About the brewery:
Angry Orchard Cider Company is a subsidiary of Boston Beer Co., the folks behind Sam Adams. The ciders had been available only in certain markets before the company rolled out the brand nationwide earlier this year. It just so happens that Angry Orchard’s three varieties are made at the company’s Cincinnati facility. Click on the “Our Origins” link on Angry Orchard’s website and you won’t find a typical homebrewer-to-business story, but I enjoyed learning about the apples used to make the right sweet-tart cider. Some are familiar and some are “angry” — culinary apples that ain’t pretty but are tasty in cider.
About the beer:
It seems like cider is always too much of one thing: Too syrupy, too thin, too sweet or too dry. Angry Orchard struck a good balance — the medium-light body seemed just right, and apple flavor is true and clean-finishing. It tastes neither like candy nor something from the corner health-food store. Ginger seemed like a risky prospect, too — ginger drinks typically come with bite and a little burn. But in the cider, it turned out to be a good choice; the ginger flavor is bright but not too bold. And the addition of ginger seemed to boost the apple flavor rather than overwhelm it. I also liked the low alcohol content — around 5 percent ABV — which makes it sippable even in this humidity. And it’s naturally gluten-free.