Island Orchard Cider

News & Reviews

Wisconsin Foodie visits Island Orchard Cider

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Island Orchard Cider was featured in a segment on the January 21 airing of Wisconsin Foodie. If you missed it, here it is!

IOC featured in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel TAP Weekend “Fall Flavors”

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Take a taste of fall with these seasonal Wisconsin brews

Brut Apple Cider -Oak Aged featured as “Chardonnay-like Cider”

Island Orchard Dry Aged Oak Cider

After sipping more than a dozen sweet-leaning seasonals, this dry cider was a welcome reprieve. It’s a nice nod to cider’s origins (France), with a dry, subtly oak flavor closer to Chardonnay than the overly sweet, apple-juice-like ciders that fill store shelves today.

Tasting quote: “This is for people who don’t like the rotgut ciders.”

We made the Bucket List!!!

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Terry Milligan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel                         September 20, 2015

A culinary bucket list for fall

Terri Milligan

Walnuts top off this roasted carrot and squash soup.

10 food-centric things to do and eat this fall in Wisconsin

Autumn officially begins on Wednesday. While some will mourn the end of another warm season and the gradual march toward winter, there is much for food lovers to eagerly anticipate about the cooler season ahead.

This fall, vow to take full advantage and enjoy all the foods and food-related activities the season has to offer.

From must-use autumn produce to memorable culinary experiences, the items on this culinary bucket list should set you deliciously on your way.

In no particular order:

1. Go apple picking.

Sure, you can buy apples in a store. But nothing says autumn like picking your own apples right off the tree. Roast them, bake them or simply eat them raw. Apples are the quintessential fruit of fall.

Find a pick-your-own orchard near you. Information on apple types, plus recipes, can be found at here; the state’s apple growers offer recipes online.

2. Enjoy our state fruit — the cranberry.

Early settlers referred to this ruby-colored edible gem as the crane berry because of the blossom’s resemblance to the sandhill crane. Since 2004, this tart treat has held the official title of state fruit of Wisconsin.

This fall, for the 21st year, Wisconsin’s cranberry industry is projected to produce more cranberries than any other state, with a crop of more than 5 million barrels.

Cranberries freeze well for up to a year. Wash in cold water before using, but not before freezing. Do not thaw the berries. Follow the recipe directions by simply using frozen berries in place of fresh.

There are so many ways to use cranberries beyond the usual sauce for the Thanksgiving table. Two examples: a spiced rice pudding in which fresh berries are coupled with diced fresh apple; and a mustard butter for grilled salmon that uses the dried berries. Both of these, and many more recipes, can be found at

3. Get to the root of the matter.

Root vegetables, from beets to rutabagas, carrots to parsnips, are ripe for the digging come fall. Mashed, roasted or raw, root vegetables are tasty and nutritious.

Gather your favorites from the garden or farmers market (or grocery store) and store in a cool, dark humid room or root cellar. Root vegetables stored in the refrigerator should be kept in a paper or plastic bag in the crisper. Storing them uncovered makes the vegetables soft.

Use your favorite roots in a roasted vegetable galette, oven-roasted with a little honey, or in a sumptuous soup.

4. Rediscover brussels sprouts.

A member of the cabbage family, the diminutive brussels sprout is enjoying new popularity. Peak season begins in September and runs through mid-March. Lucky fall vegetable hunters may even find brussels sprouts still intact on the stalk at their favorite farmers market. Don’t be surprised to see both the traditional green version as well as a purple-hued variety.

Tender and sweet when roasted, brussels sprouts are crunchy and savory when used in a salad. Try shaving them into thin slices with a food processor or mandoline. Toss with diced seasonal fresh apples, pomegranate seeds and those last fresh herbs of the season for an unusual lettuce-free salad.

5. Bake a savory pie.

Pie baking is the perfect fall culinary activity. From apple to pumpkin, every cook has his or her favorite.

This year, expand your pie-making by adding a savory version to your pie-recipe repertoire. Let’s be honest; who wouldn’t like pie for dinner?

Hand pies are small, individual pies that work perfectly as a savory pie. Create a filling from your favorite winter squash like butternut or Hubbard combined with creamy goat cheese and fresh sage.

6. Make soup.

Ask 10 people what their favorite soup recipe is and you’ll come up with 10 different answers. Soup recipes are personal, with each cook making tweaks that they feel make their heartwarming concoction the best.

