Apples to Apples, it matters.
Apples have been used to make hard cider since the Roman Empire. Today, there are hundreds of different apples varieties to select from, each possessing its own unique taste, texture, and color, providing the distinctive characteristics of cider.
Here, at Mountain West Cider, we source only the finest ingredients from the Mountain West region to craft the everyday, traditional dry ciders you’ve come to enjoy. The fruit blend we source locally to produce our ciders, includes Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Gala and Jonagold. This blend varies throughout the harvest season, adding to our craft feel. The one consistent ingredient is the professionally selected yeast we use to ferment our ciders. We’ve selected these yeast varieties to highlight specific characterizes naturally occurring in the blends we use. Joel Goodwillie, Mountain West’s cidermaker, said “the yeast we use contributes to an overall well balanced mouth feel with fruity and floral aromas”.
Staying true to Mountain West’s mission of supporting local purveyors, we source most of our juice blends from orchards right here in Utah. We don’t put all of our apples into one basket; “We have been fortunate to experience tremendous growth in our short 3 years, this increased demand has us seeking new fruit providers beyond Utah” says founder, Jennifer Carleton.
As a small craft beverage manufacturer, Mountain West has little control over the fruit blends they use. Laci Brown, Sales Director said “It’s fun to see the blend change with every batch and how that will have an effect on the color throughout the season”. It’s important to note that the color may change, however the taste of each cider will remain as consistent as we can make it. We like to think this adds to our craftiness!
Joel claims, “cider is a lot like wine, the flavor of air, the air climate, the dirt, and the apples have different terroir that contribute to the final product”.
So, what are the apple varieties we use? Heirloom cider apple varieties, once widely available, were used in making traditional hard cider and consisted of bittersweets and bittersharps; because of their greater tannin and higher sugar characteristic. Our cider offerings contain the apples readily available in the Mountain West region, and primarily consist of dessert or culinary apples. Dessert apples lack that greater tannin quality, but still produce tasty apple ciders. They Do! Trust us, we should know! Or try for yourself.