New York State might still be in quarantine, but that hasn’t stopped one local cidery from planning, or really brewing, for the future. Saratoga Living recently learned that the Capital Region’s signature hard cider maker, Nine Pin Cider in Albany, will launch a new series of tasty, low-ABV “Lo-cal Ciders.” Due out in six to eight weeks, these lighter, less caloric Lo-cal Ciders will feature three brand-new creative flavors brewed up by the craft cidery.
“We’re excited about these,” says Alejandro del Peral, founder of Nine Pin Cider, which was New York State’s first certified farm cidery. “We’re staying true to our mission: local ciders from local farms.” Like the rest of Nine Pin’s beverages, the Lo-cal line will be made with New York-only apples and ingredients. The new flavors include “NY Apple” (with apples from Samascott Orchards in Kinderhook); “Lavender Lemon” (featuring culinary lavender from #LavenlairFarm in Whitehall); and “Cranberry Orange” (with cranberries grown at Deer River Cranberries in Brasher Falls).
Compared to the regular ciders, the Lo-cal flavors will have both fewer calories and a lower ABV. The new hard cider line is based on “ciderkin,” a lightly alcoholic, Colonial-era cider drunk largely by children. “The great thing about cider is that it’s both traditional and modern,” says del Peral. “Because there’s no preconceived notion about what cider is, you can manipulate the process in the same way that the craft beer industry does.” del Peral’s referring to varying brewing methods such as aging in different barrels or experimenting with the fermentation process. “Between wine and beer, we kind of get the best of both worlds,” he says.
This past summer, Nine Pin debuted its first light cider flavor, Cucumber Lime Light, as a kind of test for the Lo-cal series. “It’s had a great run,” says del Peral. “However, we wanted to bring the light ciders back to fit our company’s mission, which is to support New York agriculture by using 100-percent local apples and fruit.”
Come late-May/early-June, look out for Lo-cal Ciders online and in stores where Nine Pin is currently sold.