Crafting the Cider Comeback in the Hudson Valley

Cider Week Hudson Valley

The celebration of Cider Week from June 12-21 is truly celebrating the revival of America’s orchard history. Cider Week is for cider makers, for the trade and consumers. It connects cider makers from New York’s Hudson Valley to buyers from top restaurants, bars, and retail shops across the Hudson Valley region and beyond. Through growing awareness of craft cider, Cider Week helps to bring profitability to local orchards while reviving heirloom apple varieties.

Cider Week provides educational resources for the trade, including staff education, tastings, and connections with top regional cider makers, and helps to promote public events, tastings, and pairings that build appreciation and demand for regional ciders. For consumers, Cider Week Hudson Valley celebrates craft cider by increasing its presence in top restaurants, bars, and retail shops throughout the entire Hudson Valley. Cider Week serves as a central hub for the cider-centric tastings, dinners, classes and more taking place during Cider Week.

Some of the events happening during Cider Week are:

Saturday, June 7, 12-3 p.m. it is a Sausage~N~Cider Festival at Bad Seed Hard Cider in Highland. Bad Seed is teaming up with Hudson Valley Sausage Company for their first annual Festival. Visitors will be sampling 12 styles of craft hard cider and expertly pairing old-world hand-crafted artisanal sausages to complement your favorites.

Saturday, June 13 from 12-5 p.m. – The Summer of Cider at Applewood Winery in Warwick is a kickoff celebration of Hudson Valley Cider Week with eight different ciders on tap, $5 cider pints, live music from Black Dirt Bandits, and the Cheese Steaks of America truck. Admission is free.

Also on June 13, from 3-5 p.m., the Aaron Burr Cidery will host a cider tasting with cider maker Andy Brennan at the Cold Spring General Store in Cold Spring.

Other participating ciderys include: Awestruck Cider, Doc’s Draft, Hudson Valley Farmhouse Cider, Joe Daddy’s Hard Cider at Brookview Station Winery, Kettleborough Cider House, Nine Pin Cider Works, Orchard Hill Cider Mill, Pitchfork Hard Cider, Slyboro Ciderhouse, Standard Cider Company at the Brotherhood Winery and Wayside Cider. For further information about events and participating restaurants, visit Cider Week Hudson Valley. Events will be happening from as far north as Albany and Saratoga Springs and south into Westchester County, New York.

A bit of provenance about cider and it resurgence as a trendy hot beverage is that from early times cider was made, stored, and consumed all over the U.S. Eventually, temperance, politics, and prohibition ended legal sales. Apple growers had to replace their cider orchards with what was referred to as “apple pie orchards.”

While there are hundreds of cider apple varieties, there are only four groups of cider apples: Sweets grown for high sugars; Sharps grown for high acids; Bittersweets grown for high tannins plus high sugars, and Bittersharps grown for high tannins plus high sugars. It’s on bitter, sour, astringent apples that are prized for fermentation only on which great ciders based.

For those who cannot attend Cider Week Hudson Valley from June 12-21, there will be another Cider Week in New York City from November 6-15, 2015.

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Margaret was public relations director for two luxury New York City hotels, where she did extensive research into America's culinary heritage. She is a founding member of The James Beard Foundation; formerly, owner of a Jersey Shore inn and restaurant, The Pelican Bistro, recognized as one of the 10 Best New Restaurants in NJ by New Jersey Monthly, and a PR consultant to restaurateurs. For the past several years she has been a contributing writer about food, drink and restaurant news for many publications. She is a passionate cook and wine lover who moved to the Hudson Valley and is in awe of the immense wealth of agricultural, artisanal and culinary talent in the area. Connect with her at www.TastefulLiving.net, Hudson Valley Wine & Restaurant Examiner and Shore Region Food & Restaurant Examiner. She can be reached at mmorgan531@gmail.com.

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