A carrot and ginger bisque is fast, healthy and delicious. Flavored with fresh ginger root, orange and maple syrup, the soup is both dairy and gluten-free.

7. Throw a canning party.

Gather a group of friends, some canning jars, a few canning pots and fresh fall produce. It’s time to host a canning party. Whether a novice or expert, everyone can pitch in.

An added bonus; party-goers can trade their finished product so everyone goes home with a variety pack of canned treats. Get canning party tips here.

8. Try hard cider.

A popular beverage in Europe, hard cider now has hit the American beverage market with full force. hard cider, an alcoholic beverage usually made with apples and pears, is a great beer alternative, and it’s most often gluten-free.

Wisconsin has gotten into the hard cider scene with a variety of state-brewed versions. Try Island Orchard hard cider from Door County, Maiden Rock hard cider from Stockholm or Cider House of Wisconsin located in McFarland.

The sparkling flavors of hard cider work well in cooking, too. Warm brie topped with a mixture of hard cider-stewed dried fruits and caramelized apples makes the perfect autumn appetizer.

9. Make and eat your harvest display.

Winter squash of all types and sizes are often hiding in plain sight with traditional pumpkins at the markets. Know your squash before you shop and create an autumn display that serves double duty. With a little squash education, your outdoor display can later be transformed into a delicious recipe.

See if you can find a Galeux d’Eysines with its barnacles covering a light pink color, a Rouge vif d’Etampes, also known as a Cinderella pumpkin, or a light-buff colored Long Island cheese, an edible winter squash whose squatty appearance resembles a wheel of cheese.

Here are directions for roasting and storing winter squash along with recipes for maple winter squash soup and roasted squash and goat cheese pizzas.

10. Take an autumn culinary road trip.

As autumn leaves turn from green to red, yellow, orange and brown, a leaf-peeping drive is in order.

Work in your leaf-gazing with one of our state’s many food-centric fall events centered on everything from cranberries to beer, beef and world-class chefs.

Check out the accompanying list of upcoming food events. See a complete listing here.

About Terri Milligan

Terri Milligan is a professional chef and culinary instructor who lives in Door County. For additional recipes, visit her website.

Hosting a Cheese & Cider Pairing Party

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Article from:, September 10th, 2015


Apples and cheese – it’s one of the most classic fall flavor pairings. With so many craft ciders now available, it’s easy to put together a selection of pairings for a cider and cheese night – similar to a wine and cheese night, but with a whole new realm of flavors to explore! Planning is easy – just assemble these four simple combinations made in harvest heaven, gather your friends and let the tasting begin.


What you’ll need:

  • 4 different types of hard cider – brut apple cider, pear cider, apple cherry cider and oak aged apple cider. Check with your local liquor or grocery store for varieties available in your area.
  • A selection of your favorite Wisconsin cheddar, blue, brie and parmesan cheeses. Don’t know which to choose? Ask your local cheesemonger for suggestions from Wisconsin.
  • Cocktail glasses, beer glassware or tasting sets. Differently shaped glassware for each cider or wood paddle serving sets, like this one, add a fun flare.
  • Serving accessories, like cheese boards, elegant cheese knives and cheese labels
  • Pairing notes. Print out the pairing notes via the link below for guests to reference during your party. Add extra excitement by having your guests rate each pairing or buy extra bottles of cider and small wedges of cheese for guests to take home their favorite combinations.
  • Pairing additions. Provide extra food and décor for your cheese plates by adding fresh pear and apple slices, fresh cherries, mixed nuts, dried fruit and crackers.


The pairings:

  • Brut Apple Cider + Wisconsin Cheddar

Classic and balanced, dry apple cider is essentially a bubbly, drinkable apple. It’s no surprise that this time-honored pairing carries its perfect balance even in cider form. Sharp Wisconsin cheddar sets the stage with a creamy tang and allows crisp apple flavors to harmonize playfully with the cheese’s bold performance.

  • Apple Cherry Cider + Wisconsin Brie

Decadence reaches a new level in the form of Wisconsin brie and tart cherry apple cider. Beneath its bloomy rind, brie is oozing with creamy cheese that carries big earthy flavor a long way despite its young age. Apple cherry cider stands up to its emphatic profile with softened tartness and sweet apple-cherry balance.


