The Cider

 

Our handcrafted hard ciders are naturally tart, aromatic, and have a distinctive mouth-feel. Dry to off-dry, our ciders are clean and refreshing, but never sweet, featuring unique European and vintage American cider apples grown on our family-owned orchard.

Originally in the United States, the word cider referred to fermented apple juice containing alcohol. During Prohibition, the U.S. government rebranded cider to mean fresh apple juice in an effort to replace the beloved American alcoholic beverage with non-alcoholic apple juice.

Alcoholic cider is now referred to as “hard cider” and any of our cider with no alcohol content as “fresh cider.” All of our cider is made from apples that are grown on the farm and ripen between August and November. During these four months, we pick the apples as each variety ripens, and let the picked apples “sweat,” (sit for at least 3 weeks) while the apples fully ripen. This decreases the water content and increases the sugar concentration- a crucial factor in fermentation. Complex flavors and aromas develop during this time give our ciders’ depth and fullness.

(For more information about the apples, please see our page “The Apples”).

Once the apples are fully ripened, we press them into juice. It takes approximately thirty minutes to press fourteen bushels, or ninety apples. Each press yields around thirty-five gallons of juice. We take the pressed juice and use it in our fresh and hard cider production, and the pomace (the pressed apples, seeds, and skin) goes to local dairy and pig farmers to feed to their animals.

Fresh cider is bottled following the pressing. We UV treat our fresh cider and the pressed juice remains unfiltered.

For hard cider, we add special yeast and ferment the juice for two to six weeks. This results in an alcoholic beverage with a 7-8% alcohol content. Our hard cider is naturally fermented and is blended to balance sweetness, tartness, and acidity. After fermentation, we “rack” and filter the cider in order to remove natural sediment.

Distillery Lane Ciderworks started selling hard cider in 2010.  Hard cider is sold in bottles and kegs, ranging in price from $9 to $25 per bottle. For home brewers, we also sell fresh juice that one can ferment at home.  We also offer a Cider Making class for those interested in making their own or looking for a perfect gift.