Items tagged with 'cider'

Drawing: Tickets for the Gathering of the Farm Cideries 2017 at Nine Pin

nine pin cider works exterior 2016-11-05

Nine Pin's production facility and tasting room on Broadway in the Warehouse District.

Drawing's closed! Winner's been emailed!

The annual Gathering of the Farm Cideries returns to Nine Pin Cider Works in Albany this Saturday, February 18.

We have a pair of tickets for the event to give away -- maybe to you. To enter the drawing, please answer this question in the comments:

What's your favorite thing to eat when it's cold and snowy outside?

It could be something you make at home. It could be something from a local restaurant. It could be whatever. We'll draw one comment at random and that person will get the pair of tickets.

More than 15 cideries from around New York State will be at The Gathering offering samples of all sorts of cider, along with selling cider by the bottle or growler to go. (Cidery list is below.) There will also be food vendors.

Tickets are $20 ahead / $30 at the door. The event is in two sessions -- noon to 3 pm, and 4 pm to 7 pm. Tickets include samples and a tasting glass. Last year's event sold out.

Important: All comments must be submitted by noon on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 to be entered in the drawing. You must answer the question to be part of the drawing. (Normal commenting guidelines apply.) One entry per person, please. You must enter a valid email address (that you check regularly) with your comment. The winner will be notified via email by 5 pm Wednesday and must respond by noon on Thursday, February 16.

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Can't afford a brewery? Share one.

glass of nine pin ciderNext year it will become legal in New York State to operate what are essentially shared brewery/cidery/winery production facilities that home brewers will be able to drop in and use.

Legislation allowing these "custom centers" passed earlier this year, and the governor has now signed it, the Cuomo admin announced this week.

From the memo for the Senate bill, sponsored by David Carlucci, a Democrat who represents Rockland County:

[The legislation creates] a new custom beermakers' center license that authorizes the operation of a custom beermakers' center facility to provide individuals with rental space (to make and store homemade beer), the use of equipment and storage facilities, and/or beer making supplies for the production of beer for personal household use and not for commercial use or resale purposes. It defines beer making supplies as products grown or produced in New York in quantity amounts as determined by the State Liquor Authority. A custom beermakers' center licensee would be authorized, if permitted by the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau,(TTB) to conduct training classes on how to manufacture beer and conduct certain tastings of beer produced on the premises.

The legislation does the same thing for cider and wine. From a Cuomo admin press release:

New York's craft beverage industry is one of the fastest growing in the nation, however many urban and suburban residents often cannot afford or do not have access to the appropriate space or equipment to make homemade beer, cider, or wine in their homes or apartments. These custom production centers not only provide space and lower the overhead costs of production, but they also provide amateur brewers and wine and cider makers with the local ingredients and expert training needed when first starting out.

The legislation takes effect in six months.

We hadn't heard about these sorts of production centers before, so we poked around online looking for examples and found a few that look somewhat similar -- including one in Boston, and another in New Hampshire.

New York's farm cideries

fermentation tanks at Nine Pin

Fermentation tanks at Nine Pin in Albany.

The hard cider industry in New York continues to fizz -- there are now 24 farm cideries around the state, according to the Cuomo admin. That's up from eight in 2014, when the farm cidery law took effect.

Farm cidery? It's a type of license issued by the state that smooths out some of the regulations and requirements for running a cidery -- if the operation uses New York State apples to make its products. (There are also farm winery and farm brewery license.) The state's first farm cidery was Nine Pin Cider Works in Albany's Warehouse District.

Of course, the requirement to use New York apples isn't too much of a hurdle. The Empire State is the nation's #2 producer of apples, behind only Washington State. So the hard cider industry is another way to make use of the state's abundant crop.

Given the growth in the number of farm cideries, we figured it'd be fun to roll together a map of where they're located around the state.

Let's have a look...

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AOA event: Nine Pin Cider cocktail party

Nine Pin Cider Works new tasting room 2016-October

Autumn in the Capital Region is great for a lot of reasons -- many of them involving cider. Hot cider, hard cider, cider donuts. And now, cider cocktails.

Nine Pin Cider Works in Albany has a new tasting room with a New York cider cocktail menu. So we thought it'd be fun to get together a tasting of cider cocktails there on October 25.

Local distillers Derek Grout (Harvest Spirits) and John Curtin (Albany Distilling) will be there that evening mixing Nine Pin cider cocktails, as well as discussing their spirits and their cocktail creations.

