For the longest times, I thought to myself that cider drinkers were uneducated beer drinkers. They wanted the benefits of drinking a beer, but didn’t want/like that beer taste.
Although this may be true for some, this isn’t true for the majority. The world of cider is vast. There are different apple varieties, styles of fermentation, and so many small elements that can enhance any flavor of cider. Like beer, making cider is an art and like art, it takes time.
I personally have been on a cider kick as of late (Most likely around the past year) and I started with the traditional commercial names like Stongbow, Crispin, and Redd’s. No disrespect, I hated them all.
Then I figured that since I loved rose, I have to love sparkling rose cider right? Then I tried a local NJ winery named William Heritage (Read our review of this vineyard here) and Wolffer Estates Dry Rose Cider. Now, we are onto something incredible.
After my pallete was officially cleansed, I turned to this one brand of cider that is pushing the limits to all things cider and that’s Ploughman Cider.
Ploughman is located in Adams County, PA. For over a century, the Wenk family has tended the deep, fertile soils and has helped develop Adams County, PA as one of the finest fruit growing regions in the United States.
Ploughman work with American heirlooms like Spitzenburg, Golden Russet, and Stayman and select apples like Dabinett, Stoke Red, and Kingston Black for their bittersharp and bittersweet flavor profiles. The team also make their own perries and other fruit wines.
The ciders that I’d like to showcase today are: Birdwatcher, Stayman Winesap, and Pinot N’arlet (my personal favorite)
A seasonal drink that is a traditional cider with a hint of peach. Nicely dry with a tart peach flavor throughout. You can pair with oysters or just open one up in the middle of the weekend. At 6.9% ABV, it doesn’t taste boozy, but offers a light tone.
This cider is on the more beer side of taste. It has a strong flavor and tastes dry. The Stayman Winesap apple is a tough red skin, yellowish flesh, and is quite aromatic. The fermentation is spontaneous and tends to yield strawberry aromas. The best part of it all is that it ages for 8 months before hitting the lips. To me the entire process is just exquisite and at 6.9% it’s a quality drink. I will be honest in saying that it’s not as drinkable as Birdwatcher or Pinot N’arlet, but a fantastic cider made from the best.
Ahh, last but certainly not least. If I had to rank ciders, I’d easily place this one in the top 3. It’s beautiful. It’s consistent. It’s crushable. And it’s just plain ole’ awesome. Wildly fermented cider aged on pinot noir skin. Mixed with Macoun and Arlet apples, the cider delivers a dry finish mixed with a beautiful blush color.
I’ve had this cider in just about every scenario. I’ve had it with friends, during dinner, or even late at night. It’s my go to cider and readily available within the house cellar.
Overall, Ploughman Farm Cider is available if you’re from the Trig-State area. I am sure they will expand sooner rather than later and open to new areas, but if you’re from the region and haven’t given them a try you should. And even if you’re not from the area, you also should give them a try. Their pricing is in the middle of the road and average around $6.00 a can to $24.00 a bottle. To me, I am ALWAYS looking for a good deal and a bottle just makes more sense. Plus, it’s more sociable. So why not? Head over to the Ploughman Farm Cider website and pick up AT LEAST 6 bottles. Tell them the Bad Vegans sent you.