Hard Cider Newsletter

Buskey Releases Mojito Light Cider

Buskey Cider located in the Scottís Addition neighborhood of Richmond, Virginia has released a 100 calorie light craft cider, Buskey Mojito Light Cider. This new cider is available on tap and in 12oz. cans in the cidery, and will be rolling out in distribution across the state in early August. The cider was crafted with Virginia apples, fresh mint, lime zest, filtered water, and fermented with a lager yeast for a 4.1% ABV beverage and zero carbohydrates.

“It was exciting that so many customers and distributors wanted us to make a local hard seltzer, but simply fermenting sugar and adding “natural ingredients” did not ring true to what we do at Buskey. Our take on the ‘Better for You’ beverage trend is to make a lighter cider that clocks in at 100 calories but uses only ingredients we can be proud of – a lager yeast strain fermenting Virginia apples, with quality filtered water, lime zest and mint leaves. This massively refreshing sessionable beverage is already a team favorite at Buskey and is perfect for your active lifestyle exploring our beautiful state!” discussed Will Correll, Founder & CEO of Buskey Cider.

Correll opened Buskey Cider at the age of 26 in April 2016 in a neighborhood described as Richmond’s booziest craft beverage neighborhood. Buskey is an all-American word that was written down in a letter by Ben Franklin; the slang young people in the taverns were saying during colonial times, when cider was the most popular alcoholic beverage. Buskey Cider is made with 100% Virginia apples and has no added sugar.

In addition to the Mojito Light Cider, Buskey also canned their latest limited release project, Game.Set.Matcha., an unfiltered matcha tea hopped cider with mosaic and azacca hops, which became available July 12 in 16oz. at the taproom in Scott’s Addition and the Cape Charles outpost. It’s a 6.7% ABV cider that has a nicely balanced bitterness, fresh taste and tangerine notes on the finish. Furthermore, Buskey is releasing Piña Colada, their late summer release crafted with pineapple and coconut, on July 26 in 16oz. cans and draft.

Buskey Mojito Light Cider and other Buskey products are distributed through Premium Distributors of Virginia in Richmond, Chesbay Distributing, Blue Ridge Beverage, and Wendell Distributing. Learn more about Buskey’s latest ciders on their website: BuskeyCider.com. Photos courtesy of Buskey Cider.


Central Coast Cider Festival Offers Guests Ways to Elevate Their Cider Tasting

The Central Coast Cider Association will be hosting its fourth annual Central Coast Cider Festival again with all the previous excitement and some new additions. The grand tasting for the CiderFest will take place on Saturday, August 10, from 5pm – 8pm at the Atascadero Pavilion on the Lake and Park in California. Returning in 2019, the Cider Association will also be holding a revamped Sunday Brunch Seminar, on Sunday, April 11, at 11am at the Atascadero City Hall Rotunda Room.

“We feel privileged to spearhead the first cider festival on the Central Coast,” said Neil Collins, Owner of Bristols Cider and member of the Central Coast Cider Association. “During the last three years, the Cider Festival was incredibly successful, so we will be expanding this year to include many more opportunities for cider enthusiasts.”

On Saturday, the grand tasting will begin at 5pm and will feature a variety of cider makers, showcasing the best ciders on the Central Coast and throughout California. A new ‘InCider Experience’ ticket is offered this year, for those who want a more intimate tasting experience. The InCider ticket will give attendees VIP access to a private bar, where they can chat with cider makers, taste special releases and enjoy local cheese pairings. The grand tasting will also feature an expanded selection of food vendors in 2019, with delicious bites included in the ticket price.

On Sunday, August 11, the CiderFest will welcome the Sunday Brunch Seminar, presented by ETS Laboratories. The seminar will offer a full brunch paired with a cider tasting, along with a panel discussion on crafting single-varietal ciders, moderated by CIDERCRAFT Magazine’s Darlene Hayes.

A portion of the proceeds raised by the Central Coast Cider Festival will benefit Woods Humane Society, specifically their Daphne Fahsing Spay & Neuter Clinic in Atascadero, California. “The Cider Association is also very excited to work with new sponsors and event partners this year,” said Collins. “We have a great partnership in the works with CIDERCRAFT Magazine and ETS Laboratories. We are also thankful to be working with Visit Atascadero.”

