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: August, 2016
Aug 31, 2016

Flag Hill Farm makers of what they call Vermont Organic Hard Cider, is fully off the grid, certified organic, are makers of both cider and Pomme-de-vie AND I bet you haven't heard of it! So join me in this intimate conversation with the cidermaker, Sebastian Lousada as we discuss his journey to cider and the products he makes today! Sebastian originally hails from the UK, but he has been making cider before 1984. Back then they planted 50 standard trees the first year, just wanting to have apples. As they were living on top of Flag Hill a high mountain location, they decided to plant 100 more trees in 1989. Being certified organic encouraged he and his wife Sabra Ewing to begin selling cider. In 1990, they became bonded as a winery. Sebastian mentions that back then people had no idea what cider was or that it even had alcohol in it. Thus they decided to spell their product as Cyder, with a "Y" to differentiate it from other products. Flag Hill's ciders are available in VT, MA and throughout New England. "On a good year we make 4000 gallons of cider. Because we only want to use apples that we have grown." Flag Hill Farm's Cider • Sapsucker - named a Belgian Beer Style 9% • Vermont Still Cyder 8.5% • Vermont Sparkling Cider 9.5% Pomme-de-Vie, Flag Hill Farm's was inspired by the French apple brandy Calvados. Contact Flag Hill Farm P.O. Box 31, Vershire VT 05079 Telephone: 802-685-7724 email: website: Mentions in this chat Annie Proulx author of Cider: Making, Using & Enjoying Sweet & Hard Cider, 3rd Edition Lew Nichols co authored the above book with Annie Proulx. Julian Temperley Sebastian visited in the UK Ruby Wines is Flag Hill's distributor If you like this chat and please join in and support Cider Chat's quest to continue to keep the chat thriving, go to Cider Chat's Patreon Page. It is easy, secure and makes a bushel of difference for keeping this podcast rolling out future shows like this one with Sebastian! Follow Cider Chat on twitter @ciderchat

Aug 24, 2016

Colin Davis is the lead ciderman at Shacksbury, a cidery based in northern Vermont in the town of Shoreham. Shacksbury was incorporated in 2013 and began selling ciders in 2014. Unlike many new startups that focus locally, the decision was made early on, to sell broadly.


The immediate success of Shacksbury can be credited to both Colin Davis and his business partner David Dolginow. They hit the road running by creating a formidable team with the likes of Simon Day from the UK's Once Upon a Tree and Ainara Otaño, a Basque cider maker from Petritegi .

The Basque collaboration with Ainara is now bottled in Spain.  Shacksbury's Arlo, Farmhouse and Classic ciders are all blended with a Spanish base cider and their own Vermont cider.

There is also a base blend that is pre fermented in the UK and shipped to the US.  Simon and Colin work with the Dragon Orchard in England, a 40 acre orchard and decide together what apples go in the base cider.

Don't be fooled into thinking that this is all imported cider. Sunrise Orchards is a local Vermont orchard that they work with, as well as, having planted their own trees with scion wood from the Poverty Lane Orchards.

Lost Apple Project,  using local apples found on "feral trees" in the Vermont backwoods. As they find the perfect apple that taste just right they are trying to propagate new trees.

What is new for Shacksbury?

  • A tasting room in being built and should be ready for 2017.
  • A new selection of canned ciders is in the works for 2017

Contact Shacksbury

Mentions in this chat

  • John Bunker _ listen to episode 16 with John and 28 where John details his Apple Identification tips
  • Pick Cider is the United States Association of Cider Makers campaign to get American to pick cider to have with their Thanksgiving meal. Stay tuned to what is sure to be a very fun and productive campaign.
  • Eric Bordelet
  • Along Came A Cider recent 3 part blog on Vermont cideries - here is the link to Part 3 with mentions of Shacksbury.

Please share this podcast with your cider loving friends.


Follow on twitter @ciderchat



Aug 17, 2016

Jennifer Smith the Executive Director of New York Cider Association and Sara Grady Founder of NY Cider Week discuss the state's commitment to cider and upcoming events.

I sat down for a chat with these two women who are cider beacons for the Empire State. We were all attending Cider Feast 2016 a Food Karma Project created by restauranteur and all around good guy and one of my picks for NYC's Best of the Best Publicans around award Jimmy Carbone of Jimmy's No. 43.

CiderFeast was held alongside the East River near the upper East Village. We sat on three chairs with a bottle of Bone Dry Cider from the Brooklyn Cider House. With cups in hand we kept on talking through the noise of a biplane taking off on the river besides us and the sounds of the city.

The New York Cider Association is comprised of a 9 member board. The members are growers, cidermakers and work on a sustainable farming culture.

The New York Cider Association is a non for profit.  It has memberships for cideries producing between:

  • 1 and 5K Gallons
  • 5 - 25K
  • 25 - 250K
  • and 250 and up

Additionally, NYCA has memberships for growers, associated industries such as distributors and equipment suppliers, cideries-in-planning, and enthusiasts.

NYCA' cider goal is increase tourism, cider and apple marketing, provide assistance with value added capital grants, and work towards making it easier for cideries to get licensed.

