Written by Sara Lilkas
Fall in the Northeast means one thing, apples. We love going to orchards and getting apples, literally as fresh as they come, eating apple cider doughnuts, and drinking apple cider too! With the crisp feeling of fall in the air, what could be better? While many of us in the Northeast count down the days until apple season is back upon us, there is one apple product perfect for fall that often gets bypassed, and that’s hard cider.
Since the early nineties, hard cider has had its first big popularity push since Prohibition. With Woodchuck Hard Cider from Vermont leading the way in developing the hard cider category. As a beverage choice, hard ciders are crisp, refreshing, and becoming a popular drink option when sitting down for dinner. Hard cider has also gained momentum as a “beer-like” option for those who do not like the taste of beer or who have a gluten allergy (most are gluten free!)
Even though hard ciders are not a seasonal item (with the exception of any limited releases put out) anything featuring apples in my opinion is a “fall item.” Unfortunately, hard ciders are often overshadowed by that other fall seasonal alcoholic beverage, pumpkin beer (not that I’m trying to take away from the pumpkin beers of fall, trust me I love them!). Plus, since the Northeast is known for its apples, many popular hard ciders are produced in the area! Check out some of our favorites below!
One of the first Cider Houses to start up after prohibition, Woodchuck Cider moved around a bit before finding their permanent home in Middlebury, VT. They essentially restarted the cider category in 1991. Starting with the Woodchuck Amber, they have since developed a line of seven core ciders including flavors like raspberry and pear in addition to their original Amber and granny smith. Woodchuck also releases seasonal flavors for fall, winter, and summer, as well as, their “out on a limb” line which explores the boundaries of what you would traditionally consider cider. If you are a fan of apple pie make sure to grab the fall seasonal Fall Harvest, it taste like apple pie in a bottle!
Probably the most widely known brand of hard cider, Angry Orchard, is produced in Pennsylvania and Ohio and their innovation Cider House is located in Walden, NY. The Cider House is located on their orchard in the Hudson Valley and it is where they are constantly pushing the boundaries of traditional cider processes. Angry Orchard currently has five core flavors, two seasonal ciders (one for fall/winter and one for spring/summer), their artisanal cider house collection, and the Orchard’s Edge collection featuring some of the innovative ciders developed at the orchard in Walden, NY. With so many cider flavors to choose from it’s impossible to choose just one! Luckily the fall variety pack features the fall seasonal CinnFul Apple as well as the five core flavors. So which one is your favorite?
Nine Pin Cider not only hails from the heart of downtown Albany, but their cidery on Broadway is where all their cider is produced\. Nine Pin cider is a celebration of all that New York State has to offer, sourcing all their apples and fruit from orchards in the Capital Region and the Hudson Valley. In addition to distributing their product (currently Nine Pin can be found in Upstate New York, NYC, and Boston) they have a tasting room where they rotate between their staple ciders and their specialty craft ciders. Currently they are partnering with Ommegang brewery from Cooperstown, NY to create The Lion’s Share featuring their Belgian abbey ale yeast.
So are you ready to join the cider revolution? Woodchuck, Angry Orchard, and Nine Pin Ciders are available at most Price Chopper and Market 32 locations. Call your local store for availability. Please enjoy responsibly.