General Admission tickets for the CiderFest start at $45 per person. InCider Experience admission is $65 per person and the Sunday Brunch Seminar tickets are $50 per person. Saturday/Sunday packages are also available for purchase. To purchase tickets, visit My805Tix.com or CentralCoastCiderFestival.com. Tickets are also for sale at Boo Boo Records in San Luis Obispo, California. Photos courtesy of Central Coast Cider Association for the Central Coast Cider Festival.


Longtime Friends Open Duluthís Wild State Cider

This past year, two friends, Andrew Price and Adam Ruhland, with the same itch for all things craft and adventure, joined forces to open Wild State Cider, a production cidery and taproom in Duluth, Minnesota. These longtime friends met working at a summer camp in California and, as luck would have it, 10 years later they both ended up in the great white north which got them started on their new adventure.

Price was a brewer by trade, previously working as the assistant brewer at Voyageur Brewing Company. Ruhland had been a special education teacher and more recently worked in digital marketing, prior to opening the new cidery. They both share a passion for craft beverages, Price being a full-time brewer and Ruhland being a cider fan. It was pretty easy for them to decide their compatible, easy going and hardworking personalities would be perfect to take on such a big project.

When speaking with Price, he described Wild State as a good representation of the brand they wanted to create and the ciders they wanted to produce – fun, adventurous, natural, no preservatives, no added sugar or concentrates. They chose a growing neighborhood in Duluth, which has a good craft scene, great foot traffic and a spot that will allow the business to grow.

Being one of the only two cideries in Duluth, Ruhland said, “We’re pretty happy to be promoting and growing the cider category. At this point, there’s still a lot of education to be had around cider, and more cideries allow more people to learn about cider.”

Since opening in April, Wild State Cider has received a lot of positive feedback about their ciders on tap and tasting room. Currently on tap one can imbibe on:

• Semi-Dry: a light floral and crisp cider with a hint of spice and 6.1% ABV
• Ginger: a cider with hefty ginger notes but also woody and crisp apple taste at 6.1% ABV
• Citrus Hop: a very fragrant cider with citrus and piney qualities at 6.4% ABV
• Pear: a juicy, sweet and balanced cider with 5.3% ABV
• Semi-Sweet: made with Minnesota grown apples, this cider is bright and slightly sweet at 5.9% ABV
• Rosé: a pink cider with raspberry and hibiscus that is tart and bright at 6.4% ABV
• Pineapple: exactly as it is named, this cider has tropical pineapple notes and is both refreshing and sweet at 5.9% ABV

Not only is the cider top notch and fresh, but their tasting room is one not to be missed. Adam described their tasting room as “bright, open, and fun” and is equipped with a ski lift chair and living wall, perfect for your social media needs, which they encourage you to tag @wildstatecider.

For more information and to keep tabs on what’s on tap, visit WildStateCider.com or follow them on social media @wildstatecider. Photos provided by Wild State Cider.

Written by: Kristen Sarcone, Staff Writer of Hard Cider News


Unwind With Angry Orchardís New Spritz Rosť Hard Cider

Angry Orchard, the leading U.S. cider maker and maker of the #1 rosé cider nationally, announced the launch of Angry Orchard Spritz Rosé - a refreshing new rosé cider style made for the lighter moments in life. Crafted with all the elements drinkers love about rosé wine, Spritz Rosé combines crisp, apple-forward flavors with a vibrant bubbly effervescence. Launching in select markets including New Jersey, Minneapolis, Massachusetts, and Philadelphia, Spritz Rosé is the perfect low ABV drink to savor outdoors with friends from day to night.

The classic "Spritz" cocktail is growing in popularity because it's as easy to make as it is to drink. Known for being light (110 calories) and refreshing with a touch of sweetness and extra bubbles, it's become a go-to for drinkers. Inspired by the growing trend, the cider makers at Angry Orchard created a cider made with high-quality ingredients that gives a nod to this iconic cocktail. Spritz Rosé is hitting shelves in time to enjoy during the warmer months of summer, backyard barbeques or dining al fresco. Made from fermenting the juice of rare red-flesh apples, this cider has a subtle floral aroma that's complemented by a fun and energetic fizz. The bubbly beverage revitalizes your taste buds while effortlessly imparting the carefree feeling of taking time to unwind, making it the ideal drink to sit back and sip year-round.

