Best Real Unpasteurized Cider in NE
- Keithel Sep 28, 2007 10:34 AM
In an extension to a topic that catsmeow started here [ http://www.chowhound.com/topics/44563... ], I thought I'd start a new topic that was New England wide.
I'm curious where people think the best unfiltered, unpasteurized cider can be found in New England.
My favorite for a long time in Central/Metrowest Massachusetts is at "Phil's Apples" - a farmer in Harvard MA. Phil and his brother are both great guys, and are interesting to talk to, and their cider is just great!
Due to regulations in Massachusetts passed, oh, probably 10 years ago or more, due to the fact that their cider is unpasteurized, they have to post a warning to the effect of "This product may kill you, don't drink it". I really don't understand why we must boil everything and kill all flavor.. Pasteurized cider is just not the same -- doesn't have that same tanginess.
Phil makes both Macintosh cider (red cap) and a mix of Mac/Golden delicious cider. Gallons are usually IIRC either $4.50 or $5/gallon. Yes, expensive, but yes, definitely worth it. He also does a bang-up job on Apple picking, and also does pick-your-own pumpkin.
He's located fairly close to the 111 exit off Rt 2, on Prospect Hill Rd. (the road that Fruitlands Museum is on)
24 Prospect Hill Rd, Harvard, MA
Harvard, MA, Harvard, MA
That's better, though I think it still kills off the good bugs too (maybe not as many, but it still does!).
Phil's takes the approach of giving us the real stuff - the way it used to be made before the new regulations kicked in (not sure of the regs in CT, but I know MA forces folks doing it like Phil to put that warning I mentioned).
UV treated cider may be better tasting than the pasteurized stuff, but I still like it the old way :)
Not sure what "good bugs" are in cider, but that's a bit different form where I thought you were going, which was strictly on flavor. I have to say this cider is as good as I remember from my childhood, and much better than pasteurized. It also ferments if kept to long, so the natural yeasts still seem to survive, and they are about the only probiotic type organisms I can think of that might be in cider.
Plus, you could always just eat an apple to get whatever "good bugs" you might be missing from UV-sterilized cider...
Ok, the best cider is my own home-made. Sorry. I don't sell it. I make tops 15 gallons/year and it is a mark of intense affection if I give someone a jug of it. Preferably 3 varieties of apples with a few pears thrown in for good measure.
Clyde's in Mystic started pasteurizing their cider in 1998 or 1999 after years of pressure from the health dept. They flash pasteurize it but still... But I go there anyway for my fix of Lucky Lion: the hard cider they make with russet apples.
On the other hand there is hope in New England. There is a place outside of Middletown that sells organic or one-spray apples as well as unpasteurized cider. Go south from Guida's. I haven't drunk it.
Finally, a friend just brought me a jug of ambrosia from Averill Farm. Highly tasty.
250 Calhoun St.
Washington Depot, CT 06794