Late summer is a bit too early for the apple harvest, so instead of our usual apple-pressing, our cidermakers get to play.
“I love this time of year because we get to experiment with smaller batches,” said Head Cidermaker Seth Boeve.
This week Seth and his cidermaking crew were playing with an idea for a Kriek-inspired cider. The team transferred some Seedling Farm 2015 Orchard Series cider that had been aged in French oak barrels and on Schaerbeek cherries that also came from Seedling Farm in South Haven, MI.
Schaerbeek cherries originate from Belgium and are a deep ruby color and delightfully tart. The Schaerbeek trees on Seedling’s orchard are the same ones whose fruit was used in Goose Island Brewing Co.’s Madame Rose beer in the past. This year Virtue was able to utilize the bounty.
We decided we wanted to utilize this fruit in as many ways as possible. A portion of this cider is going into French oak to age, and will be available for purchase in the Bottle Shop later this fall.
We also were flirting with the idea of crafting a rosé-inspired cider. We selected some early harvest 2015 cider that had been aging in French oak, and did a second aging on the cherries to pick up a beautiful light hue, as well as just a hint of cherry in the nose.
You’ll soon to be able to find limited bottles of this rosé cider, and other interesting small batch ciders, at our Bottle Shop in Fennville.