In Upstate New York, a brewery known and respected for its Belgian influenced beers has entered the realm of cider. Brewery Ommegang has introduced its new Project Cider that makes its debut this month with two year-round releases – Dry and Rosé, available in 4-pack 12oz cans and on draft.
“For 22 years, Brewery Ommegang has put a distinctly American twist on classic Belgian brewing styles,” Ommegang president Doug Campbell said in a statement. “But a few years ago, during a trip through Belgium and France, we were blown away by some of the incredibly complex, dry, and drinkable ciders we found there. Because New York state produces some of the best apples in America and has a long, storied tradition of cider making, we started experimenting. Project Cider is the delicious result.”
Being that Brewery Ommegang is located in an apple growing region, it sourced locally grown New York apples such as McIntosh, Gala, Red Delicious and Pazazz. Then this juice was fermented with Ommegang’s Belgian house yeast to impart complex character, the finished ciders are clarified and carbonated, resulting in sparkling refreshment.
In creating its two new ciders, Brewery Ommegang describes the process… The experience begins with aromas of orange peel, grapefruit and honey. Bright, fresh flavors of ripe melon, pear and a notable citrus zest accompany a lively, pleasant tartness. A dash of hibiscus gives Rosé a slightly more rounded texture with subtle hints of raspberry. Medium-bodied yet notably dry, the ciders finish long and slow, with soft, lingering tannins.
Brewery Ommegang suggests pairing both ciders with soft, creamy cheeses like brie, cleansing the palate without overwhelming the flavor, or spicy Thai food, with the bright fruit of the ciders complementing the sweet heat.
D.J. is a Portland, Oregon based writer that spent his formative years in the Midwest. With over 20 years under his belt of drinking beer at festivals across America and the world, he has developed a strong appreciation and understanding of craft beer and the industry that surrounds it. He can be found in any of the great breweries or beer bars that make Portland the best beer city in the world. His writing can also be found in Northwest Brewing News and can be followed on Twitter at @hopapalooza.