  • Oak Aged Apple Cider + Wisconsin Parmesan

Robust and full, this cider is partial to older, saltier cheeses like aged parmesan. Together, they form a duo that knows the wisdom of a perfectly aged cheese and oak aged apple cider. The oak barrel gives the cider a sweet caramel layer to its astringent base. Parmesan’s earthy, salty flavors find a surprising companion in this pairing. 

  • Pear Cider + Wisconsin Blue Cheese

Pear cider and blue cheese together create a flavor that revels in tradition. While pear and blue cheese are long-time friends, they find an unexpected revival in this pairing. The cider takes ripe and distinct flavors from the fruit and gives blue cheese a light, bubbly surface from which its strong flavors can build then gradually mellow at a comfortable pace.

Click here for printable pairing notes: Cider and Cheese Pairing Notes

Need more fall party inspiration? Find more recipes and ideas for fall entertaining in our harvest issue of Grate. Pair. Share.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Article about Bob Purman and Island Orchard Cider

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Fork. Spoon. Life. The everyday relationship that local notables have with food


Bob Purman

Film director gets serious about making hard cider

Film director gets serious about making hard cider

Bob Purman runs Island Orchard Cider in Door County’s Ellison Bay.

Bob Purman bought his first camera with savings from his paper route. Years later, he built a career directing commercials, and he especially loved telling the stories of farmers and food producers.

During a trip to Brittany, France, some years back to visit his wife’s family, he tried hard ciders. Different from the sweet American counterparts he’d tried, these less-sweet versions inspired him to make his own. He started out making small batches in his basement.

About a decade ago, Purman started getting serious about the cider. In 2011 he took the leap from hobbyist to selling his hard cider and opening a tasting room in Ellison Bay. The award-winning cider is distributed exclusively in Wisconsin, with production at 20,000 gallons this year.

Purman runs Island Orchard Cider ( with his wife of 35 years, Yannique. They split their time between their home in Fox Point and Door County, where they run a tasting room in Ellison Bay along with the orchard on Washington Island.

The commercial path

I’ve been a director for 25 years. My niche is documentary/human profiles. I do a lot of interviews and visual storytelling. I’ve shot in a million food factories and plants. I did some work with farmers.

I can trace my interest and my idealized interest in agriculture back to working on Canadian egg farmer commercials. I maybe over-idealized the agricultural life.

Creating roots

I’m the son of an engineer. I’ve always had this tinkerer background. I love the idea of making something. My whole other life has been documenting other people making things.

This is sort of a return to that by making the cider…. We established this orchard, and it took 10 years to get it bearing. It is a big, longtime agricultural commitment. It is not like a row crop, where you sow seeds in the spring, then harvest. It’s three to five years before apples are fully bearing, and pear trees are even longer. We have 2,000 trees.

Evolution of a cidery

We started as a hobby. Yannique’s father was from Brittany. We got interested in hard ciders when we’d take our sons and go visit him. We’d spend a week in Brittany and bicycle in Normandy. It makes sense to make cider here (in Wisconsin); we have the perfect environment, the great soil for apples and cherries.

Basement to business

Like all hobbyists, I’ve been doing basement fermenting for a long time. In 2011, we had enough production in the apple orchard to have a commercial crop. We jumped from five-gallon carboys to thousand-gallon fermenters. That was a terrifying step.

First-time ferment

I did my first accidental ferment when I was 11. I was trying to make root beer in my basement. That was my first bottle-fermented product. I couldn’t afford a capping machine. I bought 24 corks from the dime store…. I obviously over-sugared or over-yeasted.

I’d be up in bed at night, I’d hear the cap and a geyser hitting the ceiling. So I put tape on the bottles to hold the cork in. That would make the explosion more violent the next night.

I figured out the bottles fit perfectly in my father’s desk drawer. It kept the cork in, but then you couldn’t get the drawers open. They actually moved out of the house a few years ago, and there was the desk with a few bottles of my root beer still in there.

Cider serious

I really started experimenting with ciders 15 years ago. I’d go to Weston’s Antique Apples (in New Berlin) and buy some older apples that have more punch than most of the dessert fruit you find today. I’d experiment with small batches. Then I gradually bought presses and carboys. I’d run it in my small Milwaukee basement.

Apple aesthetics

A lot of orcharding is about getting that perfect apple that has eye appeal on the shelf in the grocery store or market. Our cultivars are kind of misshapen, gnarly and small. We’re grinding them up and making cider, so there’s no need for that kind of eye appeal. It is all about the flavors they’ll impart.

