The Bookshelf Winter 2018

Tasting Cider by Erin James and CIDERCRAFT Magazine

The CIDERCRAFT Guide to the Distinctive Flavors of North American Hard Cider

“It’s 300 pages of cider love,” says author Erin James about her new book Tasting Cider, an unabashed celebration of a beverage that’s good to its core. Pun intended.

Tasting Cider gives you a behind-the-scenes look at North America’s hard cider industry and introduces you to the cider makers themselves. Experts from the United States and Canada discuss their journeys to and with cider, and provide insight into their philosophies and inspiration. The book finishes with over 100 pages of cider-centric cocktail & food recipes and cider pairings that will complement any meal on your table.

James says, “We tried to reach as many readers as possible with this book, hopefully bringing in new people to cider and educating them, as well as building and putting something together that more of an intermediate palate would enjoy.”

No book on cider would be complete without a visit to the largest independently-owned cidery in the country, Angry Orchard. The company, which accounts for nearly 60% of all cider sales in the United States, can take a lot of credit for bringing modern cider into the American spotlight. James and Angry Orchard’s head cider maker Ryan Burk agree that cider is the ultimate farm-to-table food. Burk stresses that, “Drinking cider is an agricultural act; we’re adding value to the act. That’s what matters more than cider making. It’s the farmer, the grower, the history of the fruit. Cider has the opportunity to define itself; the future is in the apples. Once we start to define that, we’ll be able to see what American cider is.”

Nothing is quite as American as the apple – apple pie, apple cider, Johnny Appleseed… hard cider has grown and evolved tenfold since Ben Franklin proclaimed, “It’s indeed bad to eat apples; it’s better to turn them all into cider.” And James wants you to know that North American cider makers are doing just that, one apple at a time.