What's included

Cocktail class
Derek Grout from Harvest Spirits in Valatie and John Curtin from Albany Distilling Co. in Albany will show us all how to make four cocktails, and they'll talk about using cider and other spirits in new cocktails. They'll send you home with recipes so you can mix your favorites yourself.

Cider cocktails
You didn't think we'd mix up cocktails and not drink them? Each ticket will include four Nine Pin cider cocktails mixed with locally-made spirits.

Snacks
Each drink will be paired with a local snack: cheese, fruit, nuts -- things that pair well with the cocktail.

Tour
Guests will get a tour of the cider works with founder Alejandro del Peral to see how Nine Pin is made, bottled, and canned.

Dessert
There will be a surprise, locally-made seasonal dessert.

The Nine Pine tasting room will be also pouring that night, and the company's different cider varieties and cider cocktails will be available for purchase.

And of course, you'll get to enjoy it all with other fun AOA people.

Tickets

The event is Tuesday, October 25 starting at 5:30 pm at the new Nine Pin tasting room at 929 Broadway in Albany. (The class and tasting will get started at 6 pm.) It's a 21-and-over event.

Early bird tickets (purchased before the end of October 15) are $25 and available online. After October 15, tickets are $30.

Space is limited for this event, and we expect it to fill up, so buying early will both save you a few bucks and ensure you get a spot.

Nine Pin advertises on AOA.

Cider donuts at Indian Ladder Farms

Indian Ladder Farms cider donut and beer cup

By Deanna Fox

There is something about September that feels like such a fresh start. More than a birthday, more than New Year's Day, September for me has always been a time of intentional goal setting and beginning again with a clean slate. Maybe it's because for most of us, our year operated around the school calendar in our most formidable years. The start came just after Labor Day, with fresh clothes, new notebooks and pencils, and the promise that this year, anything was possible.

Like most other beginnings, something sweet it required to mark the occasion. If you get a cake on your birthday, why not have a cider donut to welcome fall?

That question is rhetorical, of course: Cider donuts are as much a harbinger for fall -- and that fresh start that rolls in with autumn's crisp air -- as a new backpack.

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Nine Pin + Ommegang = The Lion's Share

Nine Pin Ommegang yeast cider can mockupOne of the interesting angles to the craft beverage boom around this area has been the collaborations that have popped up. Special brews for a shop and a coffee/vodka collaboration are among the examples.

The latest one: Nine Pin Cider Works in Albany has teamed up with Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown to produce a cider with Ommegang's proprietary Belgian yeast. Blurbage for "The Lion's Share":

This collaborative cider comes in 12 oz cans and is made from a farmhouse blend of apples from Samascott Orchards fermented with Ommegang's proprietary house belgian yeast. The result is a belgian style cider with a smooth mouth feel and complex fruit and spiced notes. The Lion's Share was made in the spirit of the craft beverage revolution happening in New York!

There's a Ciders and Sliders even this Thursday evening (August 4) from 4-9 pm to celebrate the release of 12-oz cans. The Slidin' Dirty truck will be at the cidery on Broadway serving food, and the Dutch Udder Craft Ice Cream will be there serving ice cream.

Earlier on AOA: Follow up: Nine Pin Cider Works

Nine Pin advertises on AOA.

image: Joe Klockowski/Nine Pin Cider Works

Nine Pin expanding its production capacity in Albany Warehouse District

nine pin cider works exterior

Nine Pin Cider Works is expanding cider-making facility in Albany's Warehouse District, and it'll be showing off the expanded space to the public this Saturday, June 11 from 1-3 pm.

This expansion has been in the works for a while -- you might remember the state awarded it $100k in the last round of Regional Economic Development Council grants in December. And the company has been posting updated on its Facebook page -- here's a quick video of one of the seven new 6,000-gallon fermentation tanks being installed. (The expanded production facility also makes large apple juice deliveries easier.)

The official announcement came Friday via a Cuomo admin press release. A clip:

Nine Pin Ciderworks will expand its operations by 7,000 square-feet at its leased facility in Albany's warehouse district; investing $511,000 to upgrade its fermentation and aging processes to increase cider production by 20 percent. Through Governor Cuomo's Regional Economic Development Council initiative, Empire State Development is providing a $100,000 grant to support the purchase of new equipment and machinery and leasehold improvements as part of the company's expansion of operations. Nine Pin has made a commitment to retain six current employees and create seven new full-time jobs with the completion of this project.

