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PRODUCT: Angry Orchard Hard Cider (Hop’n Mad Apple)

Some people are beer people, others are cider people. We’re both. Our beer style of preference is the IPA: Bring on the hops; the more, the better.

So we were one of the happiest cider drinkers when Angry Orchard released its new Hop’n Mad Apple hard cider.

The cider makers drew inspiration from the hops used to make beer. It wasn’t a stretch: Angry Orchard is owned by Boston Beer Company, makers of Samuel Adams. (It also suggests why, first launched in 2012, Angry Orchard is the number one selling hard cider in the U.S.)

It’s an international affair, adding two type of imported hops to American cider apples. Strisselspalt hops from France contribute subtle citrus, herbal and floral notes to the cider; Galaxy hops from Australia impart bright, juicy tropical notes like pineapple and mango.

The hops are added to the cider post-fermentation—a process known in the brewing world as dry hopping—to create a fresh hop aroma and a pleasant dry finish without any bitterness. The result is apply, hoppy and delicious, and is now our favorite* of the Angry Orchard cider.

Find the retailer nearest you at AngryOrchard.com.

   
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We’re hop’n glad for Hop’n Mad hard apple cider. Photo courtesy Angry Orchard.
 

*The Angry Orchard line currently includes Apple Ginger, Cider House, Cinnful Apple, Crisp Apple, Green Apple, Hop’n Mad Apple, Summer Honey and Traditional Dry.
 
A BRIEF HISTORY OF CIDER

Here’s the history of hard cider from Angry Orchard. The history starts with the apples needed to make cider. Here’s the full history, with excerpts below.

  • 1500 B.C.E. A tablet found in Mesopotamia dating to this time documents the first recorded sale of an apple orchard. The price: three prized breeder sheep.
  • 1300 B.C.E. Egyptian pharaoh Ramses The Great orders apples to be grown in the Nile Delta.
  • 55 B.C.E. Cider was a popular drink in Roman times. Julius Caesar himself enjoyed the occasional glass (his drink of choice was wine). Caesar’s legions carry apple seeds with them. As they conquered Continental Europe, they planted apple orchards to replace the native crabapples.
  • 400 C.E. The Dark Ages were bright times for cider. Grapes didn’t grow as well in the northern regions of Europe, so gardens and orchards grew apples. Cider becomes a popular alternative to wine in the regions of Brittany and Normandy at the north of France, and throughout Britannia (Roman Britain).
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    Cider apples may look like eating apples, but they have far less sugar and are not enjoyable to humans. The reverse is true with eating apples: They don’t make good cider. Photo courtesy Cider.org.uk.
     
  • 1066 C.E. The Norman Conquest of England brings many new apple varieties from France. Cider quickly becames a most popular drink in England, second only to ale.
  • 1620 C.E. Pilgrims headed to America bring apple seeds and cider-making equipment. Three days into the voyage from Plymouth, the Mayflower hist a storm and cracks a beam. They almost turned back, but are able to find a “great screw,” believed to be part of a cider press, to hold up the beam.
  • 1650 C.E. Early American orchards produce few apples because there are no honey bees to efficiently pollinate the trees. Bees are shipped from England to Virginia and Massachusetts to help apple production take off.
  • 1789 C.E. Cider is all the rage with the founding fathers. Washington and Jefferson own apple orchards and produce their own cider. It is rumored that John Adams drinks a tankard of cider with breakfast every morning.
  • 1800 C.E. John Chapman, a.k.a. Johnny Appleseed, establishes apple orchards throughout the Midwest. While his goal is to plant enough trees so that no one would ever go hungry, because he collects the seeds from cider mills, his plantings actually produce cider apples.
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  • 1900 C.E. Waves of German and Eastern European immigrants arrive in the U.S. With their love for beer, cider’s popularity begins to wane.
  • 1910 C.E. The Temperance movement encourages many farmers to give up growing cider apples.
  • 1919 C.E. All alcohol production and consumption is declared illegal by the Volstead Act.
  • 1933 C.E. Prohibition ends. Breweries and distillers get back into production with imported ingredients, but orchards cannot easily switch back to cider apples.
  • 2010 C.E. American cider undergoes a renaissance. In five years, sales increase some 400%, with craft producers leading the way.
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