Wooden barrels are so 2014. What is old is new again as Castle Hill Cider has brought to the states an ancient fermenting vessel that was used for over 7000 years. Qvevri or Kvevri as it is called on this Virginia estate is best known to winemakers in the Georgia Republic. [caption id="attachment_308" align="alignnone" width="178"] Kvevri upon arrival from Georgia Republic[/caption] Where is the Georgia Republic? It is in Europe and lies to the south of Russia and to the north of Turkey.The Georgia Republic has a sprawling cave monastery from the 12th century called Vardzia and a wine growing region of Kakheti. Find out more about Georgia's Qvevri traditional winemaking. In this episode I chat with Cellar Master Geoff Robinson of Castle Hill Cider. Stuart Madany is the Cidermaker at Castle Hill Cider. [caption id="attachment_310" align="alignnone" width="300"] l to r - Geoff Robinson and Stuart Madany[/caption] Castle Hill Cider imported 9 kvevris, with only one breaking in transit. Kvevri range in size from 250 gallons to 60 and 75 gallons and are buried in the ground with only the opening accessible via a small chimney. [caption id="attachment_314" align="alignnone" width="178"] Placing the Kvevri[/caption] Castle Hill Cider 6065 Turkey Sag Road Keswick, Virginia USA 22947 phone: 434-296-0047 email: email@example.com website: castlehillcider.com Twitter: @castlehillcider [caption id="attachment_309" align="alignnone" width="178"] Ready - Set -Kvevri![/caption] Via the Castle Hill Cider website you can order the Levity Cider that was made in the kvevri. [caption id="attachment_311" align="alignnone" width="178"] Levity Cider with shellfish[/caption] Find out more about the Albemarle Pippin Apple via Thomas Jefferson Monticello Link to Cider Guide and head to Virginia and follow the Cider Trail? The Cider Swag Contest is open till January 16, 2016. Find the official rules on this page Cider Swag Contest
The Hague aka Den Haag
Den Haag is best known for its International Court of Justice, and because of the presence of so many international embassies, it is a hot spot for food and drinks.
Margot recommended in The Hague the following 2 bars serving cider.
Find Het Ciderhuis via Facebook
on Twitter @HetCiderhuis
Find out more about Beer Cider[caption id="attachment_46" align="alignnone" width="300"] Leonard Koningswik cidermaker of Beer Cider[/caption] CIDER Act passed December 18, 2015
Cider Investment and Development through Excise Tax Reduction (CIDER) Act (H.R. 600) was introduced by Representatives Earl Blumenauer democratic and Chris Collins. a republican from New York state's 27th congressional district and democratic Senator Charles Schumer of New York who sponsored the CIDER Act (S. 1459).
Which goes to show you that Cider unites both major parties in the US. Woot woot! And we all know that a good chat is time well spent.
Do know that this is a Tax legislation thing - that business minded people work towards to help reduce the tax burden.
Prior to this Act cider that was carbonated by the cidermaker or naturally (as in bottle conditioned) could be taxed at the champagne rate of 3.30 or 3/40/gallon if the carbonation level was too high.
Yikes! Imagine being a small batch cidermaker and finding the most delicious cider that you have ever made is now going to be so expensive that only us nerd cider drinkers will buy it.
so the CIDER Act has increased the carbonation level for hard cider! woot woot
And it now includes pears in the definition of "hard cider"
I am not sure what the pears think about that - I think - apple trees and pear tree could give a hoot about our human taxations.
And now cider is has boosted it's alcohol by volume (ABV) to surpass 7%. It now has the range of at least 1% and 8.5%. Lets just hope the big chemical companies don't get involved and start making apple tree hybrids on steroids that boost sugar content.
In all it was a boom for cider in the US.
Personally, I like both still and sparkling cider. It is all good. And quite exciting.
It is now up to the cidermakers to run with this new Act and continue to grow as an industry overall And for cider consumers to let the cidermakers know what you want. I am sure as the new year and years to come we will be re-visiting his topic. In all it is a new playing field and quite exciting.
Tip of the tree to the US Association of Cider Makers.Enter the Cider Chat Swag Contest
Hanging out in the eastern part of Amsterdam?
Stop in at Club de Keet Say hi the big hare that is this dive bars namesake: Keet
Angry Orchard is the #1 cider brand in the US and there is a very good reason why it holds this coveted place. Undoubtedly, being a subsidiary of Boston Beer Company means connections to Jim Koch’s brewery empire a.k.a. Samuel Adams Boston Lager. But to think that Angry Orchard is merely tapping into the US cider mania would be short sighted.
Boston Beer Co. has been researching cider since the early 2000s with the help of Alan Tringham, a retired cidermaker from the European brand known as Bulmers. I had the opportunity to meet Grant Wood from Boston Beer Co. who was working with Tringham at the time to “create the perfect cider for the American public”. They both stopped by my cidermaking workshop at CiderDays back in 2004. Hoo wee! Imagine presenting cidermaking to the likes of the now late Alan Tringham.
Anyhoo…the first cider brand for Boston Beer Co. was known as Hard Core. That brand was shelved, and a few moments later we were seeing Angry Orchard commercials during the Super Bowl! Bingo! The new brand was taking hold with its flagship cider Crisp Apple.
Take note cidermaker wannabees….to think that a brand such as Angry Orchard would sit on it laurels with what many would consider an introductory cider made to entice a public that is still wrangling with cider is not time well spent.
Angry Orchard led by newly minted Head Cidermaker Ryan Burk and Assistant Cidermaker Anna Hasan is and will continue to move mountains in Ciderville! Listen to this episode and hear Ryan’s story and what we can all expect from Angry Orchard. He and Anna have already started pushing the envelope with the likes of Stone Dry (5.5%) a new cider now available in six packs.
You have to visit the Walden location to taste select drafts that may or may not make it into the mass market.
What to expect at the Tasting Room?
A very large, yet inviting room with windows that overlook the orchard.
If the weather is right, there is outdoor seating and a gas lit fire pit.
Each visitor of drinking age, receives one token that can be used for (3) complimentary samples in the tasting room. Cider styles available include the flagship cider, Crisp Apple (5%) and several other core offerings, as well as ciders exclusive to the tasting room. Such as the house cider – Farm Cider – an unfiltered cider made with apples from the orchard’s 2014 harvest.
Listen to what Angry Orchard is looking for the future.
Links to cidermakers mentioned in this podcast
Farnum Hill – Steve Wood
Ria’s book Recommendation on the Golden Gate Park’s Boss Gardener
Here’s how you enter the Cider Chat Swag Contest
The list of winners for these prizes will be on this page by January 31, 2016