Nine Pin started building out its Albany facility in 2013. And it was the state's first farm cidery, a special license that smooths the way for a cidery to operate if it sources its apples from New York. (There are similar farm distillery and farm brewery licenses.) Nine Pin gets its apples from orchards right here in the greater Capital Region, including Samascott in Kinderhook.

The facility open house on Saturday is part of Hudson Valley Cider Week.

Nine Pin advertises on AOA.

Gathering of the Farm Cideries 2016 at Nine Pin

Nine Pin production space

Nine Pin's production space.

Nine Pin Cider Works is hosting another "Gathering of the Farm Cideries" at its production space in Albany's Warehouse District on February 27. A dozen of the state's farm cideries will be there offering tastings, and products will also be for sale by the glass, growler, and bottle.

As you know, Nine Pin was the state's cidery to start operating under the state's special "farm" cidery license. The program smooths the way for small producers, and in return the cideries are required to use New York State apples for their products.

It's easy to take the apples -- and apple orchards -- for granted in Upstate New York. But we really do live in one of the premier apple-growing regions of the world -- both in terms of quantity and variety. And the recent rise of farm cideries around the state is another way to explore that.

The Gathering of the Farm Cideries is Saturday, February 27, in two sessions -- noon-3 pm and 4-7 pm. Tickets are $15 ahead and available online.

Nine Pin advertises on AOA.

Photos from the AOA cider pairing event at Nine Pin Cider Works

nine pin tasting event composite

We got a bunch of people together Thursday night for a cider pairing event at Nine Pin Cider Works in Albany.

People got to taste a flight of four ciders paired with four locally-made cheeses, along with a short introduction to each from Nine Pin's Alejandro del Peral and cheese makers and purveyors. Then everyone took a tour of the production facility, and finished off the night with free samples of cider sorbet made by the Dutch Udder.

It was a good time. Thanks to everyone who joined us!

Here are a handful of photos of the night...

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AOA event: Cider pairing at Nine Pin

Nine Pin Cider Works four flight

Update: Sold out!

Apple season has arrived. And when we think of apples our thoughts also turn to cider.

Nine Pin Cider Works is rolling out a new charcuterie offering at its tasting room on Broadway in Albany. So we thought it'd be fun to organize a get-together there on October 1, pairing four Nine Pin ciders with a variety of New York fruits, cheeses and meats. Here's what you get:

Cider flight
Taste four Nine Pin ciders: Signature Cider, Belgian Cider, Blueberry Cider, and Ginger Cider.

Local foods
Ciders will be paired with samples of cheeses fruits, veggies and charcuterie from farms and orchards both local and from around New York State, along with Saratoga Crackers.

Tour
Guests will get a tour of the cider works with founder Alejandro del Peral to see how Nine Pin is made, bottled, and canned.

Dessert
The Dutch Udder will be scooping free samples of its Nine Pin Cider Sorbet. (We got to taste this during the Startup Grant final and it was delicious.)

The Nine Pine tasting room will be also pouring that evening, so more of your favorite Nine Pin ciders will be available for purchase. And of course, you'll get to enjoy it all with other fun AOA people.

The event is Thursday, October 1 at the Nine Pin tasting room on Broadway. It's 21 and over.

Early bird tickets (purchased before September 15) are $15. After September 15, tickets are $20. Space is limited for this event, and we expect it to fill up, so buying early will both save you a few bucks and ensure you get a spot.

Nine Pin advertises on AOA.

Gathering of the Farm Cideries at Nine Pin

gathering of farm ciders logoNine Pin Cider Works in Albany is celebrating its one-year anniversary this Saturday with a Gathering of the Farm Cideries. It starts at 11 am and runs through 9 pm with cider tastings (of course), food from Slidin' Dirty, and music. Tickets are $10 ahead, $15 at the door.

As you know, Nine Pin was the first cidery in the state to get a farm cidery license. It will be joined by eight other farm cideries from around the state at the event, and they'll be offering 1 oz samples (along with products for sale). A list of the cideries is after the jump.

