Cider Corner: Seasonal Releases Don’t Need to Reinvent the Wheel

Citing that a wooden ax may be unique but not useful as a prime example, Clarksburg Cider’s Head Cidermaker Eddie Graves feels that a seasonal portfolio should be something that a consumer can gravitate to without being outside the realm of salability.

“I know I’m not the first to make a bunch of the ciders that I make and I don’t always expect to be the first,” he told Brewer during a visit this summer while canning a batch of the cidery’s Shout! release to help celebrate the start of the NFL season. “I always shoot to be the best at it. I strive really hard when it comes to that.”

A lot of Graves’ inspirations for has a very culinary approach.

“That’s one nice thing about having our kitchen, is I and the head chef, or the cooks … or really anybody on the staff, whenever they have ideas, we run with it,” said Graves, who joined the team after a stint as an Assistant Cidermaker for Sly Clyde in Richmond, Virginia.

The cidery’s spring seasonal was Botanical Blueberry, a Blueberry/Rosemary cider.

READ MORE: Cider Corner: The Secret Ingredient That Apple Barn Uses to Flavor Brands

“When I first thought of the idea, I was watching one of my favorite hunting shows, actually,” Graves said with a laugh. “The guy was making a Blueberry/Rosemary sauce for some bear. I was like, do blueberries and rosemary go well together? I came back to the cidery and talked to our head chef, and he said yeah. So I wondered if I should work it in a cider.”

Pineapple Hibiscus was another kind of happy accident while a Cranberry Ginger cider came from another beverage company.

“The inspiration from that was Canada Dry,” Graves said of the cider homage. “They release a Cranberry Ginger Ale every year. It’s delicious, so why not just try making the cider that emulates that.

“I didn’t invent the wheel on that one. Canada Dry did it first. I just made it with cider and alcohol.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *