Try This: Hopped Cider

In Jack's Hard Cider Blog by Jack's Hard Cider

Feeling adventurous? There’s a fresh way to try Jack’s Hard Cider! Taking a cue from our friends in the craft beer industry, our Dry Hopped Cider is a compelling twist on our original recipe.

To make this popular style of cider, we add a dynamic profile of hops, including Cascade and Crystal American hops, throughout the fermentation process. This lends a nice bouquet of citrusy, herbal aromas and flavors to our dry cider, making for a refreshing, quaffable craft beverage experience.

You may be noticing hops in unexpected places lately, like cold-brewed coffee and cocktails, and it’s no secret why this amazing ingredient is trending: Hops pack a huge amount of bright complexity to anything they touch.

Just what are hops, anyway? Hops, or Humulus lupulus, are climbing vine plants found all over the world, and the part used for brewing or culinary purposes is the hop’s flower. Perhaps you’ve seen an image of the small, pale green cone on beer cans or bottles, as many breweries incorporate the image as part of their logo or label design. Hops are revered throughout the beer world, and for good reason: the resinous, bittering qualities of the flowers lend beer depth, pleasant aromas and bitterness that is needed to balance the sweetness of malts and barley. Without hops, beer is one dimensional and bland.

When it comes to craft cider, we don’t need to rely on hops, or other plants, herbs or spices, for balance. Our Pennsylvania-grown apples contain a range of different flavors and a wonderful amount of natural acidity to help smooth out the lovely sugars in the fruit. But since we’ve mastered the recipe for our dry and crisp Original Cider, the idea of experimenting with other flavors became exciting. Our flagship ciders list includes a range of blends and interpretations. Dry hopping was a natural extension of our commitment to making our craft ciders even more irresistible.

We don’t skimp on the hops in our Dry Hopped Cider; in fact, we use 350 pounds of high-quality hops per batch! The finished product is reminiscent of a great India Pale Ale that’s all the rage among craft beer lovers these days. But we’ve also noticed something interesting: non-beer drinkers and people who aren’t the biggest IPA fans also really enjoy it. In our tasting room, guests love our limited-release Dry Hopped Pear Cider (not available in cans), and the Dry Hopped Cider has won over many people who claim they don’t like hoppy beers. It has a vivid citrus and fragrant herbal quality that appeals to tea drinkers, foodies and wine enthusiasts, as well. For food pairings, it’s incredibly versatile and can be sipped alongside anything from pizza to tacos to pad Thai.

Next time you’re out to grab a six-pack of Jack’s Hard Cider, look for the jaunty bright blue Dry Hopped Cider cans, and see for yourself! You might just find a new favorite way to enjoy our carefully crafted ciders.

Jack’s Hard Cider — Produced from Pennsylvania Apples. Pressed On-Site. Never from Concentrate.

Emily Kovach

Featured photo: BigStock; in-text photos: Anna Miron/Six AM Studio