Sidra de Asturias
One of Cider Week’s biggest surprises was the influx of Spanish cider makers. Spanish cider has been gaining momentum on a global level and the number of bottles on New York shelves has grown rapidly in the past two years. This is thanks, in most part, to the work of Rowan Imports. Their Sidra de Asturias event for Cider Week was a chance to taste these tannic, tart, pungent ciders side by side.
Ledbury from Virtue Cider
Michigan’s Virtue Cider has been slowly creeping into the New York City market for about six months now and their Redstreak is still our go-to draft cider around town. But Ledbury—a collaboration cider produced with English cider maker Tom Oliver—may be a close second. With its bright lemony character and pungent finish, this English-style cider is unlike anything else on the current NY cider landscape.
Orchard Hill Sparkling Hard Cider
The newest cider on the New York scene, Orchard Hill released their Sparkling Hard Cider just a few weeks before New York Cider Week. Produced in collaboration with Soon’s Orchard—a family apple grower in New Hampton, NY—the Sparkling Hard Cider is a true farmhouse cider with noticeable yeast character and an earthy finish. An impressive first showing from Orchard Hill.
Atomic Dry from Annandale Cidery
By far the biggest sleeper hits at New York Cider Week were the ciders from the Annandale Cidery, which is part of Montgomery Place Orchards in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. With no events, no promotion, and barely a keg in town, we hunted this one down at Burp Castle, a Belgian beer bar in the East Village. The prize was well worth the hunt. These small-batch ciders are a true expression of heirloom cider fruit. High on flavor and low on sweetness, this Atomic Dry is their flagship blend and proof that the Hudson Valley is on par with the best apple growing regions of the world.
Farnum Hill Dooryard #1314
There are only a handful of still ciders in America that have enough tannins and acid to make sure you never miss the bubbles. Dooryard #1314 from Lebanon, New Hampshire’s Farnum Hill is one of them. This limited edition blend was served up at Hearth’s Cider Week Dinner and features English bittersweet and bittersharp apples alongside American classics such as Esopus Spitzenberg and Gold Russet. Tannic and bright, with a light fruitiness and defined minerality, this is New Hampshire terroir at its finest.
Vice with Eden Orleans Bitter at Queens Kickshaw
Queens Kickshaw dedicated all six of their tap lines to cider for the week but the shining star was a cocktail. Vice is a blend of white wine, pommeau, acid phosphate, and Orleans Bitter aperitif from Vermont’s Eden Ice Cider. Carbonated and served with an orange twist, the cocktail offered a delicious blend of flavors evoking red currents, baked apples, bitter herbs, and oak.
Wickson Crab Single Varietal from Annandale Cidery
Wickson Crab apples are a favorite of West coast cider makers but rare on the East coast. This single varietal cider from the Annandale Cidery exhibits high acidity, low tannins, and an underlying fruitiness. It would be perfect for pairing with fall squash or a simple roast chicken.
Lord Scudamore from Bellwether Hard Cider
The Finger Lakes has its own cider week so it’s no surprise that many of the cider makers passed on the 5 hour drive down to New York City for the week. But a few of our favorites were in attendance, including Trumansburg’s Bellwether Hard Cider. Lord Scudamore, their dry, Champagne-like cider from Northern Spy Apples was a hit during the heritage pig roast at Roberta’s in Bushwick, cutting through even the fattiest bite of pork.
Everything at the Smorgasburg Cider Takeover
One of the best aspects of cider week is finding cider in unlikely places. Like this tap takeover in Williamsburg’s Smorgasburg outdoor food fair. With drafts from Farnum Hill, Eve’s Cidery, Doc’s Draft Cider, and Naked Flock, there was a cider to please every palate.
Autumn’s Gold from Eve’s Cidery
During events like New York Cider Week, it’s easy to gloss over those tried-and-true ciders we see in the greenmarket week after week. But these ciders are the backbone of the New York cider scene and deserve their due regardless of the time of year. Made from a blend of English, French, and American apples, Autumn’s Gold from Eve's Cidery in Van Etten, NY is my go-to New York cider. Its bracing acidity can stand up to rich entrees while the distinct fruitiness and touch of sweetness balances lighter fair such as flaky fish.