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Is Cider the New Craft Beer?

Autumn is arriving. And with it comes an abundance of everyone’s favorite fall crop—apples.

An increasingly popular, and mouth-watering, approach to handling the overflow of orchard-fresh apples is to make a batch—or five—of hard cider.

Claude Jolicoeur’s The New Cider Maker’s Handbook is the orchard-to-bottle book that amateur cider makers have been waiting to read. Jolicoeur guides cider makers through every step of the cider making process and provides in-depth direction for the more experienced craftsperson. “The book is really the book I wish I had had when I started to gain interest in cider making and wanted to know more,” writes Jolicoeur in the book’s preface.

“The last two years…have seen a surge in artisan producers bent on resurrecting the region’s centuries-old cider-making tradition,” writes Corin Hirsch in Seven Days. “Sales of U.S. hard ciders have tripled since 2007 — to roughly $600 million last year, according to market-analyst firm IBISWorld. For the first time since the 1800s, cider makers are a force to be reckoned with.”

The New Cider Maker’s Handbook is broken down into five parts: Basic principles of cider making; instruction on obtaining the best possible apples; how to extract juice from apple; properties of the apple juice itself; and, the actual fermentation and transformation that turns apples into cider.

“Cider has greater visibility in this country than at any time in the past 100 to 150 years, and is growing fast as a category,” says Ben Watson, Chelsea Green senior editor and author of Cider, Hard and Sweet: History, Traditions, and Making Your Own (Countryman Press, 1999). “The modern cider renaissance is spurring an interest in more distinctive, higher quality products now, made by small to medium-size cider makers. In this sense, cider’s rebirth mirrors the phenomenally successful craft beer movement. Claude Jolicoeur is a passionate cider maker who has mastered his craft both through his own experience and research, and from advice gleaned from craft producers and experts around the world. His book is the most useful one on the subject to be published in America in the past century.”

Whether you’re an orchardist, a cider connoisseur, or a novice apple-lover, The New Cider Maker’s Handbook is the definitive guide your bookshelf is begging for.

“This is the book so many craft cider makers have been waiting for,” writes Dick Dunn, president of the Rocky Mountain Cider Association. “At once comprehensive, detailed, and authoritative. It really is ‘orchard to bottle,’ with both guidance and technical background all along the way.”

The New Cider Maker’s Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide for Craft Producers is available now and on sale for 35% off until September 23rd.

Read an excerpt from Part 1, The Basics of Cider Making, below:

The New Cider Maker’s Handbook: The Basics of Cider Making

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