Woodchucks’ Humble Beginnings
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck would chuck would?
Answer: Wood Chuck Hard Cider!
The story how it all began is legendary…
here’s the woodchuck hard cider review from the Michigan Apple Cider company Blake’s Hard Cider.
It all began in the back of Greg Failings’ two-car garage in 1991 – Proctorsville, Vermont.
A wine maker by trade, Greg began a series of mad scientist-like experiments to bring back from the grave a centuries old beverage which disappeared from the American public during the Prohibition era – hard apple cidar alcohol.
In light of early success, fermented spiced apple cider beer distribution would prove to be problematic and quite costly as operations expanded due to the size of the kegs.
Then one fateful day a UPS van dropped off a package the roughly the size of a keg and a light bulb went off in his head.
…he thought to himself.
Trying his luck with a small experiment, he tested the waters to see if any fish would bite. So he sent 8 kegs of his best hard cider to a Michigan wholesaler not expecting to see them at all.
Than one month later, his surprise, the apple cider rum kegs were returned on their dime.
Woodchuck Hard Cidar did this for several months before UPS refused to return anymore kegs because of volume. But by this time, the famous homemade hard apple cider brand stretched far and wide across the United States.
Fast forward years later till’ today and what we have is a flavorful, delicious fruit beer crafted uniquely for your tastebuds to savor and enjoy!
We take great inspiration from this company but if you are a fan of hard ciders, or you are distributor looking to get more variety in your game, then check Blake’s Hard Cider Seasonal Selections, we are a new budding company in Michigan that makes hard cider from apples hand picked from our own back yard!
Woodchuck has a variety of ciders for the apple craft beer aficionado to partake in.
Here are a but a few from the Core, Seasonal, Out On A Limb, Private Reserves and Cellar Dwellers product line guaranteed to ‘wet’ your appetite and quench your thirst:
Amber – the first cider crafted, this hard apple cider recipe remains the same today as it was with the very first bottle back in 1991. Bursting with a big, boastful flavor it is expertly crafted delivering a hard-hitting apple finish.
Pear – want to step outside the box and try something a wee bit extraordinary? Then Woodchucks’ got you covered. Try this unique light colored blend with ripe mouth watering pear notes
Day Chaser – created with the thrill seeker in mind, this cider drink combines both bitter and sweet apples to drive home a semi-dry cider that leaves you thirsty for more!
woodchuck fall harvest cider review
Summer Time – unlike the Core flavor options, this seasonal touch of deliciousness topped off with a hint of fresh blueberry juice is just what the doctored ordered on a long, hot summer day.
Fall Harvest – this complex blend of apple, cinnamon and nutmeg is the perfect way to celebrate a successful season as the days get shorter, and nights get cooler.
Winter Chill – with hints of vanilla and oak throughout, what better way to get through the winter storms with a swish of this classic beverage?
**OUT ON A LIMB**
Chocolate Raspberry (yum!) – sporting a medium body with a rich copper hue, this refreshing bundle of joy comes with a subtle taste of chocolate and raspberry throughout.
Cheeky Cherry – this apple cider cocktail mix features a bright pop of crisp apple and sour tart cherry notes sure to leave you and all your guests with a cheeky smile.
I personally recommend this one if you’re looking to take your hard cherry cider experience to another level.
Oopsy Daisy – if you’ve ever had to deal with that cranky boss of yours, the solution to all your stress is a calming chamomile scent that lights up the room with a dash of honey throughout for a bold, herb-y flavor.
Lazy Hazy Lemon Crazy – This oh-so-delicious brew is infused with fresh lemon juice and lemongrass, offering you a hint of sweet n’ tart flavors along with every sip.
Barrel Select – selectively aged in small batches for six months in authentic white oak Kentucky Bourbon barrels, this ‘whisky-flavored’ beer brings out a balanced hint of bourbon over a crip apple backdrop.
Pumpkin – a truly unique cidar unlike any other this side of town, this privately reserved rare and limited crafted beer is locked down like a cell in Alcatraz. **TASTE IF YOU DARE**
Its also worthy to mention woodchuck’s got great packaging department, our favorite is the gumption & their variety packs.
Better Than Angry Orchard?
Although Woodchucks main competitor, Angry Orchard, has a foothold in the hard apple cider industry, most people prefer the lighter, sweeter taste of Wood Chuck and it’s unique line of apple cider alcoholic beverages.
What Do Beer Enthusiasts Say About ‘Em?
Woodchucks hard cider is described as having a fresh, crisp, apple taste with notes of sugar and champagne.
Some people describe its color, with it’s room-filling aroma of apple juice. It has a subtle taste of citrus with a slight edge.
Others describe it as zesty fresh. Sweet, medium light body. A touch of seediness, but not much. Sweet red, yet easy on the palate. A slight ‘kiddy’ drink (depending on which flavor you choose). Clean. Definitely not artificial.
Ultimately, your beverage of choice will vary depending on your personality, likes and dislikes in hard cider beer.
Try a few varieties and judge the quality for yourself. In all likelihood you’ll be pleasantly surprised with your taste test experience.
The Truth, and Nothing BUT The Truth!
To close out this review, here are a few fun facts I betcha’ didn’t know about Wood Chuck Hard Cider:
In 55 B.C during the Britain’s Roman invasion, the Romans tasted cider for the first time. In fact, records show Ceaser (as in, THE Julius Caesar) enjoyed the beverage.
In 1797, former president John Adams is known to have had tanks full of cider for breakfast to soothe his stomach pain
In 1922, the Boston Globe is recognized as the biggest apple orchard in America located in the same state where Wood Chuck gets it’s fresh, daily supply – Vermont!
In 1920, prohibition was made in to law and anyone caught so much as looking at an alcoholic beverage was sentenced to time in prison. Although the law was repealed, hard cider disappeared and has never made a comeback until Woodchuck’s Hard Cider founder, Greg, decided to give it one last shot.
The rest, as they say, is history…
We love Woodchuck and have been big fans for a while. But at Blake’s Hard Cider we believe we are now brewing apple beers that rivals these big companies and some may say outshine them in taste department, making even the most hardcore Woodchuck hard cider beer advocates proud. We took on the things we love most about Woodchuck and made it little crisper, little tighter. For one we are based out of Armada, MI owned by Apple Orchard family that goes back a few generations.
All of our apple brews are made from hand picked apples straight from our own backyard and Michigan weather grows excellent apples. Our goal is to bring something fresh to the hard cider community, and continually innovate different new blend of flavors that can turn even the craft beer lovers into hardcore hard cider fans.
Some of our latest creations include:
- The Tonic: Refreshing synergy of Cucumber & Ginger
- Cyser: Wonderful marriage of apple & honey
- Wassail: Apple cider with floral notes
For complete list of our seasonal hard ciders go here.
Blake Farms DocumentaryBlake’s Orchard has been growing good times since 1946. It has been a wonderful experience for all of us. We couldn’t have done it without all the families we serve. Thank you. Please take a moment to see how it all started.
Posted by Blake Farms on Saturday, February 13, 2016