Picking favorites

Of the Old World cultivars, my favorite is a russet called St. Edmund’s Russet. They make a delicious cider, but the flavor is almost bordering on a pear flavor. I have a couple hundred trees (of this variety). We have 30 different cultivars.

Pursuing his passions

The photography thing started when I bought my first camera with my money from my paper route. I was really interested in photography, switched to film, started working as a commercial director, then transitioned to producing cider.

I got to a point in my life where I was traveling 250 days a year. I really was sort of overworking myself…. Cider is all about living by the seasons.

Island adventures

The first time Yannique and I sailed to Rock Island we were stranded there for three days. We sailed from Milwaukee in a 19-foot open sailboat. We were young and foolish.

The dream

I’ve always wanted to make things. Not that making little films isn’t making things. There is something ephemeral about that.

Now I get to make something that people drink. We’re employing people and ourselves. It is gratifying. It is a different kind of thing we’re producing. We started with bare ground and just built our knowledge. Fifteen years later, we have an orchard and a product. That’s the dream.

Fork. Spoon. Life. explores the everyday relationship that local notables (within the food community and without) have with food. To suggest future personalities to profile, email


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Article from: Door County Pulse, August 13th, 2015

Making Old World Cider in the New World

Bob Purman was 11 when he made his first bottle-conditioned product, a root beer.“Within three days of bottling, I’d be in bed at night and two floors down in the basement, I could hear the pop and then a geyser hitting the ceiling,” he said.He tried using masking tape to keep the corks in place, but they, too, blew.As a last resort, he slid the remaining bottles into a drawer in his father’s desk.

“They fit perfectly and I figured the wood would hold the corks in,” he said.

Instead, the bottles slowly leaked and warped the drawer shut.

These days Purman is much more sophisticated in producing bottle-conditioned beverages. He and his wife Yannique are owners of Island Orchard Cider, where Purman produces about 20,000 gallons – or 50,000 bottles – of cider annually with apples grown at their Washington Island orchard.

“We started planting trees in about 2006,” he said. “My wife’s father is from the coast of Brittany. We used to visit them and discovered the ciders of Brittany and Normandy. We decided we would do that here in the United States. That was about 2003-2004. We started planting trees on the island in 2006. We’re up to 2,400 trees or so, all French, English and American cider cultivars, very little edible fruit, with higher tannin, higher acid apples for cider. It’s becoming more common to plant the French and English cultivars, but I believe we were the first ones doing it here in Door County.

“It’s agriculture and it’s a long-term commitment because you’re putting trees in and you’re not sure how they’re going to do here,” Purman continued. “Some are not winter hardy. Some absolutely thrive in our limey shallow Niagara escarpment soil. Some of them didn’t do well at all. So we found the ones that worked well and tried to increase our stock in those, and then it’s a matter, for the most part, of blending them to get the best tasting cider.”

In the beginning, Purman considered it a hobby.

“It grew from that,” he said.

In 2011 they opened a plant to produce cider in Ellison Bay.

“We decided on Ellison Bay because it’s pretty close to the ferry dock to bring our apples across,” he said. “We get a weekly truck to pick up product to take to distributors, so it made sense to have our fermentation plant on the mainland.”

The Ellison Bay plant has also served as a tasting room since 2011, but this summer they received permission from the Town of Liberty Grove and Door County government to open an outdoor patio in front of their building just off Hwy. 42 on Garrett Bay Road.

On this particular Friday afternoon, a steady stream of people are going through the tasting process inside the plant, and then purchasing cider by the glass to sit on the patio and enjoy the fading afternoon.

“It’s awesome because people can sit on the patio in the shade,” Purman said. He mentions that he also began making a cherry vanilla soda – with cherry juice rather than cherry syrup – for those who can’t or don’t drink alcohol.

According to ACNielsen, which tracks off-premise sales of alcoholic beverages, the hard cider market grew by 71 percent last year, while liquor sales increased by 2.4 percent, wine increased by 3.3 percent and beer sales decreased by .4 percent.

“We started this based on our own interests. We wanted to make cider from our apples,” Purman said. “What we didn’t realize was there was going to be a prairie fire of interest in ciders. When we started this, none of the distributors we talked to gave a fig about having a cider in their distribution. It was such a low-produced product here in the States.”

