Hard Cider Newsletter

Swilled Dog Hard Cider Expands Distribution to Ohio and Indiana

Swilled Dog Hard Cider announced that they are bringing their fun, flavorful and refreshing line of craft ciders to state-wide distribution across Florida, Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana. Launches for all states have been occurring since October with Ohio and Indiana last month.

“We are so stoked to bring more people our craft, hard ciders and think that our offerings of less sugar and more flavorful taste profiles will resonate well in each market compared to other brands. We look forward to not only expanding distribution but also continuing in our effort to make an impact in the local communities throughout our newly expanded footprint,” said Brooke Glover, Co-Owner of Swilled Dog Hard Cider and Vice President of the American Cider Association (ACA).

Based in West Virginia, Swilled Dog’s mission is to not only make great, craft cider but to make an impact in the communities they serve by donating at least 1% of all sales proceeds to local communities and charities – the majority of which goes to benefit their favorite animal causes. In 2018 and 2019, charitable donations topped 3% of total sales.

“We love giving back and our expansion across our new markets will not be any different. We will work with local organizations in each market to identify causes that we are the most passionate about and make sure we dedicate not only our money but also our time. It’s key to everything we do at Swilled Dog,” said Barry Glover, Co-Owner and Director of Operations.

Swilled Dog also recently announced that they will be opening a second tasting experience in the Tampa Bay area which will include not only a tasting room but will also include production space. “Bringing Swilled Dog to Florida and to the Tampa Bay community is something we have wanted to do from the beginning. We are fortunate to know the area well and are excited to have our ciders offered in the Sunshine State. Expect some incredible flavor profiles to be developed by utilizing local Florida agriculture, find us at local Florida events, and look for us to partner with some amazing organizations to continue in our mission of making an impact in the communities we serve.”

After launching Swilled Dog in 2017 across the state of West Virginia, the company has experienced significant growth and depletions have more than tripled in 2019. In order to keep up with demand, Swilled Dog relocated to a 20,000 square foot facility and opened a destination tasting experience in the beautiful, mountain town of Upper Tract, West Virginia. Now Swilled Dog has capacity to produce over 25,000 BBLs of cider with plans for further expansion as needed. They also are able to provide their fans with a destination to enjoy their ciders, taste unique tasting-room only releases, and be a launching site for all of the great outdoor activities that the local area provides.

Additionally, Brooke Glover represented the ACA Board at the Global Cider Forum in Frankfurt, Germany in October. “It was great to represent the US cider industry and collaborate with others from around the globe. We are all looking for ways to educate consumers on the versatility of hard cider and grow the category.”

To find Swilled Dog nearest you, visit SwilledDog.com. Photos courtesy of Swilled Dog.


Wyndridge Farm Beverages Rebrands Cider and Beer Lines

Wyndridge Farm, located in Dallastown, PA, introduced two new brands at the end of 2019. Necessity always leads to innovation, and after years of Wyndridge Beverage improving their process, Wyndridge Cider Company & Winding Path Brewing Company were born.

Wyndridge Cider Co.’s hard cider is fermented cold and blended with fresh-pressed state-grown apples. They have become a staple hard cider brand by way of innovative flavors, crisp taste and one of the top cider masters east of the Mississippi. You will find cider master Scott Topel and Wyndridge Cider at the forefront of pushing boundaries while delivering quality and consistency. Flagship ciders include Original Cider, Cranberry, Black Cherry and Apples N’ Oranges. The most recent seasonal is Honey Lavender and the limited edition, only available at Wyndridge Farm, Brown’s Orchards and York Central Market is the Maple Bourbon.

With a new Brewmaster, Irena Wise at the helm, the search to name Wyndridge’s new beer project began. In the Old English translation, the word “windridge” means “dweller at a ridge with a winding path.” It was only fitting that their name became the planted root of what they had already started to grow. Wyndridge Beverage is proud to put Winding Path Beer on the map with intention, identity, quality and purpose. Flagship beers include Hazeway IPA, Slightbend IPA, 885 Porter, and the current seasonal of Peaches N Cream IPA.

For more information on the new Wyndridge brands and their respective product lines, please visit Wyndridge.com. Photos courtesy of Wyndridge Beverage.


