It’s a beautiful day outside. The Red Sox are doing well. The Bruins are almost in the playoffs. The Celtics, ah, well, let’s focus on the positive.
Whatever your excuse (as if you really needed one) for a drink, we have the perfect one.
Just in time for summer, Angry Orchard has just released its Cider House Collection so we recently caught up with cider maker David Sipes to find out how he came up with the recipes for the new collection, how it differs from traditional ciders and what goes into creating the perfect cider.
The Cider House Collection includes Angry Orchard Iceman,inspired by traditional Quebec ice ciders, and Angry Orchard Strawman, influenced by European farmhouse ciders. Both wood-aged ciders are served in individual, 750ml corked bottles and are 10 percent ABV.
“The cider market has really seen an exciting resurgence with the success of crisp and dry ciders,” Sipes said. “That inspired us to create unique styles for cider lovers. When we were thinking about the new recipes, we were inspired by traditional cultures particularly in northern France and the English countryside where farmhouse styles exist. These styles have earthy qualities creating more character.”
Similar to how vintners make wine, both ciders are produced from unique cider making techniques including perfecting apple blends, wood aging and fermentation methods.
“The Iceman is along the lines of an ice cider from Quebec where the juices are frozen and then fermented resulting in concentrated sugars and deeper, richer flavors,” Sipes said. “There is a nice fresh apple note with other notes of caramel and toffee. Within the realm of the Angry Orchard portfolio, what sets us apart is that we use European apples primarily, which add a lot of complexity. We have taken that a step further with the Cider House Collection to deliver that complexity, which results in a higher alcohol content and wine like characteristics.”
The Angry Orchard Strawman is a farmhouse cider that Sipes said tastes “like a dry Riesling unlike the Iceman that tastes more like a fuller bodied Chardonnay.”
What makes the perfect cider? “For me, it’s the perfect balance of fruitiness and acidity,” Sipes said. “The cider should be bright in clarity so it looks like wine with bubbles with a fresh apple taste and some acidity on the finish. Balance and complexity are both important. The Cider House Collection is really for any cider lover who is looking for something new and different made with care and quality ingredients.”
The Angry Orchard brand was released in 2011 by Boston Beer Co. For more information, visit www.AngryOrchard.com.