As we reach the end of another year, it’s time to take a look back at what came with 2014. Here at Woodchuck®, it’s a time to reflect on the goals we set, the ones we accomplished, and how we’ve grown as a company. As for our 2014? Let’s just say it was quite the KICK-ASS year!
Let’s take a look…
We’re going Out on a Limb™ again, but we stepped on a different branch. While most of our ciders use the juice of common eating apple varieties, we decided it was high time to try our hand at using European bittersweet apple varieties.
Introducing Out on a Limb™ Spitter Splinter!
European bittersweet apples are often called “spitters”, as a bite into one will be difficult not to spit out. However, that tart fruit did find its niche elsewhere… good old hard cider. For centuries, the juice from spitters have been fermented for that favorable dry profile. Disappearing during prohibition, cider made a comeback in the states with the common eating apple.
Not only did our cider makers think it was time to bring those spitters back, but they were welcomed in style, and aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels for up to 2 years. The cider pulled woody vanilla and oak tones into the cider, adding to the already existing dry style. European spitters with a splinter of America. Now that’s what you call the best of both worlds.
The world of hard cider has grown so much since we first started crafting our small batches back in 1991. Today cider makers from around the state of Vermont kick off the first annual Vermont Cider Week! We couldn’t be more excited for a full week dedicated to our favorite apple libation.
We’re hosting a ton of events right here at the Cidery in Middlebury, VT as well as events going on around the state! From cheese pairings courtesy of our friends at Cabot Creamery to special guest chats with folks who work with the apples so crucial to our locally made cider, this week is going to be awesome. There is no other word for it. We’re even dedicating a couple of days where our cider makers will break out some firkins of some very experimental batches! You do not want to miss what’s coming up this week at the Cider House.
It’s hard to believe that after four years of plotting and planning, our new cidery is finally open to the public. It has been quite a thrill to see fans walk through the doors of the Cider House and have a space to sample cider while learning all there is to know about Woodchuck®.
It took 15 months to complete construction. One of the reasons why: most everything in the cidery was handcrafted. From the cider tanks to the bottling line to the cider house timber frames, everything was constructed with the utmost care and used the finest materials we could find. 45 different Vermont companies were contracted to help us build what we think is the finest cidery in the United States.
Today, the Woodchuck Cidery opens its doors! As we cut the ribbon and pour the first pint, our President and CEO, Dan Rowell offers a few words as he welcomes all friends, family, and fans to our new home.