Chaddsford to feature its hard cider at Kennett Winterfest
● By Steven Hoffman
On what will probably be described as "the stone cold afternoon of Saturday, February 27," the fourth annual Kennett Winterfest will welcome hundreds of hearty souls willing to brave the chill and experience the thrill of tasting products from the more than 50 breweries participating in the event.
The Kennett Winterfest, like its companion the Kennett Brewfest, serves as much more than an opportunity for beer connoisseurs to quaff a few foamies, huddled in packs against the cold. It serves as a long line of curtain calls for longtime favorites, and as auditions for newcomers on the gravy train that's turned craft beer making from one nurtured in garages into a multi-billion-dollar industry.
In recent years, however, there's been a new kid on the brewing block -- hard cider -- and it's gaining ground in what Americans are choosing to accompany their food.
Locally, that new kid on the block is the hard cider being made at Chaddsford Winery, which will be one of just a handful of hard ciders to be showcased at this year's Kennett Winterfest.
Created by longtime Chaddsford winemaker Jim Osborne in 2015, the hard cider was conceived as a result of excess apple juice left over from the making of the winery's popular spiced apple wine.
"I noticed how popular hard ciders had become among craft beer drinkers and wanted to experiment with creating one at the winery," Osborne said.
Made from a proprietary blend of sweet and tart apples, the cider is made cold fermented and left unfiltered to capture the simple tastes of the apples. Reminiscent of the kind of hard cider served in taverns during the Colonial days, the beverage has almost no residual sugar and is dry and lemony on the tongue, with a dry and chalky finish.
"The people who tend to enjoy craft beers and a more nuanced taste in their beer are gravitating toward our hard cider, because the flavors are so reminiscent of craft beers," said General Manager Corey Krejcik. "We issued the cider as an opportunity to bridge the gap between craft beer and the more traditional style of hard cider."
The cider has certainly received its share of accolades. It was awarded a Gold Medal at the 2015 International Craft Competition, the first one Chaddsford received for its hard cider, and the first time the hard cider was released. In addition, the hard cider was featured in the May 2015 issue of Hard Cider News, as well as Wine Business Monthly and Beverage Industry Magazine.
In addition to being available at the winery, Chaddsford Hard Cider is also available at several Acme stores throughout Chester County, and at several Wegman's locations, including Concordville, King of Prussia and Malvern. To learn more about Chaddsford Hard Cider, visit www.chaddsford.com.
To learn more about this year's Kennett Winterfest, visit www.kennettwinterfest.com.