Purman mentions that his bottle supplier had no idea about cider when Island Orchard started bottling in 2011.

“We picked the bottle that we liked,” he said. “It would handle atmosphere so we could have either a carbonated or bottle-conditioned product in it. I think they were originally for beer, a 750-ml large format beer bottle. Within two years his website says, ‘Your partner in the cider revolution,’ whereas two years before he had no interest or knowledge of cider at all. All of a sudden it became a thing and we have no idea why. It hasn’t changed what we wanted to do, but we do get sort of sucked into that vortex.”

Last year Purman began kegging for bars and restaurants.

“A lot of it goes to Madison,” he said.

Asked what the best seller is, Purman said they all sell well.

“For a long time the guys in the tasting room said Pear is our best seller, but it actually isn’t. The Brut is probably the best seller.”

Subtlety is key to the flavor profiles Purman is creating.

“Our goal is flavor without a lot of residual sugar,” he said. “We initially called it Normandy-style cider. That’s our influence for sure. We’re tasting these ciders from Brittany and Normandy. We’re like, that’s what we want to do. And we have a perfect region to be doing this in, but we are doing things our own way. It’s sort of the New World way of doing things. It is a combination of our influences, but I almost don’t want to say Normandy-style anymore because we’re developing our own things from our own fruit.”

One of those bold New World ideas Purman had was to add hops to the Brut cider.

“It’s one of those things where you think you’re inventing something and you learn that 50 other people had the same idea,” he said. “I started experimenting with hops about three years ago. And then about 2½ years ago, one of the Oregon producers released a hopped cider and now everybody’s got them. I really like ours a lot. There are a couple of things working together. The hops are from Jeanne Majeski right here in Door County. She has Cascade hops. I try to buy everything she’s got every year. I started out with just small batches of it and then realized it’s going to work very well. What we’re doing, we’re dry hopping our Brut cider and then we’re bottle conditioning it, so it has this really strong fruit profile, but then it has the bittering of the hops. There’s something about the bottle conditioning that brings out the fruit stronger, so it was a really good way to treat the product.”

Purman seems to revel in the unpredictability of cider making.

“It changes every year. It’s an evolutionary thing,” he said. “There are set points. I do try to keep residual bottles around from previous harvests because I want to see where we were and where we’re going. There are seasonal changes, and then there is our growth as cider makers. Our palates are developing. Our trees are getting more mature. We have more stuff to blend with. Every year it is a challenge because you’re trying to meet at least the set points from the year before, and also trying to make it better.”

During the summer, the Island Orchard Cider tasting room, 12040 Garrett Bay Road, Ellison Bay, is open daily from noon to 6 pm.

Shepherd Express Milwaukee Reviews Island Orchard

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In an April 22, 2014 article in Milwaukee’s Shepherd Express, Susan Harpt Grimes says this about Island Orchard Cider:

The Apple Cherry Cider is well balanced, sweet without being sugary, and has a smooth, tart cherry finish. It would be easy for a beer-drinker to transition to cider drinking the Apple Cherry. The Pear Cider is very reminiscent of a crisp chardonnay. Dry and tannic, with a pleasant earthiness, this cider could easily replace a white wine on a warm summer evening. The Brut Apple Cider has a nice medium body, and a perfect balance of tartness to fruit. This variety stands up well to sharp and blue cheeses. The Oak Aged Apple Cider is full bodied, rich and mellow after being aged for three additional months in French oak barrels—it pairs remarkably well with barbeque.

See more here:

New York Times Article: “Drinks of the Times: Dry Cider, an American Favorite, Rebounds

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Dry Cider, an American Favorite, Rebounds

Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

In Paris earlier this year, I stopped for lunch at Breizh Café in the Marais, a Breton spot that is just about my favorite place to eat crepes. Not only is the food great, but Breizh offers an extraordinary list of dry artisanal ciders, most unavailable in the United States. It’s a joy for any cider lover.

Party Like It’s 1799: Traditional Cider Makes A Comeback

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Feeling extra American this week? Wanna keep that post-turkey glow going? Well, how about a very American beverage: cider?

We’re not talking about the hot mulled stuff that steams up your kitchen, or the sweet pub draft in a pint glass. This cider is more like sparkling wine.

