Cider

This episode features Ben Wenk of Ploughman Cider   “Greetings From Adams County”.  Ben’s family has been farming the land here since the 1820’s.  After selling produce at a farmers market in Philadelphia, Ben decided to try a Strongbow.  It was different.  Not sticky sweet like other ciders.  He went home and tried making his first batch of cider.  From there he was hooked.  Adams County is considered Apple Capital USA.  On this episode Ben and I discuss cider, apples and fruit tree farming.  “Cider is not a value added product”, Ben explains.  We enjoyed this fascinating look into Ben’s families heritage and his passion for cider making.     

1606 Bendersville-Wenksville Road, Aspers, PA 17304 – www.ploughmancider.com – (717) 677-7186 – Facebook

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Highlights from our discussion:

Strongbow Cider

Luckyleaf

Musselman’s

Dornick

VinoShipper

Three Springs Fruit Farm

Ploughshares Cider Club

John Bunker

Big Hill Ciderworks

Jack’s Hard Cider

Reid’s Cider House

Gettysburg Farmers Market

Ploughman Cider Taproom

Pour The Core

Pennsylvania Cider Guild

Philly Cider Week

The Botany of Desire

Farnum Hill Ciders

Episode 29 – Stone & Key Cellars – Jason Harris

This episode features Jason Harris of Stone & Key Cellars.   Jason and I discuss the experience of building Keystone Homebrew supply back in 1992.  At the time he was on the cutting edge of the homebrew industry.  We talk about the development of their amazing ciders and the growth of Stone & Key Cellars. 435 Doylestown Rd, Montgomeryville, PA 18936   215-855-4567  – www.stoneandkeycellars.com –  On Facebook

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Highlights from our discussion:

Spotted Lantern Fly

Coronavirus

The Complete Joy of Homebrewing

Charlie Papazian

How to Brew

John J. Palmer

University of Vermont

Delaware Vally University

Keystone Homebrew Supply

Farnum Hill Ciders

Solebury Orchards

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