It’s been two years since Far From The Tree released its first cider, a winery dream-turned-cider for Al and Denise Snape. In between Al Snape’s winemaking classes at the United Kingdom’s University of Brighton, the couple would venture out into farmers markets and turn their enology education toward the apple. Once back home in the United States, the Snapes researched grape growing in New England, understanding the struggles the area endures with its harsh weather—the same weather that is prime for apple cultivation. They switched gears and planted roots in Salem, Massachusetts, operating from the unheated cellar of a city building, providing optimal conditions for fermentation, aging and general temperature control without the costs involved with procuring that quality.
Four mainstream ciders are now on the regular rotation for the cidery, with two seasonal releases. The latest to the year-round lineup is the NOVA Hopped Cider, an off-dry cider of 100 percent Massachusetts-grown McIntosh apples blended with Galaxy, Mosaic and Simcoe hops. The aromatics are bouncy and boisterous, big on the juicy citrus (grapefruit, orange rind), fresh green hops and sweet pine resin scents of the plant. The herbaceous flavors of the hops ease up on the palate but pull through the grapefruit and mingle with the red-fruited apple flavors, with acid and bitterness cleansing as the finish.