Cider Chat

Interviewing cidermakers importers, orchardists, foodies, farmers and cider enthusiasts around the world. Let’s delve into the semantics of cider…or is it hard cider, cidre, sidra or fermented apple juice? The truth is out there in Ciderville and we are going to find it. We toast in celebration of cider; As a libation, a gift from the gods, a taste of terroir, and a hard pressed good time. Ready to quench your thirst? Grab a glass and join this chat! See you in Ciderville!
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Now displaying: March, 2016
Mar 30, 2016

Leonard Koningswijk owner/cidermaker of Bear Cider in the Netherlands is turning his country towards cider one palate at a time. The idea was sprouted at his family home in the rural village of Beerze on the border of Germany. (Beerze means bear in Dutch.) Like many cider folk he saw the bounty of apples laden on the trees and thought something must be done with those apples. Via the internet he learned how-to press apples and make cider and took a course with Peter Mitchell on cidermaking. 


He knew his country was great for growing apples, but there are not any large volume of cider apples being grown. (Note this is changing as the demand for cider increases, most notably south east of Amsterdam where UWE Betuwe Cider has an orchard.)


The cider revival is slowly gaining speed in Amsterdam, Utrecht, Den Haag, and Rotterdam. Listen to Cider Chat episodes 002: Wouter Biljs | CiderCider, Rotterdam and 010-Margot Sanderse | Het Ciderhuis, Utrecht and see how two importers are making craft cider cool again.


In this chat, Leonard and I discuss how he makes cider, by importing apple juice from Herefordshire, England, the lack of cider apples in the Netherlands, and the uphill push to educate the public on the virtues of drinking cider.

Full show notes and photos at

on twitter @ciderchat



Mar 23, 2016

Alec Steinmetz, Will Correll and Matthew Meyer are sharing their story of starting an urban cidery. This is Part 1 of what will be an ongoing story of the start-up Buskey Cider of Richmond, Virginia.

 The cidermaking tanks arrived in February 2016.

  • 5 wine tanks
  • 4 brewing tanks, which are conical

They pitched the yeast for Buskey's first cider on March 16, 2016

  • 2 - 30 barrels tank pitched with one strain
  • 4- 15 barrel tanks all have different strains
  • 3- 4.2 barrel tanks for specialty ciders

Opening date is expect in late April when they hope to be serving  the first cider to the public. They are working towards a 20-24 day production time.

Full show notes and Alec's startup tips at

Follow on Twitter: @ciderchat

Mar 16, 2016

Getting to cider for Gregory Hall, was one part luck and a whole lot of beer. When his father John Hall founded the Chicago based Goose Island Brewery in 1988, it took only 3 years before Greg was at the helm of brewing.Twenty years later in 2011 the brewery would be sold to Anheuser Busch-B InBev. The 2011 sale set Greg free to move on to his next great adventure - Virtue Cider.

 I was curious to ask Greg about what a cidermaker should consider for the long run if they want to parlay their business to the next level as father Hall's did with Goose Island and Greg did with Virtue only 3 years later again - this time selling Virtue's majority stake to A-B InBev.

Obviously one must have a good product and as Greg tells it he looked to the European cidermakers for inspiration and direction. 

 "I went with my laundry list of question that I was use to asking at breweries,most of which were fairly technical and found out very quickly that I was asking the wrong questions.Traditional cider making is a multi generational effort. They sure as heck weren't measuring PH in 1830's"

 Find the full show notes to this chat at

 Follow this podcast on Twitter @ciderchat



Mar 9, 2016

Bill Bradshaw is a photographer, an author of three cider books and consider by many to be a Cider Ambassador for UK ciders.

 I met with Bill at the United States Association of Cider Makers annual conference in Portland Oregon in February 2016. Later that same day, Bill was to present an overview of UK ciders to the conference attendees. 

 For this chat I asked Bill to give us a peek on some of his highlights for the OMSI presentation and to discuss what a cider tourist might find or where to go when seeking ciders in the UK.

Find the full show notes at

Follow on Twitter @ciderchat

Mar 1, 2016

Curtis Sherrer is barreling aging single variety apples at Millstone Cellars. An old grist mill dating back to the 1850s houses the Tasting Room.

"If you are looking to save money, all you need is a barrel. You don't need chillers."

Instead of pressing multiple apples and creating the sweet cider that will then be fermenting - Curt keeps apple varieties separate until he finds the perfect balance

At the "Old Grist Mill" they use a cloth press on site that dates back to 1850s.

Says Curt, "Let's take apple juice and see how close we can get to making a chardonnay" of their goal in choosing to become a cidermaker.

Curt recommends looking at bending much like ones does with spices and ingredients: See what will make the most savory cider.

The learnings garnered from making cider from single variety apples, until the final blend are abundant. You will learn about:

- How maturity ( of the apple and cider) matters

- How does maceration change it? Maceration is what happens when you wait to press the pomace (crushed apples), letting the pomace sit for a bit, like 24 hours to 2 days or even longer.

- Learn the taste differences between free run apple juice where the pomace is barely pressed versus crushing and pressing immediately.

Find the full show notes and links to this episode at cider

Follow this podcast via Twitter @ciderchat