Bringing Cider Back

IMG_1962Typically when I thought of a cider, my mind went straight to the bottle of bubbly served at the kid’s table for special events. It wasn’t until I was reading my beloved Thanksgiving issue of Bon Appetit magazine, that I saw their recommendations for the best ciders to serve with your turkey. Ciders? At the adult table? Not only were they recommending cider, they were recommending a New Hampshire cider as one of their top 3! I would say that’s pretty sweet, but Farnum Hill Ciders makes a note that their ciders are not sweet, ever. So, that’s pretty awesome!

Farnum Hill Ciders is located in Lebanon, NH and they are produced and bottled by Poverty Lane Orchards. Their website is chock full of information on cider, the history of ciders, and how they are best made…from true, cider apples and slow, cold fermentation. This information is great to read since cider making somewhat diminished in the United States as a result of Temperance and Prohibition. It tells you right on the bottle that the people at Farnum Hill are “aiming to relieve this condition.”

I picked up a bottle of their Dooryard Cider (batch #1206) at the Bedford NH Liquor Store. There were plenty of different varieties in stock. I was eyeing the Summer Cider, but with our frigid temperatures lately, decided it wasn’t quite warm enough to enjoy that yet. The Dooryard Cider is made from a small-batch blend that the locals get to taste upon their visits to the orchard. They like the blend but can’t put a regular label of theirs on the bottle. The taste was not cider-y to me at all. It was a nice cross of a dry wine and crisp beer. Not a bad choice with dinner or even to sip on alone. I can see why Bon Appetit would encourage you to drink this with Thanksgiving dinner. They actually recommended the Extra Dry Cider…which was also in stock. I had to try this one though and I’m recommending it for anytime.

As if Bon Appetit wasn’t enough to encourage you to try Farnum Hill Ciders, this New Hampshire Orchard is also a semi-finalist for a James Beard Award. If you aren’t aware of just how big the James Beard Award’s are, you can check out this article from a writer on the Seacoast. Having been in the food industry for several years, this is a BIG deal. I was ecstatic the year a family friend and New Hampshire native, Jeff Michaud won the award for best Mid-Atlantic Chef! He works in Philly, but he started cooking where he grew up, here in New Hampshire.

So check out Farnum Hill Ciders and let us know which variety becomes your favorite. On March 18th, you can check and see if they made it as a finalist in the James Beard Awards and then learn about the winners on May 5th. We’re sending our best wishes and good luck to them with hopes of a win in May. With all these recommendations from Bon Appetit, James Beard, and Eat Drink Play NH why wouldn’t you check them out? Cheers!

And please remember to send us your favorite NH-based food and beverage producers or locations. We want to help spread the word about people doing great things and provide local customers the best recommendations of where to eat, drink, and play in NH! Send them to us at eatdrinkplay@stayworkplay.org. We’re excited (hungry and thirsty too) to see where you’ll send us!

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