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kosher draft cider

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Does anybody know of a draft cider that has kosher supervision.I was told that they need kosher supervision. Draft cider is a cider with some alcohol content.

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  1. There has been some discussion whether hard cider needs kosher supervision. Sam Adams.. I mean Woodchuck has asked to be checked out for this but no response after a year or two. It seems that most artisinal ciders may be ok because of the ingredients. The same as most artisinal beers. It is definately a good question but one that may not get an easy answer. (I speak not from an expert on kosher but as a sometimes/part time professional hard cider and ale maker) This is one to ask your rabbi for advice. It would be classified more under beer than wine due to alcohol content, ingredients, and how it is made. If I can find out anything I will post and please do the same. I will ask all the professional hard cider makers I know.

    3 Replies
    1. re: The Rogue

      I, too, am no expert on kashrut, but apple or other fruit cider is far more similar to grape wine than it is to grain-based beer, so I would expect the rules for making kosher apple or pear cider to be very similar, if not identifcal, to the rules for making kosher wine.

      I do not know those rules, but I understand they involve considerations other than whether the ingredients that go into the beverage are kosher.

      1. re: Deven Black

        Actually, I would argue that cider is more akin to beer in terms of kashrut requirements.

        Wine and grape juice require kashrut certification because of the presence of grapes, I believe.

        Pure fresh orange juice does not require certification.

        1. re: p.j.

          I was told by a well known kosher supervision that draft cider can be problematic and therefore requires kosher supervision. My request was that I was hoping somebody knew of a brand that has supervision. Thanks

    2. Pure fruit juice is pure fruit juice. If you can be certain that all the juice maker did was squeeze the orange into a clean container, the juice is as kosher as the orange was.

      Cider is similar. And they are now making fine dry cider that reportedly drinks like good wine.

      Here is a description from what I take to be a typical, upscale, artisanal cider maker.

      "West County Ciders stand out by the simplicity of our ingredients: whole apples, a little yeast, and a bit of sulfite (found in nearly all wines). No sugars, water, flavorings, sorbate, carbon dioxide, or concentrates are used in any of our ciders, allowing for a crisp, clean apple taste in every bottle."

      Grapes and grape juices have halachic complexity. Apple juice is no more complex than orange juice. Cider however, entails sulfites and yeast. The kashrut of which would need to be ascertained.

      Worth looking into, because I've heard good things from people who have tasted this cider.

      8 Replies
      1. re: AdinaA

        Revolution Cider http://revolutioncider.com/ is made by two frum Jews. I happen to know one of them. I don't know if they plan on getting certification, but I've been told it is Ingredient kosher and theoretically could even be kosher for pesach. They're just getting started and I'm sure their distribution network is very small, but it's worth keeping your eyes out for it, especially if you're in the Philly area.

        Note, I haven't had any yet myself, so I can't speak to the quality, just the fact that I know it's out there.

        1. re: avitrek

          Funny you mention Revolution Cider. We actually had an opportunity to taste their cider at a tasting last year and it is AMAZING! It is real cider, not apple soda with bubbles. They are looking into certification, but my understanding is that it is kosher regardless. Ask your LOR. Hope to post when I find out what retailers it can be obtained at.

            1. re: AdinaA

              You can buy our products at Supper and Tria in Philadelphia PA. More to come soon!

              1. re: RevolutionCider

                If you have a hechscher, you should talk to one of the New York stores with a large kosher clientele, like Gotham Wine or Skyview.

                1. re: AdinaA

                  Cider, like beer, is sold in grocery stores in NY, not wine/liquor stores.

                  1. re: avitrek

                    I'm sure you're right. But these new, boutique, dry ciders tend to be marketed in wine-style bottles, and you see sections of them in good wine stores.

                    Although I hope Pomegranate and Fairway will stock it.

                    1. re: avitrek

                      Gotham definitely sells a range of ciders.

        2. We removed a number of posts from this thread (old and new) and would like to remind people that debating the intricacies of kashruth is really off-topic here. Please keep the focus on finding chow that is delicious (and kosher), rather than on debating how and why something is or isn't kosher. Thanks.

          1 Reply
          1. re: The Chowhound Team

            We've moved a discussion of the restrictions of this discussion board to http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/762230 .

          2. Hard cider typically has no kashrus problems. Kosher-for-Passover is a different story entirely. But for general kosher use, the issues are: ingredients, production facilility, bottling facility, thermal processing. IF all of the ingredients are kosher, one still needs to ascertain that the production facility is kosher, which would typically be the case with a dedicated production facility. The bottling line, too, would certainly be kosher if dedicated exclusively to production of the aforementioned product. If thermal processing were involved, there might be a problem with cooking without Jewish involvement (bishul akum), depending upon the rabbinic decisor. Ingredients-wise, gelatin or isinglass fining would typically be considered improper in kosher product, but even then, there are those who would allow it. Sulfites are always kosher, as are yeasts. For Passover is a different story, yeastwise.

