Hard Cider Newsletter

Woodchuck Announces New Wine-Inspired Cider

Woodchuck® Hard Cider announced the release of their newest variety, Sangria. Similar to their Bubbly Rosť and Bubbly Pearsecco styles, Sangria has been crafted to bridge the gap between wine and cider drinkers. The Vermont-based cider brand is excited to introduce an additional style into this innovative market, and just in time for summer enjoyment.

Inspired by the traditional Spanish drink, Sangria is a semi-sweet cider, showcasing balanced notes of red wine, bright cirtus acidity, and berry. The liquid presents a full-bodied mouthfeel, complimented by a light carbonation, and a subtle sweetness at the finish. Enjoying this delicious cocktail just got a whole lot easier!

“We are thrilled to see the response by fans, both new and old, to Woodchuck’s Bubbly Rosť and Bubbly Pearsecco releases last year,” said Vice President of Marketing, Bridget Blacklock, “…and we wanted to build on the excitement by creating another wine style. After tasting Sangria in our innovation meetings, we knew we had a winner. We can’t wait to see what the feedback is from fans!”

Available nationally beginning in May with a full roll out by July, Sangria (5.5% ABV) will retail for $9.99/12oz six-pack of cans. It will also be available in 15.5-gallon kegs. If you’re lucky enough to be in Middlebury, Vermont, for Woodchuck Cider’s ‘Sip Into Spring’ event on April 19th at the ciderhouse, the company will be tapping the first kegs of Sangria for guests to taste.

Follow Woodchuck on Facebook for “Sip Into Spring’ event details. Photos provided by Vermont Cider Company.


Gowan’s Heirloom Cider Makes Red Carpet Appearance

Last month, the stars walking the red carpet at the Taste Awards Show had some extra sparkle as they celebrated their success with a glass of Gowan’s Heirloom Cider

The Red Carpet awards ceremony featured a star-studded lineup of food and fashion celebrities, including winners, nominees and presenters. Produced by the Academy of Media Tastemakers and Taste TV, the Taste Awards celebrated the year’s best in food, fashion, health, travel, sports and lifestyle on television, in film, streaming online, on radio, in podcasts, and photography. 

The Gowan’s cider that flowed on the red carpet was a top award-winning cider from a new category of premium ciders – sparkling apple-wine, often referred to as “apple champagne.” Like the finest California sparkling wines, Gowan’s apple-wine cider develops flavor naturally as heirloom apples slowly tree-ripen in Gowan family estate orchards, capturing the magic of an orchard’s year in a bottle. The cider made from this fruit represents an entirely unique time and place; rare heirloom apple trees growing in one of the world’s premier sparkling wine regions, a never-to-be-repeated span of four seasons. Around the world, estate ciders, made exclusively from a single orchard are even more rare than estate wines. And, cider made only from the premier California grown apples is exceptionally rare.

Recently named one of the “Best Luxury Experiences” at Taste TV’s Sacramento Chocolate Salon (2019), Gowan’s estate apple-wine ciders have also garnered top awards among the largest and most prestigious wine competitions, including: Best Cider of 2018 San Francisco International Wine Competition, International Women’s Wine Competition 2018, North Coast Wine Challenge 2018, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition 2019, California State Fair Wine Competition 2018, and California Cider Competition 2018.

Since 1876, these historic orchards have been cared for by six generations of the Gowan family apple farmers, curating over 80 varieties of rare and unique heirloom apples over 143 years. Over a century ago, fresh apples from these orchards were delivered to communities along the California coast by horse and wagon. Gowan’s Heirloom Cider was proud to celebrate with the stars at the 2019 Taste Awards Show with the Academy of Media Tastemakers and Taste TV.

For more information about Gowan’s please visit, GowansHeirloomCider.com. Photos courtesy of Gowan’s Heirloom Cider.


