I don’t know about where you are, but here in Japan we experienced one of the longest summers I care to remember – and a brutally hot and humid one, at that. I couldn’t wait for the temperatures to cool and catch the crisp fresh scent in the air that signals the approach of autumn.
The harvest season is such a magic time for cider. Nature presents us with the most colorful time of year, as well as savory foods from the earth. It’s no wonder autumn is a favorite for many. With that in mind, this month’s “InCider Insights,” where I pose one question to a trio of cider professionals, is:
With harvest season upon us, what do you look forward to most this time of year?
Dana Bushouse, Cider Boss | Crooked City Cider, Oakland, California
What we look forward to the most this time of year are the FRESH ciders that will be released in the next few months from our local small producers. We carry everything from large producers who make cider year round to small local cideries that rely on harvest season for their juice.
We LOVE seeing the cider that Locomes from our cideries that harvest and crush their own apples. It’s truly an art form and every harvest we can’t wait to see what comes of it!
Hayato Sakurai, Head Cidermaker | Farm & Cidery Kaneshige, Nagano Prefecture, Japan
We started our cidery in 2015 and have just added a beer system to our operations, so this year we are especially excited to be brewing beer! Traditionally speaking, however, we always enjoy collecting seasonal foods – autumn is the best time for doing so in Japan – like chestnuts from neighboring Gifu Prefecture and Niagara grapes from our local friends.
Peter Mitsch, Cidermaker | Meadowlark Farms Hard Cider, Rose Hill, Kansas
I look forward to bins of apples being dropped at the cidery work room by our orchard team, fireside work meetings, and our growing line of estate cider on tap in the Meadowlark Farms taproom. Additionally, the brewery crowd in Wichita, Kansas, (our nearest metro customer base) has recently embraced the local cideries of which we are the oldest and most established. Every weekend: Tom (the owner, mentor and inventor of our recipe), Garrett (head of sales and marketing), and myself will be traveling to different festivals and art shows to spread the harvest cheer all over Kansas with our original recipe. Finally, the people I work with are just as exciting a part of my harvest as the product of the orchard, and I truly love my job.
Lee Reeve is the owner-operator of inCiderJapan G.K. (www.inciderjapan.com), an importer/distributor, retailer, and producer of cider and cider-related goods. He is also the publisher of inCiderJapan, Asia’s first and only bilingual magazine dedicated to all things cider.
Lee Reeve can be reached at email@example.com.