            4 Replies
            1. re: ganeden

              What's isinglass fining? And where would gelatin enter into the product? Thanks!

              1. re: daized79

                Isinglass is made from the dried swim bladders of fish (some kosher, some not, like sturgeon): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isinglass It's used to clarify some alcoholic beverages that otherwise might be cloudy. I believe that gelatin can be used for the same purpose, but I'm not sure.

              2. re: ganeden

                As far as I know fining agents such as isinglass or gelatin are universally accepted as OK, because they're filtered out of the final product.

                If one were to worry about this, then the same issue applies to sugar, whose refining used to involve blood, and nowadays involves bone charcoal, neither of which is kosher. There is a teshuva of the Tzemach Tzedek explaining why sugar is nevertheless kosher, because the blood does not exist in the final product.

                And the same issue also applies to clear apple juice; once again, the fining agent used to precipitate the muck out of it is often not kosher, but it's OK because it's filtered out.

                1. re: zsero

                  they are not universally accepted as kosher. I do not know any hashgacha which would allow it before the fact.

              3. Strongbow Cider appears to be Kosher, but I'm not sure about the bottling process in the US.

                United Synagogue / London Beth Din (UK)
                http://www.theus.org.uk/jewish_living...
                and then search for Strongbow or Cider and you'll see they say that Strongbow is Pareve. They also add: "Please note: Our information only applies to products sold in the UK. products on sale in other countries (even if manufactured in the UK) may have different formulations so we cannot advise on their kosher status."

                That said, from other places...

                Kashrut Authority (Australia)
                http://www.ka.org.au/index.php/compon...

                Union of Orthodox Synagogues (South Africa)
                www.uos.co.za/kashrut/Approved%20Alco...
                (Which says only Kosher if it is made in the UK)

                From Stongbow itself:
                http://www.strongbow.com/AboutUs.aspx
                "It's manufactured in England...."

                It seems like the product initially is Kosher, but I don't know what happens with the bottling and transport to the US.

                1. Wolf and Lamb Steakhouse in NYC is certified by the OK and serves Granny Smith Apple Woodchuck Hard Apple Cider

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: woodchuck2

                    That's exactly what brought me here and what I was gonna post!

                    1. re: ATH44

                      Except that I emailed the Ok about it and their response was, sadly:

                      Mr. XXXXX,

                      After further research, it has been confirmed that Granny Smith is indeed a flavor. It has been taken off the menu in Wolf and Lamb, and is no longer allowed in our facilities.

                      If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me.

                      Kind Regards,
                      Chana Esther Brennan

                      Restaurant Liaison
                      OK Kosher Certification

                      1. re: latke

                        Thank you. I emailed the OK as well. I'm waiting to hear back from them.

                  2. Angry Orchard is under StarK

                    1. Angry Orchard is good & kosher. hard cider definately needs a hechsher, most artisinal ones use champagne yeast & that aint kosher without supervision.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Moishefrompardes

                        On the contrary, Moshe, most Champagne yeast, like all wine yeast, is fine for year around use. The big problem is Pesach, and that requires yeast specially certified for Pesach. Almost all of the freeze dried pure wine yeast cultures, and most mixed cultures as well, are even certified kosher, but there is little to be problematic, until Pesach kashrus is required.

                        1. re: Moishefrompardes

                          Angry Orchard is also delicious. 'Crisp' is my favorite.

                        2. Does anyone know anything about Angry Orchard? Was on here as kosher, but the CRC now has it as not recommended. Does anyone know why?

                          Edited: Huh- The Star-K teudah lists them as certified. Must be a difference of opinion between the two.

                          Also, the Star-K's teudah was updated this week. Might have been a miscommunication.

                          Compare:
                          http://www.crcweb.org/LiquorList.pdf
                          http://www.star-k.org/loc/LetterOfCer...

                          28 Replies
                          1. re: masteraleph

                            I've been trying desperately to track down Angry Orchard (I'm assuming it's still kosher). Even if it is acceptable, getting your hands on some (at least on the Upper West Side), is a whole different story. The website lists stores that supposedly carry it, yet many no longer do.

                            1. re: PotatoPuff

                              Both Gotham and West Side Market (Broadway between 97 and 98) have it. Enjoy!

                              1. re: CloggieGirl

                                Thanks Cloggie! I'm rarely in that part of the 'hood (I live more than 20 blocks south), but will keep in mind for my next venture "uptown". I wish the West SIde Market in the 70's had it. The Angry Orchard website lists plenty of places that carry it but in reality many of the places don't.

