Cider season looks promising

Published: Sep. 23, 2023 at 9:17 AM EDT
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STOWE, Vt. (WCAX) -Vermont’s cider producers say the May freeze was the worst they’ve seen in recent memory. Some parts of the state lost 90% of their crop, but its looking up for cider.

It was a mixed bag this year for apples, Southern Vermont lost most of their crop while the Champlain Valley retained around 70%. Vermont cider producers often source their apples from Northern New York, and with an increase in apples damaged on the outside from the freeze, one grocery store’s trash is a cidery’s treasure.

“I think it’s really hard to tell how the season is going to end up. I know for hard cider, we’re going to be in a good spot, cause there’s so much, for a lack of a better term, ugly and misshapen fruit -- which is perfect for crushing and making cider.” said Mark Ray, President of the Vermont Cider Association.

Ray says those deformed fruit are perfect for baking pies, making apple sauce and cobbler. For any sort of apple cooking or baking, it’s not about what’s on the outside, but on the inside. Since the grocery store won’t be buying imperfect fruit, The Cider Association hopes Vermonters buy local, and support their favorite orchard’s pick-your-own. In fact ray says Stowe cider is so inspired by the misshapen fruit, they’ll be coming out with a new freeze inspired hard cider flavor.