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Apples to apples: Five facts about hard cider

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Wednesday, October 21, 2015, 4:16 PM

Modern cider makers use the traditional practice of fermenting cider specific apples to achieve a diversity of flavors.MIKE CARDEW/KRT

Modern cider makers use the traditional practice of fermenting cider specific apples to achieve a diversity of flavors.

The season of fall is here along with sharp air, crisp leaves and hard cider.

Hard cider has deep roots in the history of the U.S. that began when the colonists imported seeds to plant cider apples in New England.

The popular beverage dropped off most cocktail menus after Prohibition — until a resurgence of sorts in recent years.

Here are some hard facts on hard cider to drink in:

1. During the 17th century, the fermented apple juice was the cheapest and most accessible drink of the time and considered safer to drink than water, according to National Geographic.

This led to people drinking it in abundance as shown by a 1790 Massachusetts survey where everyone interviewed over the age of 15 years old consumed an average of 34 gallons of beer and hard cider every year.

2. John Chapman from Leominster, Mass. — better known as the legendary Johnny Appleseed — supplied the western expansion with apple seeds that he collected from Pennsylvania cider mills, according to National Geographic.

He intended the settlers to grow apples that can be turned into hard cider.

3. Beer started infringing on hard cider’s popularity in the 1800s as more European immigrants settled in the U.S.

Prohibition later snuffed hard cider’s dominance when many orchards were destroyed and cider makers couldn’t continue producing the alcoholic beverage, according to National Geographic.

Once the movement ended, beer became America’s drink of choice and cider was thrusted into the shadows.

Cider-only bars and local cider distilleries have been cropping up across the country.KEVIN CLARK/AP

Cider-only bars and local cider distilleries have been cropping up across the country.

4. But cider’s popularity in the U.S. has increased dramatically in the last few years.

In 2009, hard cider was a $ 35 million market, according to CNBC. By the end of 2014, it rocketed to $ 366 million.

The trend was fueled between 2011 and 2012 when many large beer companies such as MillerCoors, Heineken and the Boston Beer Company started launching their own hard ciders.

This was followed by local distilleries and cider-only bars cropping up all over the country.

5. Modern cider makers create hard cider using the traditional practice of fermenting cider specific apples instead of eating apples, according to National Geographic.

With over 100 different kinds of apples grown for cider and the possibility of blending, the tastes include variances of sweets, sharps, bittersweets and bittersharps, according to the magazine New York Cork Report.

lcouillard@nydailynews.com


Lifestyle – NY Daily News

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