                                1. re: PotatoPuff

                                  Whole Foods (Columbus and 98th) has it, as well.

                                  1. re: masteraleph

                                    Again, a bit far from me but hopefully will have a chance to go there! Thanks so much @masteraleph!

                              2. re: PotatoPuff

                                Angry Orchard is NOT certified kosher by the Star-k. They currently import apple cider with no kosher certification. That seems to be the reason that the Star-k was removed.

                                P.S. Angry Orchard sent me an email saying that they were never certified kosher "sorry for any confusion."

                                1. re: KosherC

                                  Ugh seriously! I just bought (and drank!) some, because it WAS listed on the CRC list before. Still have leftovers....

                                  1. re: PotatoPuff

                                    Seriously,they lost hasgacha for using uncertified Applejuice. an ingredient that only recently was deemed necessary to have hashgacha. & only by some.i stopped serving it at the store, as soon as the hechsher came off. but im pretty sure you dont have to clop al cheit over this horrible kashrus transgression :)

                                    1. re: Moishefrompardes

                                      Haha thanks Moishe. Now off to find a suitable substitute. Apparantly Hardcore Cider is kosher, but impossible to find it anywhere...

                                      1. re: PotatoPuff

                                        bc hardcore became.............dududduddudu. Angry orchard. same product. changed names

                                        1. re: Moishefrompardes

                                          Are you sure? I know that they are both distributed by Sam Adams, but they are definitely pushing the angry orchard brand.

                                          1. re: KosherC

                                            i got that from the distributor. i think the teuda lists both bc they were covering them selves during the crossover.

                                          2. re: Moishefrompardes

                                            Hi Moishe, I'm confused... So they are both the same product, but does it have certification when produced under the name Hardcore? Is one brand going to be discontinued?

                                            Soooo sad that it is damn near impossible to obtain kosher cider. It can't be that difficult to make!

                                            1. re: PotatoPuff

                                              no i think when they were rebranding they both had a starK. according to the teudah the ciders need a starK.IDK, i wouldnt serve it in my store. but, again, the issue was uncertified apple juice. apple juice people!

                                              1. re: Moishefrompardes

                                                The apple concentrate is being imported from France. There are no hechsherim in France. People shop using kosher lists. So, the apple concentrate has no kosher certification, which seemingly is why the Star-k no longer certifies the beer.

                                                1. re: Moishefrompardes

                                                  So effectively there are NO kosher cider options available in the United States?

                                                  1. re: PotatoPuff

                                                    theres one out of philly under the ikc pretty sure i cant serve it at the restaurant. id drink it at your house though.
                                                    http://revolutioncider.com/category/u...

                                                    1. re: Moishefrompardes

                                                      Was cider that popular an item at your restaurant? Also, have you ever considered making it yourself? It's not very difficult, especially if you keg it instead of bottling it.

                                                      1. re: Moishefrompardes

                                                        Right forgot about Revolution! Wish it were available in NYC

                                                        1. re: Moishefrompardes

                                                          I'd get some from Philly if you would bring over some Pardes leftovers :)

                                            2. re: PotatoPuff

                                              The CRC put it on the not recommended list, not the not kosher list. Consult your rabbi.
                                              Star-k should have posted a kashrut alert/update.
                                              If enough people email angry orchard maybe they will get kosher certification.

                                              1. re: KosherC

                                                I don't think there is a "not kosher" list; people know that "not recommended" is what they have to say legally.

                                                1. re: queenscook

                                                  According to the list, hard ciders need kosher certification. Angry orchard has no kosher kosher certification. Why did they make a not recommended list and only include the 3 flavors of angry orchard?

                                              2. re: KosherC

                                                I called and spoke to the Star-K this fall and they said all three Angry Orchard flavors were OK. When did this change?

                                                  1. re: KosherC

                                                    Sorry, I realize that I first noticed it beginning of October.

                                            3. re: masteraleph

                                              @Masteraleph- WOW! Just read your list and it appears we have another kosher candidate- Hardcore Cider is listed as acceptable by the Star-K on the list you just posted. I'm literately going to the store TODAY to see if I can find some!

                                            4. Just got an email from Angry Orchard.

                                              "There was a slight change in the parameters for kosher certification, but we are fortunately in the final stages of becoming re-certified."

                                              I feel soooo happy right now!

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: PotatoPuff

                                                Sounds like moshe was right. Hashgacha changed its standard, pulled the hashgacha, and now angry orchard is sourcing new certified apple juice to meet the new standard.

                                                1. re: PotatoPuff

                                                  This is a copy of the email I received from Angry Orchard.

