Thick in the resurgence of hard cider, Austin Eastciders is fueling our thirst for the apple beverage by continuing to release new varieties — and as always, they aren’t your typical cider blends.
Already on shelves around town after rolling out this month is the cidery’s Texas Honey. The second cider to be canned, it’s a combination of two types of apples, dessert and bittersweet, that are blended with locally sourced honey to create a “subtle, rounded, mellow sweetness, balancing the astringency of the cider apples,” according to a press release.
Austin Eastciders’ take on this Old World cider style (which came about when people started using honey to sweeten their bone-dry cider during the apple drink’s original heyday) is slightly sweeter than Eastciders Original, according to the press release, but it’s full-bodied and easy-drinking, at 5 percent ABV.
Soon to come is Small Batch No. 2, the second in a series of quarterly small-batch releases that aim to showcase “rare, historic apple varieties using traditional and experimental cider making techniques,” the press release said. The cider is made with Arkansas Black, an old Southern apple varietal that’s good for turning into cider. The driest of all Eastciders’ releases thus far, Small Batch No. 2 has “prominent citrus notes” and a long finish. And with only 350 cases of it to be distributed, it might be as hard to find as the apples it’s made with.
Since finally opening his eastcide cidery late last year, Eastciders founder Ed Gibson hasn’t slowed down much, with plenty of plans for more of his favorite beverage. Also on the cider horizon, according to the press release, is another small-batch variety: a bourbon barrel-aged cider, featuring French bittersweet apples, that spent time in Woodford Reserve barrels. Look for Small Batch No. 3 later this spring.
For more information, visit www.austineastciders.com.