By Ty Hillis
The summer sun has emerged and it is begging you to bask in its glory. The rays that you soak in will not only darken your skin, but they may ignite something wild deep inside of you. To match this, you will need an equally wild cider to sip on in the sunshine. Luckily, there are ciders that avoid all commercially made yeasts and simply use the yeast that is naturally grown around them.
The wild fermationtation process these ciders undergo can result in a number of nuances, from barnyard and funky ciders to savory, yeasty and ripe ciders to fresh, modern takes on the age-old tradition. This list is made of some our favorite wild fermented ciders, which will fit seamlessly into your backyard summer scene.
1) Washington Gold Hard Cider
Highlights: Hailing from the great apple orchards of Eastern Washington, this cider is a traditional hard cider made with wild yeasts and does not disappoint. The cidery claims that it pairs well with cold sandwiches and fresh fruit, so if you are planning a picnic, don’t forget the Washington Gold.
2) E.Z. Orchards 2012 Willamette Valley Cidre Dry
Highlights: Based in Salem, Oregon, E.Z. Orchards goes the traditional route for its dry cider. Using methode champenoise, which is usually used in winemaking and includes secondary fermentation in the bottle to create the creamy bubbles, this technique also works well with wild yeasts, that produces a mature apple aroma with low acidity and mild effervescence.
3) WildCraft Cider Works Hard Cider
Highlights: Another Oregon cider, this time located in Eugene, WildCraft Cider Works focuses on only using apples and yeasts that are grown from Oregon soil in their ciders. This Hard Cider is a classic dry session that boasts a variety of flavors for such a simple drink.
4) Argus Cider Perennial 2013 Sparkling Hard Cider
Highlights: For those wanting to class up the joint a little bit while sticking with apple’s gift to the world, Argus Cider’s Sparkling Hard Cider is the way to go. From the state where everything is bigger and better, this Texas cider’s taste follows those guidelines set forth by the cowboys of yore, and encapsulates the wildness of the state with the use of wild yeast.
5) Black Bird Cider Works Organic Oak Barrel Aged Dry Cider
Highlights: If the sparkling cider from Texas was still not classy enough for you, this New York-based cidery has you covered. Black Bird combines winemaking techniques and traditional cidermaking techniques to produce a dry cider unlike any other. Aged in oak barrels, the organic apple blend with wild yeasts takes on smoky notes with a beautiful citrus finish.