December 04, 2003

Bromfield chef teaches art of hard cider-making

from the Groton, MA Landmark

HARVARD/PEPPERELL — Ask anyone who frequents the Bromfield School cafeteria in Harvard these days, and you may hear that Chef Paul Correnty is the best thing that's happened to lunch.

Ask a homebrewer Correnty has taught the art of making hard cider and you might hear something similar.

Hard cider is a sweet and spirited drink, (5-8 percent alcohol) that's healthy, delicious and more than a seasonal specialty, according to Correnty. With no preservatives and “loaded with B-Complex vitamins,” hard cider is fermented from sweet cider, which is the product of fresh apples.

And as Correnty pointed out in a recent interview, “the apples around here are as fine as any.” Also plentiful. With dozens of orchards in Harvard, Pepperell, Groton and the Nashoba region, several press their own sweet cider, so the area is a steady “source of juice” for home hard cider-makers like Correnty.

He doesn't sell cider, however. The Pepperell residents teaches others to make it. From a home brewer's standpoint, it's easier than wine or beer, he said. Hard cider is stronger than beer, and has half the alcohol content of wine.

and more:

Hard Cider Revival

Correnty talks about how a hobby and an historic tradition segued into a sideline 15 years ago and became a mission to recapture a lost art. In 1994, he set up a national competition for the American Home Brewers Association, which added cider to the line-up that year.

And then there was the book, but even before a promotional book tour took him to upscale venues such as the Smithsonian, Correnty was teaching people, home brewers in particular, how to make hard cider, reviving a colonial art that had thrived here for over 400 years.

Popular in the 1600's, home cider-making had “pretty much disappeared,” he said. In England, cider is simply pre-bottled apple juice that's allowed to ferment, he said. Here, cider is made from juice fresh from the press. Hard cider is aged.

Cool to see articles like this!

Posted by DaveH at December 4, 2003 03:19 PM