Thursday, February 27, 2014

Nine Pin Cidery - Farmstead Apple Cider in Albany (NY)

Albany Cidery Opens This Weekend!!!!

Nine Pin Cider Works is a New York craft cider company producing hard cider from 100% Capital District and Hudson Valley apples. It is the first farm cidery under the newly revised laws enacted by Gov. Cuomo. I must admit, I am very much behind the times. The Albany Times-Union, The Saratogian, All Over Albany, The Beer Nut, and several other Albany and Hudson Valley blogs have been well ahead of me in trumpeting this new endeavor! But I am caught up now!
Just this past Sunday, me and family went to meet Sonya del Peral whom my family and I have known professionally for many years. She is one of the most experienced trademark attorneys in the Albany area. She, her husband, and her son, Alejandro, who is the owner and cidermaker, were there preparing their new tasting room for their inaugural opening this coming weekend.

In 2013 Alejandro del Peral perfected his own cider blend, winning a gold medal at the Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition. His winning, noncommercial cider is called Catskill Thunder.  

Alejandro makes sure that all his apples are local. He works with such capital region orchards as Samascott Orchards in Kinderhook, Lndsey's Idyllwood Orchard in Rexford, and Indian Ladder Farms in Altamont.
Under the new law, cideries like Nine Pin are able to operate a tasting room where they are able to sell their product by the pint, enabling them to more immediately reap financial rewards. This fact was a significant draw for the del Peral family as they chose to apply for the new license.

"The cider-making process represents the incredible spirit of where the apples are grown. New York State's climate gives apple producers an outstanding environment to grow great apples for cider making. It's an incredible honor to become the state's first licensed cidery here in Downtown Albany under the new Farm Cideries Law. We applaud Governor Cuomo for his dedication to making New York open to business to hard cider producers such as Nine Pin," said Alejandro.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo himself announced that Nine Pin Cider Works, a New York craft cider company producing hard cider from Capital District and Hudson Valley apples, had just become the first licensed farm cidery in New York State. In October 2013, Governor Cuomo had signed legislation establishing a new license for farm cideries to increase opportunities for this growing agricultural industry. The new legislation went into effect on January 15. Nine Pin Cider Works applied on January 21, and the license was approved by the State Liquor Authority (SLA) just 22 days later.
“The new farm cidery licensing law that I signed last year is already playing a central role in supporting the growth of local businesses across the state,” Governor Cuomo said. “With the distinction of being New York’s first ever licensed farm cidery, Nine Pin Cider Works is a testament to how the State is creating new economic opportunities, growing local industries and creating world-class products.”

The cider business in New York state, around the country, and around the world, has been exploding. Since 2011, the number of hard cider producers in New York has risen 360 percent, from five to 23 producers. And certainly, the Hudson Valley has produced some of the bet on the East Coast, and indeed, in the country. 

"Upon entering the fermentation space, it’s impossible not to grasp Alejandro’s vision: totes, full of conditioning hard cider, 20,000 gallons in all, line the floor from end to end. This represents Nine Pin’s entire output for the year...." wrote Beer Nut author/editor Greg Back of the Albany Times-Union.
“We had to purchase the apples well in advance of the first hard cider sale. All of the money for the space, the equipment, the manpower, all had to be spent knowing that revenue may still be months or years away.” Alejando told Beer Nut author/editor Greg Back of the Albany Times-Union.

Nine pin Cider Works is already a credit to the region. These people are very serious about starting up a cider business. It's already a 20,000 gallon operation. They have distribution already set up, and they are ready to go! They've been tasting their product for some key places, and seem to be ready to explode!

Oh, so how was the cider? Fantastic! The color is a light, light golden color. Lot's of sparkling tiny bubbles. The nose is a big whiff of apple. And the taste is a big green/macintosh apple. Just a small hint of sweetness, but enough acidity to balance it out. Incredibly refreshing. You can drink this all day long!!! The tasting room will carry a dry cider as well as non-alcoholic sparkling cider (for kids or for those who don't imbibe), and a seasonal on tap! You can buy bottles or growlers at the bar!

They are opening this Friday, along a stretch of the newest and coolest bars and saloons on Broadway that is one of the hippest stretches in town. Friday and Saturdays will be killer, especially with their extended hours. A great new addition to the Hudson Valley!!!

Greg Back's column: