Downeast Cider: The Way It Should Be
Two college friends entering their senior year were relatively unsure of what to do with their futures. Thanks to a family orchard, they had experience in, as well as a palate for, fresh pressed apple juice. Tyler’s father suggested that, based on their interests and experiences, the friends open their own cidery! At the time, this seemed a bit absurd to them, but they ultimately decided to go for it in hopes of starting something totally different from the current standard in the cider industry. They wanted something that tasted just like fresh-pressed apple juice, rather than the more wine-like or watered down tastes of ciders from concentrate. What they came up with: unfiltered hard cider.
Many cider companies use juices from concentrate, natural flavorings, and artificial sweeteners. Downeast decided from the start that their company would be based on honesty straight from the start. They only use fresh-pressed juices from real apples on site, and all natural real ingredients. Where most companies filter their cider, giving it a clear or transparent look, Downeast does not. All of the natural nutrients and flavors that go into their ciders stay there. So, if you pour a nice tall glass of Downeast, it will appear cloudy when compared to other hard ciders, more similar to the look of fresh-pressed apple cider from your local apple orchard.
As we love companies that take the proper approach, we had some question prepared. When asked where he sees the cider industry going from a regional standpoint, Tyler responded, “The cider industry as a whole, Downeast included, is experiencing somewhat of a decrease in growth as compared to about seven years ago when the company first opened.” But he realized the bright side for cideries like Downeast. It seems as though, despite the decline in growth rate, the market is shifting in favor of smaller cideries and the future looks bright!
Tyler mentioned that his favorite thing about the cider industry is probably the industry itself. Tyler loves getting to work in an environment surrounded by like-minded people with a passion for cider, similar to the brewery industry. As cider in the US is still somewhat “undefined,” there is a lot of room for creative expression and education. Since cider isn’t as big here as it is in the UK, there’s still the opportunity to give people that first sip of cider and be able to educate them, which is causing cider to become more widely accepted. Tyler really spoke to the pieces we constantly hear about the cider industry, being around good people and providing necessary education.
Finally, when asked, “If you had to pick a favorite product by Downeast, what would it be?” Tyler responded, “I’d have to say I’m always a fan of the Original Blend, but if someone came up to me and said I had to drink a cider right now, it would probably be our new blend, Survivor Bob.”
We at CiderScene must say that Downeast’s products are fantastic, filling our appetite for quality unfiltered cider. They showcase a product line that speaks to the apples deeply, and for that we wish them nothing but the best.
Stay tuned for some upcoming reviews of Downeast’s products! And don’t be shy, they love having visitors down in East Boston, so stop by, say hello, take a tour, and have a cider or two (or more, who’s counting?).