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Rare spitters

apples_of_new_york_illustrations.jpgOver at Reuters there's an interesting article on a nationwide shortage of bittersweet, bittersharp, and sharp apples that have traditionally been used to make complex hard ciders. These so-called "spitter" apples are in demand because of the cider boom -- but there's a tiny supply because the apple varieties (many are heirlooms) fell out of favor over the last century or so:

One reason for the apple shortage is historical. During Prohibition in the 1920s, trees known to bear hard cider apples became targets of axe-wielding FBI agents.
Popular bittersharp varieties include Kingston Black, Foxwhelp and Golden Russet. These are not dessert or eating apples such as Granny Smith.
Planting new orchards is a big commitment. An apple tree is a 25- to 30-year investment and it takes anywhere from three to six years before it becomes productive.
Greg Peck, assistant professor of horticulture at Virginia Tech University, said there are no figures for how many so-called spitters - apples too tart or bitter to eat fresh but perfect for cider making - are available currently.
In 2012, the total U.S. crop of apples was 216 million bushels, of which 1.7 million were used to make cider. Of that, Peck estimated, "only a handful" of those were bittersweet, bittersharp or sharp varieties.

While the article doesn't mention New York specifically, it indirectly points to another possible Empire State advantage for cider: orchards around here do seem to grow some unusual varieties. (We've picked Golden Russets at Samascott in Kinderhook.)

Earlier on AOA:
+ Lost and found apples
+ More fizz for the cider business in New York

Illustration from The Apples of New York State of New York Department of Agriculture (1903)

Now open: Nine Pin Cider Works

nine pin cider exterior

Nine Pin Cider Works -- the startup cidery in the warehouse district in North Albany -- officially opened its tasting room on Broadway Friday. And it was jammed. Apparently Albany was ready for some locally-made cider. A handful of photos from the Friday's open house are after the jump.

It's been interesting to watch Nine Pin develop over the last year -- from a lot of empty containers, to the bottling process, to the the first farm cidery license in the state.

The hours for the tasting room are Thursday and Friday 4-9 pm, and Saturday 1-9 pm. Nine Pin also now has a distributor, so it should be popping up in bars, restaurants, and retail stores around the area.

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Nine Pin Cider Works tasting room opening soon

nine pin cider works packaging

Nine Pin Cider Works -- the startup cidery in North Albany -- has been granted the first farm cidery license in the state, the Cuomo admin announced today.

One of the big payoffs to being granted the license: Nine Pin can operate a tasting room at its building on Broadway. Owner Alejandro del Peral told us today that they're planning to open the tasting room February 28.

Like the farm brewery and farm distillery licenses, the farm cidery license grants a range of rights if the operation primarily uses agricultural products from New York State (all of Nine Pin's apples come from right here in the greater Capital Region). In addition being allowed to offer tastings, a cidery can also sell not only its own product directly to consumers, but also beer and wine made from New York products along with small food items and gifts.

The cider business is on the upswing in New York. There are now 23 producers in the state, up from 5 in 2011, according to the Cuomo admin. It's good business fit here -- New York is the nation's second largest producer of apples.

Nine Pin started setting up in North Albany this past summer ahead of the fall apple crop. When we stopped in this past January, it was making the final preparations for the launch of its flagship product, an off-dry cider.

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.

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Chuck Schumer making a push for hard cider

glass of nine pin ciderChuck Schumer was at Golden Harvest in Kinderhook today pushing for legislation that would change the way the feds regulate and tax hard cider. Zzzzzzzzz... yeah, doesn't sound super exciting, but this clip from the press release explains why it could be important (emphasis added):

Schumer was joined by Golden Harvest Farms owners Alan and Derek Grout as he launched his proposal, the CIDER Act (Cider, Investment & Development through Excise Tax Reduction Act), to update the definition for hard apple and pear cider in the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) that would increase their allowed alcohol by volume from 7 percent to 8.5 percent, encompassing significantly more hard cider products and allowing them to be labeled and taxed like hard cider, rather than wine. Schumer's proposal would also address existing tax issues related to carbonation levels in hard cider, and would put the new definition in line with that of the European Union, so producers can better compete with European products abroad. Hard cider is a value-added product that is sold around the same price every year; therefore hard cider gives producers a stable source of income when apple crops suffer due to weather and other unforeseen factors. New York apple producers are increasingly interested in producing smaller, artisanal batches of hard cider, but cite the cost and difficulty to comply with the IRC definition as significant impediments to expanding their businesses.
New York is the second largest apple producer nationwide, harvesting a total of 29.5 million bushels annually from over 650 farms and 41,000 acres across the state. In recent years, thanks to the growing popularity of hard cider, many apple producers have turned to producing this craft beverage as a method to keep apple orchards profitable, generate new economic development opportunities, and attract a new visitor demographic to their farms. There have been an increasing number of hard cider producers as a result, starting with a few producers a few years ago to over 20 today. And Schumer highlighted that number should only continue to grow, as a significant number of apple farmers are interested in adding this popular product, and have sought out advice and expertise from the Cornell Cooperative to do so.

