Popular hard cider brand Angry Orchard has arrived. The brewers have opened a new research and development center in Walden, based on the site of a revived 60-acre apple orchard, that’s set to open in late fall.
Which is good news for us locals, because — just three years after its official launch — Angry Orchard is already one of the most popular brands of hard cider in the U.S. The company hopes that the new location will help diversify and expand its cider style.
Ryan Burk, head cider marker at the Walden location, can’t wait to investigate the local crops. “There are a couple of apple varieties growing on the orchard I’m especially interested to being experimenting with,” he says.
The new location, which features a small-scale cidery on-site, will focus primarily on experimentation and researching techniques such as wild fermentation processes and barrel-aging. Visitors will be able to taste new flavors before they’re released to the general market, watch as the cider is made, and learn the history of cider.
With its vast array of apple varieties and the widespread popular of local craft beer, the Hudson Valley is a prime location for the company.
“For some time now, we’ve been looking to establish a home for our cider research, and this orchard is perfect for us,” says cider maker David Spies. “Not only does the orchard itself have a great history, but the Hudson Valley has such a vibrant group of apple growers and craft cider makers.”
What’s more, the previous owners of the orchard — the Crist family — will preserve all jobs associated with the orchard and continue to have a presence there. Angry Orchard hopes to not only provide new jobs for the orchard itself, but also in the greater Walden area.
Cider apples used to grow in abundance in the Hudson Valley during colonial times, but during Prohibition, orchards were forced to switch over to primarily culinary apple varieties. Angry Orchard hopes to bring the cider varieties back to their New York roots — quite literally — by harvesting traditional bittersweet cider apple trees over the next few years.
Welcome to the Hudson Valley, Angry Orchard! Stay tuned to www.theangryorchard.tumblr.com for updates, orchard news, and the exact opening date of the new site.