On Saturday afternoon, November 9th I attended the CiderFeast cider tasting festival which was one of the many cider-centric events held during the New York City Cider Week November 8-17.
The event was hosted by the folks at Food Karma Project and NYC based restauranteur, Jimmy Carbone which hold events throughout the year including the Pig Island BBQ fest in September.
The event which was held at Biba of Williamsburg, a waterfront pub/beer garden serving Polish and American food located at 110 Kent Avenue in Brooklyn.
The tasting showcased over 15 national and international cider producers with many from New York State. Also on hand were small bites including some very tasty “prosciutto” from Kentucky and live music by the JP Bowersock Band.
Hard Cider was once the primary alcoholic beverage and a staple of the early American diet in this country especially during the Colonial period in which according to Rebelseed.com, the early colonists drank about 35 gallons of cider a year. Prohibition brought that all to an end.
There has been a resurgence of cider making in the United States with sales in 2014 at $2 billion and New York State is the 2nd largest grower of apples in the United States with about a billion pounds grown a year. The 2013 Farm Cideries’ Law made it easier to obtain a cidery license and gave tax incentives to cideries that exclusively use New York State crops. This has helped fuel substantial growth in the local industry.
At the event the local hipsters were able to sample a mix of the mass produced ciders alongside small artisanal producers who experiment with different types of yeast, aging vessels, apples and so forth. Even the big time producers such as Angry Orchard have a division that make unusual (and unusually named) small production ciders.
Some of what I sampled:
Angry Orchid: Thick as Thieves, Super Natural, Extra Terrestrial
Wayside Cider: The Catskill, The Skinny, The Half Wild, The Wild Select
Descendant Cider Co.: Dry hopped
Abandoned Cider Co.: Classic, Hopped, Barrel Aged
Downeast Cider House: Original Blend, Winter Blend
Urban Farm Fermentory: Super Dry, Hopped, Blueberry
Ommegang Project Cider: Dry, Rosé
Kings Highway: Singapore Sling, Gingersnap, Guavalicious
Original Sin: McIntosh
Aval: Classic, Rosé
Romilly Cidre: Extra Dry, Demi-Sec, Doux
Asturias Cider: Sparkling
Barrika: Basque Cider