Why Hard Cider?
Time to blog about all things cider! Wait, what's a blog? Ok, I need to think quick and break the ice. Got it! Awesome picture of a dog in a BCC tee! I think this is going well! As an inaugural blog entry, let's get nostalgic, start at the beginning and answer the most asked cider question: Why hard cider?
Your great, great grandpappy made and drank it!
There's much debate on when and where hard cider first originated; however, it's thought to be the original alcoholic beverage. The name cider remains relatively unchanged across languages and across continents. While juice is the non-alcoholic fruit beverage, cider is known the world over as a fermented drink with alcohol. The first settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony drank consumed over a barrel of cider for every man woman and child! Cider was valued because the alcohol rendered it safe for consumption (killed bacteria). Nowadays, it's valued for it's wonderful, timeless flavor (and alcohol content). Cider is truly the original American beverage!
A misunderstood beverage that appeals to many.
When we first started down the path of hard cider I must admit that I was not a fan of cider. In fact, my perception was that American cider is super sweet and artificial tasting. I also thought, "Why does cider taste like this? Did early European ciders taste like this? How about our founding fathers cider"? My first taste of "real" cider was in early 2012 while living in Cambridge, MA. Bantam Ciderworks had just launched Wunderkind. It tasted nothing like mainstream "American" hard cider on grocery store shelves. The refreshingly dry, light, crisp cider with natural apple taste was more in line with true colonial style, American cider. So I started fermenting cider in our tiny apartment just outside of Boston. As I researched, I found that most mainstream ciders are back-sweetened with high fructose corn syrup and natural flavorings added to restore apple flavor. This results in a monotone sugary flavor with artificial aftertaste - everything I disliked about mainstream ciders! We found a better way, as did others, which we'll discuss is future posts. Cideries started popping up across the US furthering the notion that we weren't alone on this quest for real cider.
So many flavors, so little time!
Nat West of Reverend Nat's Hard Cider on the West Coast was blazing a path towards not only real cider, but real unique ciders. The cider flavors that he crafted from his garage incorporated ingredients like herbs, spices, peppers, fruit and multi-strain ferments. Much like Nat, we founded BCC in my garage in 2013 and experimented with a wide variety of yeasts and ingredients. At the time, purist philosophy surrounding cider making, similar to Reinheitsgebot in brewing beer, dictated cider only be made from apples and yeast. The craft brewing revolution on it's quest for high quality beer with unique flavors has had a huge impact on shaping the cider industry. The modern American hard cider movement caught wind in sails and has bucked all mainstream trends. This is due largely to the wide-spread support of real ciders with unique character by unique people like you! Hard cider is not a trend, it's a movement. It's here to stay.