Cider Corner: 2 Towns’ Simple Rules For Stone Fruits

Integrating stone fruits into a cider can be challenging, but when done well, the results can truly be something special.

That’s 2 Towns Ciderhouse’s take on them. The Corvallis, Oregon cidery released Pristine Peach in February. While Northwest apples provided the base for the Peach Apricot Cider, the cider’s flavor was rounded out with West Coast peaches, apricots and honey, following Outcider and Strawberade, Head Cidermaker Dave Takush said.

Sourcing stone fruit can be an obstacle, Marketing Director Danelle Kronmiller acknowledged, but said the company maintains strong relationships with local growers and suppliers to easily meet demand. 

There are other challenges to working with fruit like peaches and apricots, she noted. They can provide a punch of flavor as adjuncts, but only with the right fruit and the right amount used.

Not being careful about selecting quality fruit and/or using too little of that fruit are common mistakes that cider makers make.

“Many varieties of — but not all — stone fruit are difficult because they impart much more subtle flavors and colors to the product, so finding the right balance and formulation that lets these adjunct additions to our fresh pressed juice shine can be challenging,” Kronmiller said. “Additionally, oftentimes peaches and apricots that are picked for processing are not picked ripe, so we have to work closely with our network of growers and processors to find ripe tasting fruit.”

The end result is a 6.9% ABV cider that 2 Towns considers elevated enough for its 19.2 oz can line, available through distributors in Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Minnesota, Montana and Arizona. It’s the third cider to earn the honor.

Not just any cider earns the specialty packaging, Kronmiller explained. A lot is taken into account before they’re put into the large singles.

“We greatly rely on our valued relationships with distributors, stores and accounts to provide feedback that feeds into our product strategy,” she said.”The 19.2 cans play a big role in the convenience store market and so we look at that target market to also help guide our decisions. “To date, we have also taken the approach of trying to keep the 19.2 line up new and exciting so that the ciders in that package are only available in 19.2. In addition, there are federal regulations that make certain products not eligible for some form factors, like 19.2s.”

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