Small Changes, New Content, Expanded Focus (slightly)!
Over the first week of February, the United States Association of Cider Makers hosted their annual convention, CiderCon, in Portland, Oregon. I had a chance to attend several events, classes, and even spoke on one of the panels. I also had the chance to attend the inaugural Cider Certification Program class. Once it’s ready, I’ll be in the first group to take the CCP test and become a level one certified cider professional. What this week of cider has really done has crystallized my growing love affair with cider.
In that vein, I’ll be expanding the scope of ithinkaboutbeer.com to include cider. But this doesn’t mean I’ll be going crazy reviewing every cider under the sun, my focus will remain largely focused on traditionally produced and imported products. I love traditional European beers. I also love traditional European ciders. I’ll be looking at the ciders, cider makers, production methods, and styles from the great cider regions of Northern France (Normandy & Brittany), Northern Spain (Asturias & Basque Country, including Southern France), and the British Isles (mostly Southern England). Of course, I’ll also try American made ciders that are made in these traditions, especially ones using heirloom cider apple varietals.
As with my beer content, my goal will be to provide more than just tasting notes and a basic “like it” kind of review. I’m going to be using Saturdays (get it, Ciderday/Saturday!) to talk about Apple-y goodness that is cider. I’ll continue to educate about the product’s history and the story of the people involved in bringing the product to market. Beer and Cider are more than just the liquids in the bottle. They’re a culture that goes beyond simple fermentation. I hope to continue exploring that culture and sharing what I learn with all of you.
Samples & Questions
If you’d like me to review your cider, assuming it fits within the my scope as detailed above, I’d be more than glad to try your cider. If it’s one I like or I think is a particularly good example of the product’s intentions, I’ll post a review and promote it on my site and social media presence. If I find flaws or other concerning factors, I’ll be more than glad to provide you with a private review and opinion. I’m not interested in tearing apart your product or your operation on my site. I’ve always tried to maintain a positive outlook and create a place that’s enjoyable and free of the usual cynicism that pervades the internet, including the world of beverage blogs and its online community.
If you’re interested in sending me samples, reach out to me at the “Contact Me” link here or at the top of the page. Also, if you’re a reader and have a questions about cider you’d like answered, please use the previously mentioned contact link to write to me. You’ll either get an email with an answer or a request to use your question for a post if it’s something that would be interesting on a larger scale! Just think of it like the cider version of my “Q & Ale.” Although I suppose I should come up with a different name for my cider question section…
ithinkaboutcider.com is now my domain. But, for the foreseeable future, it will lead back to ithinkaboutbeer.com. I will be changing the look of the site a bit to make it more welcoming to cider lovers newly discovering my site. Hopefully some of them will enjoy the beer content as well! Hopefully I’ll also inspire some readers of my beer content to explore the equally fascinating and delightfully tasty world of the Old World’s heritage ciders!
I do directly manage one of the largest and most diverse cider portfolios in the state of Oregon for a small craft-centric wholesaler. Some of the ciders I’ll be talking about will be products I work with on a professional level. I have been doing this for years on the beer side, this won’t affect the way I review ciders. I do tend to talk about products I work with mostly because I have easy access to them and because I’ve built one of the most diverse portfolios of Imports and Ciders in Oregon. It would greatly reduce the range of items I’d be able to review if I avoided everything I worked with. Besides, I’ve spent years building a reputation for honesty and integrity within in my field and in the beer writing world. If you send me ciders for review, you will get an honest and professional opinion based on my expertise and experience. If I find something wrong with your product, my goal is to let you know in a professional manner so you can better create products that will make you more successful.