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Dec 25, 2003 12:23 PM

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)
                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)

                Union of Orthodox Synagogues (South Africa)
                (Which says only Kosher if it is made in the UK)

                From Stongbow itself:
                "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.