Can You Dig It?

Greg Libby SWQ Autumn 2016

If you’ve got your finger on the pulse of the local craft beer scene, then it’s hard not to notice the amount of canned products that have been hitting the shelves of your local beverage shops. The two banes of freshly crafted beverages are light and oxygen. Canning is a way to minimize these two hindrances, and I’m totally on board with this concept. So are cider makers, both local and abroad. Here are three canned ciders that are worth seeking out this fall:

Cider Creek Saison Reserve Cider | Canisteo, NY

Kevin Collins is truly a master of his craft, and the proof lies in this delightful concoction. This complex cider has a very dry base and is fermented with Belgian Saison yeast to add another range of spice while enhancing the avor pro le of the fruit. Easy drinking (almost to a point that makes it dangerous, as it weighs in at 6.9 per cent alcohol by volume), crisp, unaltered deliciousness. Now I want one.

Blackbird Cider Works Estate Reserve Cider | Barker, NY

Scott Donovan’s cider house, located on the orchard which also bears his name, has been a western New York staple for a number of years now. You’ve seen his products on the shelves at Wegmans for years now, but maybe you passed it up because it was only available in large bottles? Worry no more, as cans are now available. This particular variety is not to be missed. Crisp, clean, fresh apple flavor is accentuated by the perfect amount of carbonation. A drive out to the orchard is also a great idea for a Sunday trip.

Downeast Cider Original Blend | Charlestown, MA

The only non-local pick is one that has been dif cult to nd in recent months, but is still available if you’re looking in the right places. This cider is fall in a glass. Its look alone sets it apart from most other hard ciders. You’d be hard-pressed (get it?) to see the difference between this cider and some of our amazing, locally-produced ciders from mills such as Schutt’s in Webster (still a favorite). A blend of McIntosh, Cortland, Gala & Red Delicious give way to a great sweet, but not too sweet flavor. Get it while you can! Now someone bring me a fried cake.