Monday, January 05, 2015

Citizen Cider The American: Vermont Cider at It's Best (VT)

Citizen Cider was founded in 2011 by Justin Heilenbach, Bryan Holmes and Kris Nelson. Kris was working as a wine salesmen, Bryan as a chemist and Justin as a small farmer. All discontent for one reason or another, they started making test batches of hard cider in Bryan’s basement. Citizen Cider becomes an idea. Kris and Bryan tracked down an old cider press and tended to the batches while Justin moved across the country from Portland, OR. Citizen Cider became real.

In 2011/2012 Citizen Cider launched its flagship brand, Unified Press, and produced a total of roughly 5000 gallons. As it happened, their cider was popular and it sold out quickly. Citizen Cider started looking viable. They spent the summer of 2012 trying to figure out how to make and get more cider to the people. They worked on a plan with Stan, the owner Happy Valley Orchards in Middlebury Vermont, and produced 28,000 gallons in their second year.

Then, in 2014, they opened up their new space on beautiful Pine Street in Burlington’s South End and were working to quadruple their production and make 100,000 gallons in their expanded space. They now make and market eight different hard ciders.

The American is an amazing, pink sparkling hard cider. At ABV 6.8% its easy to drink. It is two American classics (apples and cranberries) commingled to make a lovely, rose' colored, dry cider. Bright, fragrant, and tart, this slightly off-dry cider, co-fermented with cranberries, is a spectacular effervescent blend. Easily substituted for any kind of sparkling wine. You can drink it from a pint glass, or dress it up with champagne flutes. An excellent, excellent hard cider! Berries. Tart. Refreshing. Intense. Fantastic!