Images by Andrea Hubbell. Words by Jenée Libby.
With the explosion of microbrews in the 1980s, it was only natural experimentation with flavors would result. Thus pumpkin beer and chocolate stout were to the manor born.
With the sudden increase of local cideries, a similar revolution is taking place. Innovation is the order of the day, and cideries are experimenting in fermentation and flavor methods, hoping to enhance what is already a crisp, refreshing beverage.
Enter Potter’s Craft. Dan Potter and Tim Edmond have already pushed the envelope by aging their Oak Barrel Reserve cider in Laird’s Apple Brandy barrels. The result is a cider reminiscent of brandy and bourbon, a very good thing indeed.
Now the pair are going further, adding Sorachi Ace Hops to their Farmhouse Dry to create Potter’s Hopped Cider. A torpedo-like device called a hop back is used. This runs the hops through the cider just long enough to impart hop flavor and aromas. The hops aren’t heated, so the essence is infused naturally while the bitterness is left out.
The result is surprising. The color of the cider is reminiscent of lemongrass, the lightest yellow with just a hint of chartreuse. A familiar apple scent hits your nose, but the taste is entirely different. Tart green apple first, then green grass, a meadow, followed by the lightest touch of a hoppy IPA at the back.
Potter’s Craft has not only created a refreshingly different dry cider, they’ve added a roundness at the end through their addition of hops. The lemongrass smell and nature of the Sorachi Hops are a nice compliment to the fruity, tropical notes already present in their Farmhouse Dry. They’ve successfully bridged the gap between cider and beer, as well as enhanced an already delicious beverage. And created a gluten-free beer alternative as a bonus!
Editor’s Note: These images are some of the behind-the-scenes shots taken during the production of Commons Volume 1, when Dan and Tim were dreaming up Potter’s Hopped Cider. Look for more behind-the-scenes images all spring as we work on Volume 2!