When I first heard about NY’s push for hard cider, I was skeptical.
My skepticism came from my dislike for what I thought was a typical cider: Woodchuck hard cider. I first learned of this super sweet, syrupy version of hard cider when my college roommate drank it instead of beer. I still find it hard to believe how he was able to enjoy substituting Woodchuck for the watered down light beers typically consumed at college parties.
My dislike of hard cider persisted until last week when I finally decided to listen to the hype and try some hard cider from Nine Pin Cider Works. I’m certainly glad I did. I started with the ginger, which was not super sweet and had the ginger heat from great ginger ales.
After my surprising revelation that I might actually be able to enjoy hard ciders, I decided to revisit my old nemesis. I tried a Woodchuck Amber, Nine Pin Signature Blend, and a homemade version from one of my coworkers. It wasn’t a scientific double-blind tasting with repeats, but after trying all 3, I reached the same conclusions. While the Nine Pin cider was refreshing, the Woodchuck tasted more like a melted green apple snow cone (I exaggerate a bit; and whether or not you agree with my description, the Woodchuck didn’t get finished).
Since my Nine Pin revelation, I’ve tried the Hunny Pear and Belgian varieties, and I can’t wait to try more from their extensive product list. If you have dismissed the hard cider genre like I had, I encourage you to give Nine Pin a try.