2 Towns Ciderhouse Shakes Up Seasonal Lineup With New Spring Release

2 Towns Ciderhouse is making moves and switching up their entire seasonal lineup this year! The first change to come is with the release of their coveted Two Thorns. Featuring a Northwest apple, Oregon-grown raspberry and rose petal combination, Two Thorns is a tart and floral blend that gives you a taste of spring in your cup.

“We’re always trying to innovate and push the bounds of what cider can be,” said Aaron Sarnoff-Wood, 2 Towns Ciderhouse Founder. “We continue to release new ciders to keep building on the foundation of our past loved seasonals.”

Two Thorns had previously been a collaboration project between 2 Towns and the Portland Thorns FC, and was only available in the Portland area market. However, it has been a fan favorite – even recently winning a gold medal in the 2018 CIDERCRAFT Awards and a bronze in the 2018 Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition. “We received a lot of feedback from customers who’d had Two Thorns at Providence Park looking to get it in their local market, so we decided to add it to our seasonal release schedule in order to let more people share in the goodness,” commented Scott Bugni, Marketing Director at 2 Towns Ciderhouse.

Available March through June, Two Thorns (5.5% ABV) is the perfect cider to drink while cheering on your local football club, and is currently available in cans, bottles and draft. Two Thorns will be available to distributing partners throughout Oregon, Washington, California, Alaska, Idaho, Hawaii, Chicago and parts of Minnesota and Montana.

Visit 2TownsCiderhouse.com to find Two Thorns and other ciders near you. Photos provided by 2 Towns Cider House.


Angry Orchard Launches Augmented Reality Experience

Angry Orchard Cider Company announced the launch of its Cider+Food App, featuring a unique augmented reality (AR) experience bringing delicious cider pairings to life. As the first mobile platform to focus on hard cider and food pairings, the app unlocks a range of mouthwatering recipes that pair perfectly with a refreshing can or bottle of hard cider, giving drinkers a new way to enjoy cider for any occasion and most importantly, at the table. Upon downloading, the app can be used across Angry Orchard's core styles – Crisp Apple, Rosé, Easy Apple and Pear, with the digital experience guided by head cider maker Ryan Burk.

Enthusiasm for cider hasn't slowed as the market continues to boom with ciders of every style, flavor, and personality. Yet knowing which flavor profiles to pair with a meal can be intimidating for drinkers. With Angry Orchard's augmented reality experience, Ryan shares the selected cider's tasting notes, pairings and offers recipes ideal for entertaining friends or cooking for a night in. Pairing highlights include:

  • Crisp Apple, offers a bright, apple-forward flavor that compliments rich dishes such as the sweet barbecue in pulled pork sliders

  • Rosé, the latest innovation style, known for its vibrant rosy-hue and floral notes, provides sweetness and acidity that balances salty flavors in dishes such as prosciutto-wrapped melon

  • Easy Apple, a refreshing, easy-drinking cider, pairs deliciously with a meal from start to finish. Fish dishes and fruit-forward desserts, such as grilled salmon and raspberry torte are the perfect complements

  • Pear enhances the natural fruit flavors incorporated into cheese-based dishes like baked brie with cranberry preserves

Additionally, users will be able to take a 360-degree tour of the apple trees at Angry Orchard's cidery and home for research and development in Walden, New York.

"Hard cider deserves a place at the table. The unique flavors and high-quality ingredients in our styles complement and enhance the food pairing experience that is most often associated with wine," said Ryan Burk, head cider maker at Angry Orchard. "Our new Cider+Food App allows us to share some of our favorite pairings, and what we've come to know and love about cider at the table. We're excited to share our passion through this experience and leverage a new platform to encourage drinkers to explore and celebrate cider."

Angry Orchard enlisted the help of technology partner Rightpoint, to develop this innovative augmented reality app that uses cutting edge technology to create an immersive experience around the cider bottle and can. The Cider+Food App was formulated with a combination of computer vision and machine learning, allowing the app to identify the style of cider and determine the exact dimensional location of the phone and bottle.

