We are dedicated to cider here, it's been a love affair of ours for many years, before it was "cool". Here at The Underground, we treat cider like wine, as it has more in common with it than it does beer, contrary to what the mass-produced "6-pack" grocery store brands out there might want you to think. Cider has been made for over a century in the US, and for centuries in Europe with many regions in Europe having dedicated cider producing regions, just like they do wine (Bordeaux, Burgundy, etc). What differentiates real cider from what you find in the grocery store, are the apples used, as well as the process. Real craft ciders utilize non-eating varieties mostly-- like crabapples, bittersharps, bittersweets, and tannic varieties--these are often all referred to as "spitters", as you want to spit them out after you try them! Heirloom varieties are widely used as well, and some can also be used for eating or baking--those that are good eating apples we call "dessert" fruit, as they are sweeter, potentially the opposite of "spitters". Not all dessert fruit can be used for cider production though, most apples you find in the grocery store are considered dessert fruit, but do not make good cider. Only heirloom dessert varieties, that have not had their unique character and ugly exterior bred out of them to make a perfect "fruit bowl" apple will make a true, balanced, structured cider. Real cider will share many characteristics with wine--aromatic complexity, fruit weight and body, structure (tannins) and acidity. Ciders even have terroir (the characteristic taste and flavor imparted to a wine by the environment in which it is produced. Including topography, climate and soil type), just like wine. Ciders from France, England, Spain, Basque, and now even the Finger Lakes have their own unique "stamp" which set them apart from ciders elsewhere.
This is a short into the world of true cider made from cider and heirloom apple varieties. To learn more, stop in, check out our selection and talk with us!