New Belgium Brewing has almost completed their Asheville, North Carolina brewery build. With that project near completion, the brewery is already looking into a new chapter. Hard cider.
In July, ever-so-quietly, New Belgium released small batches of Side Trip Series cider. Draft appeared in market in Asheville at a special debut event at the well known Thirsty Monk, then cans at local retailers.
Surprised? We were too.
New Belgium has excelled over the years in the ale and wild ale categories. Fat Tire is a beer household name. The wood cellar at the Fort Collins, Colorado brewery is a pilgrimage for many. What does a brewery do when they have done so many outstanding things? They start the groundwork on what looks to be a future cidery.
Right now there are two ciders in the Side Trip Series. Dry, and Semi-Dry. The difference in the two is basically the amount of residual sugar left after fermentation. The “dry” cider has the least amount of sugar. Both styles are clean and refreshing.
New Belgium is canning in Vermont, with the help of renowned cider maker, Woodchuck. The apples, are New York and New England apples. In the future, the brewery would like to use all local North Carolina apples. According to the state’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the demand is already so high for the state’s apples, a national cider program by New Belgium would require new orchards. That’s around a 5 year grow time.
If New Belgium goes national with this cider program, the brewery mentions they will end up adding a full blown cidery facility. That build is a bit down the road right now.
In our opinion, these ciders are already a home run. A fantastic showing of versatility and quality from New Belgium.
If you are in the Asheville area anytime soon, you’ll find these cans exclusively at select retailers.
Woodchuck June & Juice has joined the cider maker’s Out on a Limb Series. Each cider in the series is a one-off experiment, featuring everything from hops to hot peppers.
Woodchuck June & Juice welcomes the hot weather with a cider featuring juniper berries. If you have had gin or a gin cocktail before, you’ve tasted juniper. The berries have a piney flavor and hints of citrus.
The Cider Makers filled our custom extraction tank with juniper berries, rose petals, and orange peels, yielding a fresh botanical aroma. June & Juice has a refreshing semi-sweet apple taste with notes of juniper and citrus, a perfect alternative to your Friday night G&T!
Woodchuck June & Juice is a 12 ounce bottle offering, for a limited time. The Out on a Limb Series 6 pack holder is the same all year, so check the next of the bottle
Angry Orchard The Old Fashioned has joined the cidery’s new Orchard’s Edge Series. A new series dedicated to creating an more complex cider flavor.
Angry Orchard The Old Fashioned is aged on charred oak bourbon barrel staves, with dried tart cherries and California grown navel orange peel. Apple varieties include Gala and Fuji.
The cider has a delicate citrus aroma with hints of vanilla and bourbon flavor from the wood aging process. The Old Fashioned has lasting tannins and a full, round mouthfeel.
Angry Orchard The Old Fashioned joins Knotty Pear in kicking off this new series. Each cider in the series is aged on oak, and will have not only apples in the recipe, but pears, and oranges. Additionally, each cider is aged on oak.
Style: Cider (w/ Tart Cherries. Barrel Aged. Bourbon.)
Availability: 12oz Bottles, Draft. Year-Round
Release: March, 2016
Angry Orchard Knotty Pear is joining the new “Orchard’s Edge” cider series.
Angry Orchard Knotty Pear is a blend of domestic culinary pears, including Bartlett, Doyenne de Comice, Bosc, and D’Anjou, plus U.S. grown apples.
The cider leads with ripe apple, baked pear aromas and spicy, herbal hints from the cardamom. The pears also give the cider a subtle spiced essence along with notes of citrus and mint. Aged on American oak, this cider has a pleasant, dry finish.
The Orchard’s Edge Series will feature more complex ciders, aimed at the advancing tastebuds of fans of the category. Each of the ciders are aged in American oak, and will include non-apple fruits like oranges and pears.
Angry Orchard Knotty Pear is a year-round release.
Woodchuck Hot Cha Cha Cha Out has joined the cider maker’s Out on a Limb Series. The series is a rotating six pack of one-off and experimental ciders.
Woodchuck Hot Cha Cha Cha isn’t your basic hard apple cider. It is infused with chili peppers. Trust me, there is a constant reminder you are drinking this one. Those of you that love heat, don’t miss this.
Hard cider made with bittersweet apples and infused with Bird’s Eye Chile Peppers. The peppers compliment the bittersweet cider apples and bring out a sweet taste up front with a hot and spicy bite at the finish. Lookin’ for some extra heat? Grab a bottle, take a sip, and let’s do the HOT CHA CHA CHA!
Woodchuck Hot Cha Cha Cha is available in 12oz bottles. While the label changes, the six pack does not.
Angry Orchard Stone Dry Cider is the most recent release in the cidery’s Core Collection.
Angry Orchard Stone Dry is made from a selection of French apple varieties to create the crisp dry flavor of the cider — the driest of all Angry Orchard’s Core Collection ciders. Based on the English-style of dry ciders, Stone Dry is an American interpretation of the traditional cider.
“At Angry Orchard, we’re always experimenting with ingredients and recipes. With Stone Dry, we wanted to capture the heart of traditional bittersweet apple varieties by showcasing their naturally occurring tannins,” said Ryan Burk, Angry Orchard cider maker. “Drinkers who are beginning to explore the drier end of the craft cider spectrum will enjoy Stone Dry for its full tannic mouthfeel, perceived dryness and robust bittersweet aromatic notes, much like a very ripe apple.”
Angry Orchard Stone Dry is available nationwide in 12 ounce bottled 6-packs. Limited amounts will be available on draft.
Greenbush Barrel Aged Vanderbush