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The cidery is in a space on the corner of Broadway and Thatcher. The tasting room has an entrance on Broadway.

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Much of the cider -- depending on its type and the temperature -- is fermented in these totes.

They hold 330 gallons. Or, to put it another way, del Peral says the cider in the totes represents "hundreds of thousands of pounds of apples" from this year's crop.

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Pallets of empty bottles.

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The lab space that del Peral uses to test batches of cider. He has a science background -- he was in a grad program for hydrology -- and it's interesting to hear him talk about the chemistry involved with cider making, the various factors that affect flavor, sweetness, and acidity.

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Small, experimental batches using single or unusual varietals and/or unusual yeasts. Del Peral is also working on all-pear cider, and he showed us a test batch of cider being fermented with cherries.

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Already-packed cases.

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The main work area of the cidery.

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The types of apples available changes over the course of the season, so the various batches of cider are blended in these tanks ahead of being bottled to ensure a consistent product.

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The bottling machine being operated by Charles French, a UAlbany senior biology major/business minor. He got hooked up with the job at Nine Pin via a listing on the university's jobs website.

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After being filled, the bottles go to be capped.

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Ethan Willsie, a recent SUNY New Paltz grad from the Albany County Hilltowns, is operating the capper.

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Then the bottles go to be labeled. Nine Pin is very much a family business. Del Peral's mother -- Sonya, an attorney -- is his business partner. His dad, Casiano, was at the cidery working on the tasting room. And his partner -- Emma Pedrin -- was labeling bottles Tuesday afternoon.

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A sample of the company's flagship product, an off-dry hard cider. Del Peral says it's about 50-60 percent MacIntosh-type apples, about 30 percent sweeter types, along with more unusual or heirloom varieties such as Akane. The sample we tasted was smooth, striking a nice balance between a subtle sweetness and a crisp acidity.

"I wanted something that upfront would be attractive [and accessible]," he explained to us of the cider, "But also something that tasted of apples."

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Alejandro del Peral. "I'm nervous and excited in a gung-ho way."

Checking in with Nine Pin Cider Works

nine pin cider works bottling and packing

Bottling and packing this week.

Last August we met Alejandro del Peral and got an early look at his startup cidery in North Albany, Nine Pin Cider Works. At the time, some of the equipment had just been installed and del Peral was waiting on the fall apple crop to start making his product.

Nine Pin has made a lot of progress -- and a lot of cider -- over the past six months, as we found out when we stopped by the cidery on Broadway this week for a tour. Here's a look.

A bunch of photos are in large format above -- click or scroll all the way up.

A bunch of photos are in large format above -- click or scroll all the way up.

When we arrived Tuesday afternoon, del Peral and a small crew were working on bottling and packaging the company's flagship product, a smooth, off-dry hard cider fermented with white wine yeast. The cidery's warehouse space was packed with filled 330-gallon totes of cider. The air smelled faintly of cider.

"I don't sleep. I'm nervous," del Peral said with a laugh of his venture as it nears its debut with the public. "But I think that's normal. ... I'm nervous in an excited, gung-ho way."

Over the course of the fall, Nine Pin has made between 10,000-20,000 gallons of cider from apples grown in the greater Capital Region. About 90 percent of the apples came from Samascott Orchard in Kinderhook ("Those guys have done a lot for me ... Great apples. Great orchard," said del Peral). But del Peral has also drawn different apple varieties from Lindsey's Orchard in Clifton Park and Indian Ladder Farms in Altamont. And he sourced a small share from his family's wild orchard in Columbia County.

And now the product is ready for packaging, a time- and labor-intensive process. The small operation bottles, caps, labels, and packs the product all by hand. Del Peral figures it takes the crew about 8 hours to fill four pallets of product (2,880 22-oz bottles in 12-bottle cases).

Nin Pin is aiming to start selling its product to the public around the end of February, about the same time it plans to open its tasting room on Broadway, where it will offer the flagship cider along with other special blends and single-varietal ciders. Tuesday afternoon the tasting area was still under construction, but a bar and stand-up counters were installed and it didn't look too far from being ready. Del Peral says one of the main things they're waiting on is the approval of their farm cidery license, part of a new program with the state. (Like the farm brewery and farm distillery licenses, the farm cidery license will allow Nine Pin to offer tastings and sell their product directly from the cidery's tasting room.)

Nine Pin is located just down the street from Wolff's and Stout, and it's across from the Barrel Saloon. Druthers Brewing Company -- based in Saratoga Springs -- recently announced it's planning a new brewing facility a few blocks to the north.

"I think it's cool," del Peral said of the Druthers news. "I was super excited to see that. I think we can do great things here. ... I think that direction for this part of the city is a good idea."

The tentative opening date for the Nine Pin tasting room is February 28, but that's pending approval of the farm cidery license. Del Peral says the company's flagship cider should start showing up in a few retail locations around that date as well. The 22-oz bottles will retail for $7.99. He says details will pop up on Nine Pin Facebook page.

Find It

Nine Pin Cider Works
Broadway and Thatcher Street
Albany, NY 12207

Comments

I will hopefully be one of the first customers!

Very exciting - best of luck to them!

A great story and hopefully a great product. I look forward to trying their cider and hopefully making them a mainstay in my rotation!

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