Sometime around the beginning of 2018, I got the idea to try making hard cider. First we tried a couple test batches in January and February, then in March, the day after the Texas Wine & Rogue Art Fest, we fermented our first batch of commercial hard cider. “Hard” as in alcoholic, not the kid stuff. The first batch was sold to Barrow Brewing and now we have fermented 7 different batches over the last 3 months.
We make our cider at 6% alcohol, so that makes it stronger than the average beer but much lighter than wine. Most of our wines are at 12% alcohol, so definitely this is less alcohol, which is great for summer when everyone is THIRSTY! I like cider to be tart (think green apple jolly rancher candy) but no one else likes it my way, so we make sure it has a sweet finish.
The cool thing for me as a winemaker is how much opportunity this has given me to work on my winemaker skills. Coaxing the fermentation of so many batches in such a short period of time has taught me a lot. I typically only do fermentation once a year when the grapes are harvested, but this has been fun and the winery is smelling fantastic.
Thirsty now? It is available on tap at Barrow Brewing and starting this weekend we will have it on tap here as well! By the end of summer we plan to be selling it in growlers and maybe by the holidays we can wrangle that fizzy stuff into a bottle. Come by and give it a try, we’re open daily 12-6.