                                                  November 28, 2012

                                                  Dear ...,
                                                  Angry Orchard was never certified as kosher. Sorry if you were mislead.
                                                  Sincerely

                                                  David Duff
                                                  Consumer Relations Assistant

                                                  1. re: KosherC

                                                    Huh? That totally contradicts the email I received. I'm very lost.

                                                    1. re: PotatoPuff

                                                      I'm pretty sure that KosherC's Customer Relations Assistant just had no idea what he was talking about. Star-K had Angry Orchard on its teudot until late this fall (that's discussed upstream).

                                                2. Just found cans of hard cider at my local Target with an OU. Brand is Smith & Forge

                                                  8 Replies
                                                  1. re: Prozack

                                                    Awesome!!!! Will be on the lookout for Smith and Forge. How does it taste?

                                                    Also I think that the Consistoire de Paris says that all hard cider made in France is kosher.

                                                    1. re: PotatoPuff

                                                      Not great. I didn't think it was too sweet but it was pretty flat. At 12.49 for 12 cans, how amazing could it be? Happy I tried it though, and as CloggieGirl said, would definitely try in cholent.

                                                      1. re: PotatoPuff

                                                        had a chat with the star-k recently and was told that the apple cider that comes from France that is then fermented has gelatin in it as a clarifier

                                                        1. re: Roshem

                                                          Which technically isn't a problem.

                                                          "elatin and isinglass clarifiers are not used in domestic beers. Isinglass finings is a traditional British beer clarifier that has been used for centuries in the United Kingdom. Isinglass (pronounced i-zin’glas) is a gelatinous substance made from the swim bladders of certain fish - usually sturgeon, a non-kosher fish. Like gelatin, it causes yeast to settle out of the beer more rapidly. It is fascinating to note that over two hundred years ago the great halachic authority, the Noda Beyehuda, permitted the use of the isinglass clarifier.1 A clarifier only filters unwanted particles and should not be present in the final beverage."

                                                          http://www.star-k.org/kashrus/kk-thir...

                                                          1. re: CWY

                                                            Every time you drink clear apple juice, it got that way by using a clarifier, often one that contains gelatin. The poskim are clear that this is not a problem, so long as it's all filtered out of the final product, which of course it is -- there'd be little point in precipitating the gunk in the first place if you didn't then filter it out!

                                                          2. re: Roshem

                                                            And I would definitely accept the Consistoire's ruling that it is kosher.

                                                        2. re: Prozack

                                                          I Googled them and apparently they're made by Miller-Coors (yes, as in the beers) and most reviews described it as very sweet. This may or may not appeal but if it doesn't I can imagine it would be an interesting cocktail or addition to cholent.

                                                          1. re: CloggieGirl

                                                            Tried it over the weekend and I give it a thumbs up. Definitely sweet, but not too sweet. Also not very obviously alcoholic, although it's over 6%, so you can easily fool yourself into overdoing it.

                                                        3. Which cider to drink? I've been disappointed over the years by the mere handful I've tasted - I don't remember the brand names. I like dry wines and am delighted by the variety of craft beers (never could see the point of mass-produced lager) But when I have tried cider, it has been sweet(ish) and uninteresting. Not unpleasant, justnever interesting enough to lead me to take a third sip.

                                                          What am I missing?

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: AdinaA

                                                            I think sweetness is the thing with most ciders, if not all, so it just might not be the drink for you?

                                                            1. re: AdinaA

                                                              I think DeisCane is right. I like both dry wines and ciders so I thought some of the ciders labeled "dry" would be great. Sadly, they just didn't taste right. Not spoiled or bad, just like something was missing. Other people really like them but I'll stick to other ciders or drinks I enjoy.

                                                              1. re: CloggieGirl

                                                                We need to find actual French hard cider! It's all kosher if made in France, according to the Consistoire

                                                            2. Haven't run into it, but the OU lists another brand now- Yankee Folly Cider. Looks like it's mostly available up by New Paltz, but the website also lists a couple of places in Brooklyn and one in the East Village. Anyone up for being a guinea pig?

                                                              http://www.yankeefollycidery.com/

                                                              1. Another new one- Strongbow Apple and Honey Cider, with the KF actually printed on it. Found at Skyview Wines and Spirits in Riverdale NY.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: masteraleph

                                                                  Just had some Strongbow Gold. Picked it up at the liquor store next to Evergreen in Monsey. Good stuff.

                                                                  1. re: masteraleph

                                                                    FWIW, we had the Apple and Honey yesterday- very nice, sweet but not too sweet. It went very quickly at the party we were hosting.

                                                                  2. Redd's is OU with a tiny, well-hidden OU--on the paper around the neck. We liked it!

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: latke

                                                                        My bad. I just googled it, and you are so right. It's ale. It's good, though.