Kitschy apple names are just some of the reasons why cider is cooler than what you’re drinking now
What do synthwave, Canadian television, Gonzo’s wings, and cider all have in common? They’re all grossly underrated, soul-enriching pieces of culture, and they make for a pretty solid Wednesday night. The industry trends in 2019 were beer, more beer, some natural wine, and amaro. Those trends aren’t changing for 2020, but I will also be ramping up my cider consumption this year. Why? Because apples are cousins to roses. Because a little fruit from Central Asia conquered Europe before the Romans. Because Leonardo DiCaprio got his Oscar four years ago, and it’s damn time cider gets more than a mention at your local craft beer bar.
Sweet, dry, fizzy or, sour; for chugging, or for a sense of place: cider is the most versatile alcoholic beverage, second only to wine for food pairing. This Saint Patrick’s Day, skip the green beer and drink some cider.
WNY has a fetish with higher alcohol. We all know this cat. He drives a loud car. He buys his beer based on alcohol content and brags about his tolerance. He drinks six barley wines at the party, then cries before passing out. But, you know what? Higher alcohol content isn’t cool. Lower ABV is physically and culturally the healthier choice.
Chill, Ms. Gluten-free-people-are-sheeple. It’s 2020. Stock some cider for your next party. Your GF friends will have something nice to crack before they bust into those White Claws.
Lower impact farming
As a whole, apples are not farmed more responsibly than barley or grapes, but environmentally responsible farming is less of a challenge with apples. Barley has a monoculture issue and grapes have a large carbon footprint, but cider brands using only foraged and forgotten orchards exist. Unsprayed apples exist. It’s not easy, nor is it scalable, but nothing romantic typically is.
The Rachael Leigh Cook in She’s All That of booze. No one will judge you for using the “wrong” glass. No one will cidersplain apple varieties to you. You don’t have to wait in line for hours to score a single can release. Cider isn’t a shield for fragile ego—yet. Get in now while it’s still chill.
New York cider producers to try
Leonard Oakes Estate Winery
Brown Snout is my go-to crush drink right now. Grab it by the bottle or growler. Drink it for breakfast.
Can be harder to find, but even the more ubiquitous Appinette is well worth the search.
One of my favorite Finger Lakes cider producers. Keep an eye out for this at Winkler & Samuels.
All foraged. All love. A rare and humble art project. If you see it, get it.