Earlier this month J and I traveled to Indiana for a friend’s wedding and detoured to Gettysburg, PA on the way home. We spent time with friends and wandered through several historic sites. In between all that visiting we stopped at every log house and cider outlet we could.
While the log houses were chanced upon, we planned the cider tour. As we were returning home I got to thinking about what we saw, what I would liked to have seen, and what I would do differently next time. So if you, like me, are planning a future cider tour, here are some ideas to help make the trip as productive as possible:
- The internet is your friend. The internet makes searching for cider and cideries very easy. Our destinations were pretty well set so we just searched for cider in the places we knew we were going to be. The Cyder Market’s domestic cider page is a good place to start.
- The internet doesn’t have everything (or serendipity is your friend). There was one cider outlet we were going to skip because we’d had their cider before and they didn’t list anything on their website we hadn’t had already. At the last minute we decided to stop by anyway. Turns out they had several more cider varieties than were advertised, including a cider made from one of my favorite apples.
- Though you’re hunting for cider, include wineries in your search. As we assembled our itinerary it became apparent that we were going to spend a lot of time at wineries, not cideries. It’s not because there weren’t cideries out there. It seems a lot of cideries of are still very small operations who don’t have the time or staff to offer regular tours and tastings, though a few of them do to those who call ahead.
- Check local outlets for local ciders. Even if you can’t get to their orchard or tasting room you might be able to find their cider at local restaurants, bars, and specialty shops.
- Know what you want to know before you go. Before I started making, I would have been content with sampling lots of ciders. Now that I’m more involved I want more than just a taste, I want to know how the cider was made. At tasting rooms you’ll get a description of the cider, pairing suggestions, and, as the name suggests, a taste. However, if you want to know more about how the cider was created you’ll want to tour the orchard or vineyard itself. Hopefully your guide will be one of the makers.
What additions would you suggest?