"When we set out to create the recipe for Spritz Rosé, we wanted to capture the time of year when friends get together outside, relax and enjoy a meal and each other's company," said Ryan Burk, Head Cider Maker of Angry Orchard. "In the end, we crafted a new style of rosé cider that is incredibly refreshing, light and effervescent while still achieving the apple-forward flavor drinkers love about Angry Orchard."

With the introduction of Spritz Rosé, Angry Orchard continues to push the boundaries of what cider can be by creating new and distinct ciders that are complex and balanced. This unique offering is a testament to the cider making team's commitment over the past 25 years to experimenting with high-quality ingredients and various techniques from all over the world. Angry Orchard's cider makers lead research and recipe development from the cidery in Walden, New York.

Angry Orchard Spritz Rosé hard cider (4.0% ABV) is available in 12 oz. slim can six-packs for a suggested retail price of $7.99-$9.99 (varies by market). Spritz Rosé cider is currently available in select markets, including New Jersey, Minneapolis, Massachusetts and Philadelphia.

To find where Angry Orchard hard cider is available near you, visit the "cider finder" at AngryOrchard.com/locations. Photos courtesy of The Boston Beer Company for Angry Orchard.


UKís First Consumer Magazine Dedicated to Great Cider

From four of the world’s most acclaimed cider champions comes a brand new, free publication entirely focused on the fermented apple – Full Juice. Pete Brown, Susanna Forbes, Bill Bradshaw and Gabe Cook have spent the last decade travelling to the world’s greatest cider making regions – learning, talking and writing along about what they found there. Now, they’ve come together to create a regular, periodical celebration of the world of craft cider.

Too often viewed as a cheap or poorly made drink, cider has struggled to gain the attention that it deserves. Full Juice will show how cider is one of the world’s greatest drinks, which can boast all of the fitness of any great wine and all of the attitude and creativity of any fabulous beer. But crucially, cider is unique – a drink like no other – with its own story to tell and characters to meet. Full Juice invites us all into this world of apples, pears, orchards, fermentation and blending.

Full Juice is an ode to centuries of cidermaking culture in the UK and beyond. It is a stage to showcase today’s finest cider makers. It is a rallying cry to join the world of #rethinkcider.

As Pete Brown says in his Juice Matters feature in Episode 1, “Above all, Full Juice is a declaration that quality counts and a rallying cry for aspiration. Despite being the world’s largest producer and consumer, cider in Britain has been much maligned for far too long. Now is the time to gain inspiration from the fun, boldness, creativity and language of other drinks that have experienced a recent boom lately, while ensuring that at the core of everything is the apple.”

Full Juice will be published four times a year and given away free in quality pubs, bars and bottle shops, and at festivals and events. Episode 1 landed on May 28th and Episode 2 is scheduled for September. The publication has Martin Coyne and Lucy Harmer of the design agency Bond & Coyne to thank for their sterling work in making Full Juice a reality.

Follow Full Juice on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @fulljuicemag. Photos courtesy of Full Juice.


Haykin Family Cider Has Medals to Prove Quality Cider

Haykin Family Cider, Colorado’s premier small-batch cider producer, won top prizes for the third year in a row at the prestigious 14th Annual Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition (GLINTCAP) – the largest cider competition in the world. With two Best in Class (third in class) and six Gold Medals, Haykin Family Cider brought home more gold medals than any other cider company in the competition.  

Haykin Family Cider is co-owned by husband-and-wife team, Talia and Daniel Haykin, who opened their production facility and tasting room to rave reviews in February, 2018. In just over a year, they’ve garnered a committed following – often selling out of bottles and distributing sought-after varietals at some of Denver’s best restaurants. 

With a higher carbonation than other products on the market and no adjuncts (sugar, flavorings, or other additives), the ciders from the Haykins are just like sparkling wines but made with apples. Elevating the apple like wineries treat grapes, Haykin Family Cider highlights the flavor and complexity of interesting and unique apples. This year, their dedication to quality was clearly recognized at GLINTCAP.