So, short story: Changing the federal rules could make it easier financially for orchards to make cider -- which could help provide new revenue to keep orchards going, and provide the rest of us with something interesting to drink.

Golden Harvest/Harvest Spirits: Schumer was at Golden Harvest because of its Harvest Spirits distillery, which already makes excellent spirits from apples (and other fruit) -- and it sounds like Harvest Spirits is also interested in getting into the hard cider business, as well.

Earlier on AOA:
+ More fizz for the cider business in New York
+ Nine Pin Cider Works in Albany
+ Eat this: Old Sin Cider from Slyboro Ciderhouse
+ Eat this: Peach Jack from Harvest Spirits
+ Poking around at Harvest Spirits

More fizz for the cider business in New York

glass of nine pin cider

A sample of Nine Pin cider from the tasting at Smith's in Cohoes during the recent AOA Historic Bad Boys, Broads, and Bootleggers tour. Nine Pin -- a startup located in North Albany -- is aiming to have a retail product around the start of 2014.

The Cuomo admin announced Thursday that the governor has signed the Farm Cideries Bill. The legislation extends a range of opportunities and tax advantages to cideries that "farm" breweries, wineries, and distilleries in the state already had thanks to other recent legislation. From the press release:

The Farm Cideries bill authorizes the establishment and licensure of farm cideries for the manufacture and sale of cider made from crops grown in New York State and would exclude licensed farm cideries from the sales tax information return filing requirements. In order to obtain a farm cidery license, the hard cider must be made exclusively from apples grown in New York State and no more than 150,000 gallons may be produced annually. Farm cideries will be allowed to offer tastings of and sell not only cider, but also beer, wine, and spirits made from New York products. In addition, because farm cideries may also sell products such as mustards, sauces, jams, jellies, souvenirs, artwork, crafts and other gift items, these businesses, much like farm wineries, will become destination locations that will promote tourism within their communities. Also, the need for apples in the manufacture of New York State labeled cider would create a sustained demand for products from New York's farmers.

Here's a practical example of what all that means: The Farm Cider Bill opens the way for Nine Pin Cider -- the startup cider maker in North Albany -- to eventually open a tasting room and retail shop at its location on Broadway. (When we talked with Nine Pin founder Alejandro del Peral earlier this year, the Farm Cider Bill was a key part of their business plan. They had been eagerly anticipating its signing.)

For much of the last century hard cider has kind of been a fringe product compared to beer, wine, and spirits. But it has a long history in this country -- Johnny Appleseed wasn't setting up those orchards for eating apples -- and was once very popular. It never recovered its status after Prohibition, though. [Serious Eats] [Slate]

But the beverage has been on the comeback in recent years. New York State is even promoting a "cider revival." And if you look around this area, you can see signs of it taking root here (again). There's the aforementioned Nine Pin. Hicks Orchard in Granville is planting more than a thousand new trees for its Slyboro hard cider. The Rogers Family Orchard near Johnstown is setting up a hard cider operation. And apparently Saratoga Apple is considering it, too. [Nation's Restaurant News] [Post-Star] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]

Hey, you gotta do something with all those apples.

Earlier on AOA:
+ Nine Pin Cider Works
+ Last year the founders of the Albany Distilling Co. told us about how the state's Farm Distillery Bill helped open the way for their business

Nine Pin Cider Works

nine pin cider alejandro del peral

Alejandro del Peral

Every once in a while there's a moment that changes the direction of your life -- and sometimes it's small, the kind of thing you wouldn't even notice if not for the effect it later had.

Alejandro del Peral had one of those moments in a liquor store in Vermont a few years back. He had stopped into to get a bottle rum when a guy in the store put a bottle of hard cider in his hands.

"And he was like, 'Hey, we're making this up the street, you should give it a try.' And I was like, 'Sure.' So I bought it. And [my girlfriend] Emma and I drank it and it was incredible. And I was like, "Wow, this is amazing. I gotta see what these guys are about.'"

Now, about three years later -- because of the path that began in that store -- del Peral is starting his own cidery, Nine Pin Cider Works, in North Albany.

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The Scoop

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