There’s a revolution going on in America and we’re here to make sure you don’t miss out. Funny thing is, the ruckus is about America’s oldest libation — cider — and New York State is right in the thick of it. If you’ve been keeping up with our forays into the world of cider, you know that we’re talking about the hard stuff here, not just apple juice, and it’s huge in the beverage world right now.
New York’s connection with the apple is more than just a city slogan: The state is the country’s second largest apple producer and it has a history with cider that goes back centuries. As one of the original colonies, New York’s been doing the cider thing since the birth of our nation, and until the one-two-punch of lager beer’s dominance in the mid-nineteenth century, and cider’s TKO by Prohibition in 1920, this fermented apple drink was the everyday tipple for the average American.
The Comeback Kid of Craft Beverages
Along the lines of everything old is new again, cider has made a huge comeback thanks to American imbibers’ interest in craft beverages and sales figures bear this out. Nationally, cider is the fastest-growing category among alcoholic beverages sold in the U.S. and here are a few statistics that the craft beer and wine categories must be eyeing with envy:
It’s More Than Just a Bill
The good news for New York is the state is leading this trend. The impetus behind New York’s impressive growth is linked primarily to 1) Governor Cuomo’s support of forward-thinking state-sponsored initiatives aimed at increasing craft beverage production (including cider), and 2) the Governor’s help with passage of the Farm Cidery Law in January of 2014.
The story of how a simple Farm Cider Bill changed the economy and tourism of New York seems unlikely, but its impact has been nothing short of spectacular, and according to Dennis Rosen, New York State Liquor Authority Chairman, "Under the Governor's leadership, we have partnered with cider makers to update antiquated regulations and outdated policies. The legislative and regulatory changes have helped spur remarkable growth by increasing marketing and sales opportunities, streamlining licensing, and loosening restrictions for the state's small cider manufacturers."
Read on for the quick sip on New York cider.
Summer Whitford is the D.C. Editor and a food, drink and travel writer at The Daily Meal. In addition to lifestyle topics, Summer also writes about culture and the arts at Woman Around Town. You can follow her on Twitter @FoodandWineDiva and on Instagram at thefoodandwinediva.