With more than two decades of commitment to the growing industry, the cider making team has been experimenting with ingredients and various techniques from all over the world. Angry Orchard is dedicated to high-quality ingredients and looks to continuously push the boundaries of what cider can be for drinkers. The Cider+Food App creates an engaging, accessible platform that brings to life delicious and simple pairings for cider enthusiasts to enjoy.

The Angry Orchard Cider+Food App is available on Apple iOS and can be downloaded for free at AngryOrchard.com/app. The app works with Angry Orchard's core style bottles and cans: Crisp Apple, Rosé, Easy Apple and Pear, available in 6-packs for $7.99-$9.99 (varies per market). All four core styles are also available in the Orchard Explorer Variety Pack, available nationwide for a suggested retail price of $14.99-$17.99 (varies per market). Photos provided by Angry Orchard Cider Company.


Portland Cider Co. Introduces Pineapple Rosé Cider

Portland Cider Co. announced the release of Pineapple Rosé, a brand-new summer seasonal cider. Bursting with fresh juicy pineapples, Pineapple Rosé boasts a pretty in pink hue from a splash of Northwest-grown blueberries. 

"We've been working on releasing our own rosé cider for a while now, but wanted to wait until we could get the fruit combination just right,” explained Helen Lewis, Marketing Director for Portland Cider Co. "The juicy and delicate pineapple fruit works beautifully with a hint of blueberry juice, creating an elegant cider on par with the rosé wine that so many love." 

Portland Cider’s Pineapple Rosé debuted last month on draft and in 12-ounce can six-packs and rolled out to retailers across Portland Cider’s distribution territory in the weeks that followed. This month though, the company introduced a new, 19.2 ounce seasonal can, which will also feature Pineapple Rosé throughout the summer. 

The fruity, tropical cider comes in at 5.2% ABV and, much like the rosé wine it’s modeled after, is versatile with a variety of foods. Lewis suggests pairing it with spicy Thai peanut sauce, pork quesadillas, chicken salad with pecans and grapes, or a brie and apple panini. 

Portland Cider Co.’s Pineapple Rosé is available now through August. It can be purchased at either of the company’s two taprooms, as well as at select retailers in Oregon, Washington, and Northern California. Visit PortlandCider.com for more information. Photos courtesy of Portland Cider Company.


Colorado Cider Company’s PearZarro, New Seasonal

Colorado Cider Company’s newest canned product, PearZarro, sets itself apart. Not only are there very few perries (fermented pear juice versus apple juice) in cans, but even fewer that are spontaneously fermented. Since the company’s beginning in 2011, they have been experimenting with botanicals, hops, and other fruit, and PearZarro continues in this vein. 

"We have always used all Colorado Bartlett pears for our larger scale perries. This year we decided to let the juice naturally ferment and create some fun new branding to play off of this wild nature. We are very happy with the result of this easy drinking perry that is well balanced between acidity and juicy pear flavor," Sales Director of Colorado Cider Company Cat Butler states.

PearZarro, is a twist on Colorado Cider’s delicious Pearsnickety®. The Colorado Bartlett Pear juice sits on the pumice (crushed pears) and goes through a natural, wild and spontaneous fermentation. It has Spanish Sidra characteristics with a zingy nose, a slightly acidic taste, and is followed by a creamy mouthfeel and a crisp pear finish. Available in 12oz can four-packs and in kegs – the cider is quaffable and delicious at 5.25% ABV! If you’re in Colorado, stop by the Colorado Cider Company tasting room (2650 W. 2nd Avenue, #10, Denver, CO 80219) for $1 off PearZarro full pours for the month of April as the cider is the “Cider of the Month.”

Check out other ciders from Colorado Cider Company at ColoradoCider.com. Photos courtesy of Colorado Cider Company.


Eat This…

Drink That…

Cider-braised Pork Chops
From Erik Akis of Times Colonist

Hard Cider Spritz
From Dish Works via Cider Culture

Photo Credit: Erik Akis        

Photo Credit: Dish Works