Tag Archives: hard cider

Viking Blod

27 Oct

viking blod

Got this beaut of a bottle from my one love, The Beer Engine. This was my first mead so maybe my analysis of this style is skewed, or not as well informed.  First off, I LOVE the label, the bottle and the process of unwrapping this, my first mead.  The bottle is maybe a half inch-thick gunmetal enamel with some serious heft to it.  I honestly felt like a little girl at Christmas unwrapping a present she knows is going to be crazy awesome.

The color is a beautiful golden amber, unctuous against the glass like a thinner cognac. The aroma is so complex: honey, grass, a little musty like the inside of a hive or a dried up comb.  The flavor is sweet, boozy with a silky mouth feel. Warmed, the flavors are even silkier. Talk about a winter warmer, the warmth down the throat relaxes the body and makes you want to snuggle down in blankets by a fire.  It was pricey at $31 but I honestly believe it was worth it — it’s like having a snifter of warmed brandy only better, why shouldn’t we pay for quality?  Simply because it’s another style of fermented alcohol — one of the oldest styles of fermented beverages — doesn’t mean it shouldn’t deserve the respect that Maker’s Mark enjoys.  I think I just became a mead-head and possibly found my calling — a lady brewer of hard cider and mead.

viking blod+Beckwith apples

Festival Fans

8 Aug

Let it be known that beer festivals and tastings are some of the most enjoyable social gatherings on the planet.  Today I spent a solid 2 hours at Stan Hywet Hall for a brew fest imbibing some of the best Ohio has to offer — and there is a lot.  I also met some great people, including the sales rep of Cavalier Distributing with whom I intend to start a hard cider journey, pairing his homebrewing knowledge with my ample supply of fresh cider and eagerness to learn.  I’ll keep this short: here’s a few pictures from the Stan Hywet Hall Blues&Brews Festival – never seen happier people on a rainy ass day.

welcome wagon

Gotta have a welcome wagon!

Thirsty Dog Van

Thirsty Dog Van equipped with all the goodies.

Main Street

Main Street never looked so good.

Hoppin' FrogHoppin’ Frog always brings the good stuff, and some interesting accoutrement such as a coffee filtering beer tube to give their Silk Porter a caffeine kick.

CornerStone Brewing Co.A big thank you to Jay for talking to me about his Cornerstone Brewing Co. — turns out blind faith can be a good thing.

Apple Fam

30 Jul

I’ve been lucky enough to grow up in a family that has owned a working orchard for 5 generations.  At Beckwith Orchards we grow peaches both red haven and white lady, apples, pears and yellow plums and bring in corn and potatoes from another local farm.  There is not one picture to be found where a Beckwith baby isn’t holding, gnawing or drooling on a Beckwith apple.  My first picture happened to be me nestled in a picking bag full of apples strapped to my Grandpa Charlie.

baby in a bag

I’ve often asked why we don’t produce the hard version of cider since we produce the regular nectar of gods.  The answer I got was pretty vague, but my guess is we already put a lot of work into harvesting, pruning, killing destructive deer and ground hogs, sorting, selling, the list goes on — there’s just not enough time to add another facet.  So this October when the cider comes in I’m going to try my hand at some wild yeast fermentation and see what comes of it.  The closest I’ve gotten to turning our cider into hard cider is leaving it in the fridge for 2 weeks, watching the plastic jug bloat like a dead body and drink the stuff with a bite.  Advice is welcome!

beckwith apples

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