Southern Tier Launches Cider Line

From beer to cider and beyond, the craft brewers at Southern Tier Brewing Company know no bounds when it comes to big flavor. Founders Phin and Sara DeMink along with the innovative brewers at Southern Tier have created a new line of refreshing and crisp ciders called Southern Tier Cider Works™. This month the line hit shelves and taps offering a variety of flavors including Unfiltered Apple, Rosé Hibiscus and Honey Ginger, in a range from dry to semi-sweet and hazy to bright at 5% ABV with nearly two-thirds less sugar than other cider brands. Each cider is a proud homage to the brewery’s Western New York roots, featuring real juice from Mayer Brothers, one of the oldest family-owned businesses in New York State. Naturally gluten-free with no added sugar, the ciders also meet drinkers’ desire for something more consciously crafted.

Since commissioning their brewery in 2002 in the southern region of Western New York, Phin and Sara have been on a relentless pursuit to give drinkers alternative beverage options that focus on bold and innovative flavor. Their entrepreneurial drive led the brewery to deliver notable craft beer brands 2XIPA, Pumking and Blackwater Dessert Stouts. Now, the Chautauqua Lake-area staple continues that approach with its new line, Southern Tier Cider Works.

“Our goal at Southern Tier is to always provide the best craft option for any beverage occasion,” said Founder Phin DeMink. “At our taprooms and at our favorite bars, our fans are always telling us that they’re looking for a cider option. We love ciders too, so for us it was a natural fit to go down this path and do it in a way that gives drinkers a few different varieties that are super flavorful and meet their preferences.”

Southern Tier Cider Works Unfiltered Apple, Rosé Hibiscus and Honey Ginger first left the brewery in mid-February in 6-pack 12-ounce cans and draft. The ciders will be available at bars and in stores across New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and also available at Southern Tier taprooms in Lakewood (NY), Pittsburgh (PA) and Cleveland (OH). For more information and to locate the ciders near you, visit SouthernTierCider.com. Photos courtesy of Southern Tier Cider Company.


2 Towns Ciderhouse Releases Serious Scrump Imperial Seasonal

Last month, 2 Towns Ciderhouse released the 2019 vintage of its much-loved Imperial Seasonal… Serious Scrump! In quintessential 2 Towns fashion, Serious Scrump takes the traditional English ‘scrumpy’ style and gives it a Northwest twist.

Historically, scrumpy ciders are made with a blend of random apples leftover from the harvest (or stolen from orchards in some cases). The resulting cider is usually a strong, dry cider adored for its utilization of otherwise wasted apples.

2 Town’s modern twist takes a similarly eclectic blend of high acid Northwest apples, pressed before freezing the juice. Then, slowly over the course of several days, the intensified ‘ice juice’ is drained out, leaving a frozen slushy of water crystals behind. The resulting high sugar, deliciously rich ice juice provides a boost of apple character and the fuel needed for the English yeast to reach that “serious” high ABV of 11%!

Available now through May, this imperial cider is sure to keep you toasty all winter long. The cider will be available in 500ml bottles, 1/2 bbl and 1/6 bbl kegs to distributors throughout Oregon, Washington, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Chicago and parts of Minnesota and Montana. To find Serious Scrump near you and learn more about 2 Towns Ciderhouse, visit them online at 2TownsCiderhouse.com. Photos courtesy of 2 Towns Ciderhouse.


Vermont Cider Company Makes Three Big Brand Updates to Kick-off the Year

Vermont Cider Company kicked off the year announcing that they were releasing a juice based hard spritzer that uses all-natural ingredients this spring called Viva Spritz™. There will be three varieties available: Peach Mango, Raspberry Lime and Black Cherry, 98, 97 and 97 calories per 12-ounce sleek can respectively. Each style is 4.2% ABV, 2g of sugar, light, crisp and full of fruit flavor.

The liquids are created with fruit juice fermentation not sugar or grain like most of the market leaders which is why they chose spritz not seltzer to describe the product. Vermont Cider Company believes the juice fermentation provides a more natural taste profile and strong competitive advantage.

“As the alternative to beer category shifts and changes, we at Vermont Cider Company need to keep innovating to stay relevant,” said Terry Hopper, Vice President of Sales. “Working with juice is something we are very comfortable with from the cider side so developing a juice based hard fruit spritzer was a natural transition for us. We feel the juice base creates a more sessionable and better tasting alternative.”

Bridget Blacklock, Vice President of Marketing added, “We decided on the name Viva Spritz because of the zest for life the consumers drinking these beverages have and the name Viva evokes those same emotions. We are super proud of how the packaging turned out and how it reflects the feel of the brand!”

