Hard Cider Production Resources
By: Denise M. Gardner
On January 13th, Penn State Extension hosted their first Hard Cider Production workshop at the Fruit Research and Extension Center (FREC) in Biglerville, PA. The day was filled with various speakers from New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia with perspectives from various Mid-Atlantic state hard cider industries. Topics were focused on the economics of hard cider production in the Mid-Atlantic, experiences with growing apples for hard cider production, how to produce hard cider, and orchard considerations for new hard cider apple variety growers.
The program was incredibly successful and included a tasting of 8 different hard ciders, emphasizing the variation in styles and flavor currently available on the market:
- Bellweather King Baldwin Hard Cider: With the least residual sugar, this light weight, well-balanced, dry cider had a lingering finish of citrus and apple flavors. For those getting into the industry, this is a good example of a well-made, clean hard cider.
- Distillary Lane Jefferson Hard Cider: One of the oakier ciders provided during the tasting, with prominent vanilla, oak and light apple flavors.
- Dupont Bouche Hard Cider: An amber color with a Brettanomyces aroma and flavor dominating the cider. Sweetness was well integrated and matched well with the barnyard flavors. A good example of Burgundian ciders.
- Eve’s Cidery Bittersweet Hard Cider: Floral with complementing cooked apple flavors, carbon dioxide was light and tasted less sweet than intended due to its tannic mouthfeel.
- Good Intent Good Charmat Hard Cider: A local, PA-produced cider with light petulance and butterscotch notes in addition to the apple juice aroma. Semi-sweet.
- Henney’s Vintage Hard Cider: This golden-yellow cider was the subject of much discussion. Flavors of Band-Aid and nailpolish dominated the nose, but had more apple flavor on the palate to supplement the acidic, acetic acid flavors.
- Big Hill Standard Hard Cider: Produced from a local cidery in PA, the light cooked apple favor of this cider was prominent with its sweetened mouthfeel.
- Bold Rock Hard Cider: A producer from New York that is producing a more commercial style of hard cider. This hard cider emphasized vanilla and light apple notes with a well-integrated and sweetened finish.
Attendees had many focused questions in various topic areas, which acknowledged the lack of resources available for the hard cider entrepreneur. The following lists a series of resources that were provided at this workshop that may be good starting points if you or your business is looking into hard cider production.
Consider Attending the Next Penn State Extension Hard Cider Production Workshop
This workshop focused on individuals that were thinking about or in the planning stages of building a business around hard cider production.
Text Books on Hard Cider Production
Online Publications for Apple Growers
Online Publications for Hard Cider Production
Cider Organizations and Conferences
Online Information or Websites
Other Extension Programs Useful for the Hard Cider Producer