What’s in Stein’s Stein is a new biweekly feature celebrating the liquids made, sold, and served by underrepresented voices in the craft beverage industries.
Cider: Foggy Ridge Serious Cider
Maker: Diane Flynt
Hometown: West Point, Georgia
Price: $18.99 per 750 ml
Taste: Aromas of sharp apples and tropical fruit greet the nostrils, and the palate finds a perfect blend of farmyard funk, rounded sweetness, and acidity. Highly effervescent, its Champagne-dryness is offset by a mild honey finish.
Story: If you know a wine drinker who has never tried cider, this is the one to bring them around. According to cider maker Diane Flynt, who founded Foggy Ridge, cider is “made like wine and marketed like beer.” This is fine, Flynt says, but “for those who want to express the terroir of a fruit variety—in my case, an apple variety—you approach the beverage the way a wine maker makes a fine wine.”
Flynt, who recently received her third nomination for a James Beard Award in the Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional category, grows apples at the highest elevation in the South at 3,000 feet. Her cider-making orchard was the first of its kind. “Not that the first means the best, but it does mean we’ve had a lot of practice.”
Some cider is literally watered down. “A cheap way is to start with apple juice concentrate, ferment it out to 10 to 12 percent alcohol [by volume] or higher and then dilute it with water,” Flynt says. After weakening it to 4 to 5 percent using this method, it becomes a session cider much like a session beer. Cideries will add flavor to make it taste like apples, ginger, or hops. “In my opinion, [the flavoring] is to cover up for something that doesn’t taste good on its own,” Flynt says. Her cider tastes fantastic au natural and is worth seeking out.
Where to find it: Schneider’s of Capitol Hill, 300 Massachusetts Ave. NE; (202) 543-9300; cellar.com.