How I Would Do Things Different
July 25, 2011
My husband and I hosted a barbeque this last weekend, and a lot of people ended up drinking my cider. There was one guy who drank one of my ciders and said it was really good, but he wanted to know if I had something slightly sweeter. I recommended to him the JK Scrumpy cider, which is not mine, but I feel it is a good sweet craft cider that is easy to drink for beginners. He tried it, and complained it was too sweet. What he really wanted was my tangy dry cider as a semi-dry cider. I suggested he blend the two. Some other guests of mine were also cider makers, and we had some of their cider. At the end of the night, my friend said he was a converted cider drinker, as before he had only really consumed the industrial Hornsby’s cider. Awful stuff that I never recommend.
This brings me back to my observation on last week’s Portland International Beerfest. If you recall, I said that all the domestic ciders at the event were sweet and flavored and probably would not entice beer drinkers to try them to convert them to be cider drinkers. I felt this was a poor selection on the part of the cidery’s marketing sending those ciders. I always say that cider is made like wine, but is drunk more like cider, but if you are going to use cider as a beer replacement, you got to have the more beer like ciders. Sweet and flavored is not beer like.
Mind you, all the cidermakers bemoan how the public demands sweet ciders and that they are more difficult to make stable for any sort of shelf life due to the yeast wanting to consume any sugar. I think off dry or semi-dry is what most people are initially looking for.
I also think this lesson should be applied to the fruit wine industry. So many fruit wines are so sweet, when really they should be semi-sweet at most, but probably more in the medium sweet or semi-dry is what it should really be. A nice dry blackberry wine is sometimes like drinking a red wine. Why not? Some red wines are noted for having hints of blackberry.
Further Reading: Making a Sweet or Dry Wine or Cider