Last November, hard cider lovers everywhere rejoiced when Angry Orchard opened its newest research and cider-making facility on the site of a sprawling 60-acre apple orchard in Walden. (Read about it here.)
Now, they’ll have something else to cheer about, as the brand just debuted its first two ciders from its new digs: Knotty Pear and The Old Fashioned, both part of the Orchard’s Edge series.
Orchard’s Edge aims to experiment with ciders that are “inspired by unexpected ingredients and aging processes,” the company says. The new ciders — which are both gluten-free and were aged on American oak — are made with your typical, cider-friendly apple varieties like Gala, Fuji, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, and Granny Smith. The difference, however, is in the details: true to its name, Knotty Pear incorporates baked pears (think Bartlett, Bosc, and D’Anjou) and hints of spicy cardamom, while The Old Fashioned involves dried cherries, oranges, and charred bourbon barrel staves, resulting in a more oaky flavor.
The orchard’s cider maker, Ryan Burk, delves a bit more into each style here.
Foodies ought to love the new flavors, too. With its dry finish and subtle citrus flavor, Knotty Pear goes well with grilled fish and chicken, while the full mouthfeel of The Old Fashioned lends itself to the richer flavors of roasted pork or steak dishes.
Find the new ciders on shelves (six-packs run about $10.99) at local grocery stores year-round, and keep an eye out for it on draft in select bars and restaurants this spring. Stay updated at www.angryorchard.com.