“This is a phenomenally funky, sour, even mildly smoky cider that has to be tasted to be believed,” says Greg Engert, one of the owners of a bar in Washington called ChurchKey. He’s pouring cider from a tall champagne-style bottle that retails for around $15.

ChurchKey is a bar known for beer, but on this night, lots of people are drinking cider.

Tom Diliberto has celiac disease, so beer is out for him. Cider, on the other hand, is gluten-free.

Cider is still a small part of the overall alcohol market, but it’s growing faster than any other category, according to Donna Hood Crecca, an adult beverage analyst with the company Technomic.

“In 2013, we’re projecting that we’ll end the year at 14 million cases,” she says.

Most of that comes from major beer makers that have jumped into the cider game. The companies that brew Sam Adams, Coors and Budweiser have all gotten into the apple fermenting business in the past couple of years.

But just as craft microbrews have taken root in the beer market, artisanal ciders are now growing in the shadow of the big guys.

Vintage Virginia Apples and Albemarle CiderWorks is just around the bend from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Virginia. “If we were crows we’d get there very shortly, but it would take us probably 20 minutes by the way the roads go,” says Charlotte Shelton, who with her brothers grows some 200 varieties of rare American apples here — fruit with names like Ashmead’s Kernel, Arkansas Black, Burford Red Flesh and Geneva Crab.

America’s Founding Fathers grew some of these varieties, more often for drinking than for eating.

“We think Mr. Jefferson would’ve been proud to put this on the table,” says Charlotte.

While she works the finances, her brother Chuck Shelton turns the fruit into cider.

This whole cider thing started when the siblings gave their dad — who’s 93 now — an old hand-cranked cider press for Father’s Day years ago.

Today the hand crank is more for display. The real cider-making process is far more high-tech, similar to a winery, says Chuck.

The entrance to Albemarle CiderWorks in North Garden, Va.

The entrance to Albemarle CiderWorks in North Garden, Va.

Meredith Rizzo/NPR

To find out what it tastes like out of the bottle, we head to the tasting room.

Chuck pours a cider called “Jupiter’s Legacy,” which is named after one of Thomas Jefferson’s slaves, Jupiter Evans.

“Jupiter passed away I think in 1798, and things bad started happening with the cider,” explains Chuck. “They bottled too early, and bottles were exploding. So Jefferson wrote this letter saying, ‘You need to find someone with the skills necessary to take over the bottling, because we can’t have our cider crop exploding.’ … There’s a letter to that effect, and we call it ‘Jupiter’s Legacy’.”

The apples are sweet, but none of that sweetness comes across in the cider. All that yummy sugar in the fruit turns into yummy alcohol during the fermentation process.

“People come in here and haven’t had cider other than … commercial ciders, and they say, ‘Ooh,’ ” says Chuck. “They think it’s going to be sweet, and it’s not.”

I ask him: Do you get people walking out?

“No,” says Chuck. “Most people buy a bottle, at least.”

What about Island Orchard Cider for Thanksgiving? We think it’s a delicious idea!

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Thanksgiving Refreshment: What About Hard Cider?
Beer Sessions

Photo of our Island Orchard Brut Apple Cider

As Faith reminded us a few weeks ago, hard cider was the true drink of the early American settlers. How appropriate for Thanksgiving! And as it so happens, we also think that hard cider would pair particularly well with the turkey and all our favorite Thanksgiving sides. Do you have a hard cider to recommend?The hard ciders we’ve tried all have a similar effervescent quality and slight sourness that really wake up our taste buds. When we’re eating a lot of rich and heavy foods, this is the kind of quality we want – something that freshens our palate and get us ready for the next bite of turkey with stuffing!

Ciders also tend to have a lot of caramel and fruit flavors that compliment the roasted flavors in the meat, the dried fruit in the stuffing, and the sweet flavors in all those Thanksgiving pies! They are also interesting and complex enough to enjoy on their own either before or after the meal.

With hard cider making a resurgence, we’ve had a lot of luck finding locally made bottles. Try to find a wine-seller that specializes in unique finds and ask if they have or could find you some local hard cider. Look for the word “dry” on the label – this will indicate a drink that is (theoretically) less sweet and more suited for drinking with meals.

We also recently tried an organic hard cider from Samuel Smith that we liked quite a bit. It was still rather sweet, but had a nice sour twang and a pleasant fizz on the tongue.

What hard ciders have you tried and liked recently?