Page 12 - Beverage MasterAprMay 2021
P. 12

Craft Cider

                 At the top of Houston Cider Company’s product      bitterness. “This is a great cider for people who
               line is the Core Four: ciders based on high-quality   love beer but are sensitive to gluten,” Fry said. “It’s
               apple juice from the Pacific Northwest. The Core     the next best thing to a beer.”
               Four starts with Dry Cider, a 2019 U.S. Cup Cider
               Bronze award-winner, with flavors similar to a         In 2019, the Houston Cider Company produced
               white wine with green apple. Next is the Cherry      between 875 and 1,000 barrels of cider. To meet
               Cider, made with Montmorency cherry juice from       the increasing demand for their product, Engle
               Michigan, and a 2019 Cider Craft Double Gold         and Macalello added new 4,500 gallon tanks and a
               award winner. Rosé Cider, featuring organic rose     canning line capable of filling 40 cans per minute.
               buds and Jamaican hibiscus flowers, won the 2019     But then Covid-19 hit, and the company had to cut
               Cider Craft Silver award. Finally, Pineapple Ginger is  back on production and close the taproom. Not to
               made with pineapple juice from Hawaii and freshly    be deterred, and looking ahead to the post-Covid
               cut ginger. All are 6% alcohol by volume with no     world, they’re gearing up for a major expansion.
               sugars added.                                        “Right now, all of our product stays in Houston
                                                                    because we don’t have the capacity to expand,”
                 Additionally, the cidery releases a new small-batch  Macalello said. “But 2021 will be a good year. We
               cider every week through the taproom and on the      just installed two 120-barrel tanks and plan to add
               website. “These are more fun flavors that incor-     another one. There are dozens of stores that need
               porate botanicals or herbs or off-the-wall stuff,”   products, so we hope to triple our growth this
               Macalello told Beverage Master Magazine. “This       year.”
               allows us creative latitude to have fun with ingre-
               dients and see what they can do. If the customers      In the meantime, the cidery is selling their cider
               like them, then we will put them on the market.”     to-go and taking their products to farmer’s mar-
                                                                    kets. Soon, they hope to reopen their taproom,
                 These ciders include unique combinations such      which can accommodate 30 people, and their
               as Tea for Victory, fermented with an Earl Grey      pet-friendly patio and garden area. They also hope
               Black Tea blend and back-sweetened with organic      to bring back events, which they used to hold quar-
               agave nectar from Jalisco, Mexico, and Passion Fruit  terly. In the past, they’ve hosted a crawfish boil and
               Hibiscus Cider, made with hibiscus from Jamaica      a tiki night with tiki-inspired ciders accompanied by
               and passion fruit from Mexico. Most recently, the    a pig roast. They’ve also participated in White Linen
               cidery released South Coast Hopped Cider, a big,     Night in the Heights, an annual street festival orig-
               bold cider with assertive hop flavors and subdued    inating from a centuries-old New Orleans tradition

               10    April - May  2021       BEVERAGE MASTER

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