Says co-owner Talia Haykin, “It was such an honor to see our medals this year at GLINTCAP. Every year we attend and participate in the judging and we get to speak to our fellow cider makers. To receive confirmation again this year that our product is consistently world-class means a lot to us as small cider producers in Colorado.”

This year, at GLINTCAP, with nearly 1600 entries, only 163 received a gold medal – and six of those went to Haykin in the commercial division. Two of their Gold-Medal ciders placed ‘Third Best in Class’:

• Akane (Modern Cider – Dry category): This cider is juicy, fruit forward, and complex, with subtle creamy notes. Akane is a Japanese apple that is also known as ‘Tokyo Rose.’ The apple’s flavor is strongly floral, which persists through the fermentation process.

• Karmijn de Sonnaville (Modern Cider – Sweet category): The Karmijin de Sonnaville apple hails from the Netherlands where it was bred using two other famous apples, Cox's Orange Pippin and Jonathan. It brings the best flavors of both, a well-balanced marriage of tangerine, rainier cherries, and tart hard candy.

While Akane has been sold out since the beginning of 2019, Karmijn de Sonnaville pops up here and there at events and sometimes for Haykin Pippin Cider Club members. Many of the other medal winners are also sold out or limited editions but some are still available such as Manchurian Crabapple, Colorado Crabapple and Harrow Pear, on the shelves right now. Golden Russet, McIntosh, Redfield, Twin Seedlings, and Winesap have not yet been fully released.

Here is a complete list of Haykin Family Cider’s 2019 GLINTCAP Awards:
(Click here for a full list of all medal results in the commercial category.)


o Akane (Modern Cider – Dry)
o Karmijn de Sonnaville (Modern Cider – Sweet)


o Boulder Hewe’s Crabapple (Heritage Cider – Sweet)
o Esopus Spitzenberg (Modern Cider – Sweet)
o Niedzwetzkyana (Rosé Cider)
o Wickson (Modern Cider – Dry)


o Burford Red Flesh (Rosé Cider)
o Dolgo (Rosé Cider) o Golden Russet (Heritage Cider – Sweet)
o Kingston Black (Traditional Cider – Dry)
o Lamb Abbey Pearmain (Modern Cider – Sweet)
o Manchurian Crabapple (Heritage Cider – Sweet)
o McIntosh (Modern Cider – Sweet)
o Redfield (Rosé Cider) o Scarlet Surprise (Rosé Cider)
o Talia’s Crabapple (Heritage Cider – Sweet)
o Twin Seedlings (Heritage Cider – Sweet)
o Winesap (Heritage Cider – Sweet)


o Cox’s Orange Pippin (Modern Cider – Sweet)
o Harrow Pear (Modern Perry)

Each cider is named for the apple varietal of which it is comprised. Coming from a love of sparkling wine, Daniel Haykin set out to make a similar product with apples. Haykin Family Ciders are produced in a champagne bottle and finished with a natural cork and wire hood, more easily resembling a classic sparkler. Taking it from tree to bottle, the Haykins process their own fruit as much as possible, having developed relationships with several Colorado apple growers. The cider is made using custom-ordered equipment from Italy – essentially sparkling white wine equipment.

This summer, Denverites can look for the 2019 release of the super popular Esopus Spitzenberg, a first release of Newtown Pippin, a new release of Dabinett, and the very popular Manchurian Crabapple with tannins similar to a red wine. Haykin Family Cider can be tasted and purchased at the company’s tasting room in Aurora, Colorado, located at 12001 E. 33rd Avenue, Unit D – Thursday-Sunday. However, select retail and dining restaurants also carry their products in Denver, Boulder and Longmont. For additional information on Haykin Family Cider, check out HaykinFamilyCider.com. Photos courtesy of Haykin Family Cider.



Eat This…

Drink That…

Tiki Tonik Marinated Pork Chops  
From Erin James of CIDERCRAFT
Magazine via Diskin Cider

Emerald City Mule
From Seattle Cider Company

Photo Credit: CIDERCRAFT Magazine

Photo Credit: Seattle Cider Company