The Association does get help of the  Empire State Development

Cider Week in New York grew out of the Cider Project a Hudson Valley an Apple Exchange with NY and French cideries (listed below). CiderWeekNY was started in 20111. The NY Association grew out of Cider week.

What is cider and how is the Association informing consumers?

  • By working with professionals in the beverage trade and working towards making them ambassadors for cider

Jenn Smith's tips on forming a Cider Association:

  • Being open to a diversity of communication styles.
  • Build time into your life for the spontaneous and important educational conversations.

Anticipate opportunities for bringing together your cidermakers, showcasing their services to the consumer audience.

Cider Weeks in New York State

Contact Jennifer Smith, Executive Director of New York Cider Association


Contact Sara Grady, Vice President of Programs | Glynwood


Mentions in this chat

Sabine Hrechdakian, who produced Cider Week with Sara Grady in the first few years, she is a partner in Wassail, a cider bar in NYC.

Alec Steimetz of Buskey Cider in Richmond Virginia, provided an update on the new Richmond Virgina cidery Buskey Cider. Listen to Alec's chat Episode 023 via iTunes

Ria will be taping an chat with Normandy cidermaker Eric Bordelet this September. Become a Patron of Cider Chat via and be part of the behind the scenes taping of this very special chat with this world renown cider man.

Aug 10, 2016

Emily Ritchie is the Executive Director of the Northwest Cider Association a region covering Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and British Columbia.  This region's cider scene is on fire and growing!

The Northwest Cider Association was formed in 2010. The following Washington State cideries listed below initially kick started the Association.

Soon after Oregon cideries began joining and now the current list of cideries is around 300 members and growing!

Emily's Background

  • Emily has deep roots to the UK via her father who is from England. After a trip to Herefordshire she returned to the US with an even greater drive to get involved in her region's cider scene. She was most recently the Program Manager at the Association for a year and a half and then moved into the Executive Director position when the Sherrye Wyatt, stepped down. 

What is the goal of the association?

  • To educate and keep helping move the cider revival forward

What is apple cider per the Northwest Cider Association?

  • Cider is a fermented apple juice

3 Events mentioned in this chat

Washington Cider Week takes place in September every year from the 8 to the 18th

  • There are so many events, that this event is actually more than seven days
  • Washington Cider Week is launched in conjunction with the Seattle Cider Summit -

BC Cider Week 2016 is October 15-22

  • The British Columbia week of cider kicks off at Seed Cider, near Victoria with events throughout the region

Cider Rite of Spring - large cider fest in Portland

  • Saturday, March 19, 2016
  • 12:00pm 5:00pm

Contact info for Emily Ritchie:

Follow the Northwest Cider Association on Twitter @nwcider

Mentions in this chat: Kurant Cider is part of the Cider Chat's #CiderGoingUp Campaign. As such I happily share news and updates for the Pennsylvania cidery. Go to the link and listen to Joe Getz of Kurant share his story of the cidery. Find a link to their website and join their new cider club The Scratters ( a swap, meet up and learn about cider group).

Are you a commercial cidermaker? For the cost of 2-bottles per month you can join the CiderGoing Up Campaign too. Join in via the Cider Chat Patreon Page and Help Keep This Chat Thriving!

Aug 3, 2016

Quebrada del Chucao is a family owned cidery in Villarica (vee aree-ka), a village located in southern Chile. The Nahrwold family along with cousin Diego Rivera have been making cider commercially since 2012. Villarica is located approximately 746 kilometers/463 miles south of the capital of Santiago. In view of the town is a volcano that Diego will describe during this chat as active and illuminated at night "very mystical with lots of local lore'. Says Diego on making cider at the base of the Villarrica volcano. "We can't do much if the volcano explodes, apart from running"


Diego helped me interpret and understand the cidery's name; Quebrada means a water creek. And Chucao is a small hopping bird (it doesn't fly) that stays on the forest floor. Look at the label on Quebrada del Chucao's cider below.

Diego is a winemaker full time and heads to Villarica once or twice a month to check the cider. The cidery sits on his Uncle Jorge Nahrwold farm. His son Matías Nahrwold, is Diego's cousin and they work together at the cidery.

Chile grows many different varieties of apples. Brought over by the Europeans, the country side does have many old apple trees that are still being discovered. Locals have their own names for apples such as the Roja Chica, which Diego discusses in this chat. It is a small apple that is high in tannins and polyphenols.

Quebrada del Chucao Ciders

Currently Quebrada del Chucao is producing 7000 bottles of cider in 750ML bottles. The goal is to increase production to 24,000 bottles in the next few years. Apple are bought from local orchards and are then pressed and blended. There is very little sugar added and a bit of yeast. Says Diego, "The goal is slow production and keeping the quality of the cider."

They use the Champagne method for making their cider or as they call it Sidra Espumante Brut Nature, which Deigo provides details of in this chat.

And, Quebrada del Chucao is experimenting with a Poire or Perry.

The Chilean cider scene is growing. There is currently talks on forming a Chilean Cider Association to promote local cider and educate the public. Cider in Chile can not have an abv higher than 8% which Diego says is a bit of a drawback.

Quebrada del Chucao info


Follow Cider Chat on twitter @ciderchat