Available nationally at the beginning of this Spring, the 12-ounce sleek cans will be available in Mixed Variety Sleek Can 6-packs and Peach Mango Sleek Can 6-packs. Both 6-packs will retail for $9.99-$10.99. Vermont Cider Company prides itself on the quality of their products and Viva Spritz is no exception, it drinks like a seltzer but is made like a wine to provide a healthier alternative that is sessionable and tasty!

Vermont Cider Company, producers of Wyder’s® Hard Cider, also announced that they will be offering cans as other brands are. The combination of consumer lifestyle trends and production capabilities have led to this shift for Wyder’s. The change started this past fall with the discontinuation of their Pear and Raspberry 22-ounce bottle and replacing them with the 19.2-ounce can, which has had great reception from retailers and consumers.

This year, Wyder’s will be launching a “Fruit Basket” six-pack variety pack with 12-ounce sleek cans that includes two cans of their popular styles Pear, Raspberry and Prickly Pineapple. Because of Wyder’s dedication to offering fruit-forward styles, they thought “Fruit-Basket” was the perfect name to pay homage to the brand’s history.

“Our fans are active people so we wanted to give them a package that fit their lifestyle better,” said Blacklock. “Additionally, our retailer and distributor partners have been asking us to consider can packages for some time and with updates to our production capabilities we knew this was the right time.”

Wyder’s will still be available in 6-pack 12-ounce brown bottles for all styles, and the Wyder’s Fruit Basket will have a slow, continued roll out focused on West Coast markets. 19.2-ounce cans have already started replacing the 22-ounce brown bottles. Check out the Wyder’s product locator to see what is available in your market.

Vermont Cider Company’s brand, Woodchuck® Hard Cider, was the last to release some news this past month. Woodchuck has taken a new approach to their liquids with styles like Bubbly Pearsecco, Bubbly Rose and Sangria. This year, fans will see the release of two new styles: Sippin’ Citrus and Mimosa. These new varieties will both be sold individually in 6-packs in select markets, in addition they will each be featured separately in the Woodchuck can variety 12-pack with new graphics that will showcase these new styles.

Sippin’ Citrus is a grapefruit hopped cider that pairs the juice of the common eating apple with grapefruit and cascade hops. While Mimosa features citrus of a different kind and pays homage to everyone’s favorite breakfast drink. Because of the Orange Juice used to make the liquid, you will need to give the can a slight shake before you enjoy. Both styles are 5.5% ABV.

We are very excited about both of these styles,” said Blacklock. “Sippin’ Citrus is one we have been waiting for the right time to use, and when John, our cider maker, brought us Mimosa we knew this was the perfect follow-up to our other well received wine styles. We also knew we had to call out the new styles in the variety packs more prominently this year based on the feedback we were receiving from fans and retailers. People want to know what’s inside! We get it.”

As mentioned, both styles will be available in variety packs nationally; Sippin’ Citrus starting in March and Mimosa in June. Sippin’ Citrus 6-packs will be available starting in March, as well, but in select markets; and Mimosa 6-packs will be available starting in May in select markets. Make sure to check Woodchuck.com for all the information.

Photos provided by Vermont Cider Company.


Badger State Brewing Launches New Cider Brand

Badger State Brewing announced a new hard cider line of products to be introduced in 2020. The ciders will be available at the facility for patrons and distributed throughout Northeastern Wisconsin shortly thereafter.

“Cider has been around for thousands of years and is a natural extension of our current production facility and Badger State brands,” said Andrew Fabry, President & Founder of the brewery. “People enjoy options within the brands they trust for quality and novelty. We’re extremely committed to continuing being leaders in this beverage segment in our home market.”

Hard ciders are naturally gluten-free making the facility even more accommodating to visitors not able to consume beer. Badger State will source the apples from local presses in the Lakeshore and Door County regions of Wisconsin.

For more information about Badger State Brewing Co. and to get updated when the cider is released, visit BadgerStateBrewing.com. Photos courtesy of Badger State Brewing.


Eat This…

Drink That…

Cider Pickled Onions            
From Dish Works via Cider Culture

The Bigger, Better Cider Cocktail
From Nick Bustillos of Weather Up in article by Sara Fontenot of Cidercraft Magazine

Photo Credit: Dish Works

Credit: Cidercraft Magazine