City Orchard brings home five 2022 GLINTCAP Awards
Even before we opened our doors in 2020, we at City Orchard have been sending ciders to the Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition (GLINTCAP). Held in my hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan, GLINTCAP has grown over the years to be one the most important cider competitions in North America if not the world. In 2005 the competition had less than 50 entries - in 2022 there were over 1,300 ciders tasted!
Mat Smith and I entered our first collaborative cider in 2017 and came back with a bronze which, at the time, was pretty exciting news for us. The following year, our first cider destined for City Orchard, Silver Tip, captured a gold medal, and ever since we have made it an important part of our product development process to send ciders to this competition. Now the cider-making team has grown to include Clay Watson, Paul Tenney, and Alex Bacio and we are thrilled with the progress.
This year Mr. Green captured First Place, Best in Class for Modern Cider and Orchard Blend #13 won a gold medal in the Heritage Cider-Dry category. Congratulations to the team for these fantastic results! Our two recent Cider Frescas, Plum and Strawberry Basil won silver medals, and our best-selling Lavender Royale and its "pet-nat" cousin Mellow Gold also came away with silvers. So I think that it was a good year for us at GLINTCAP.
As for Mr. Green - this is one of our favorite ciders to make and one of the most challenging. We were first turned on to ciders made from Rhode Island Greening Apples by our friend and cider-making pioneer, Bill Barton of Bellwether Hard Cider & Wine. Greenings are found scattered throughout the New York apple growing region and these apples are one of the few varieties that can stand on their own in a "single-varietal" cider. Most ciders are blended from the juice of many different types but the Greenings produce a very tart and distinctive cider that we just fell in love with.
Like any wine, the characteristics of ciders change with the fruit that is harvested each year. And like grape wine, the region, and the weather play a very important role in the taste, sweetness, tartness, and color of the pressed juice. Even the age of the tree can make a huge difference. Since we can't blend the juice for Mr. Green, each harvest and each batch can be different. So we'll take this best in class while we can get it, but even if the batches change a bit there is always no doubt that Mr. Green is made with Greenings and it is always wonderful.
Speaking of gold medals, last year Mrs. Green won gold in the hopped cider category. Mrs. Green is Mr. Green adorned with Citra hops and it is a constant favorite in the taproom. Our inside joke now is that Mr. and Mrs. Green is a true power couple!
While Mr. Green is a core perennial for us, Mrs.Green is now made in smaller, seasonal batches to make sure that the hoppy character in the cider stays fresh. There is really no season for Mrs. Green - we make it when we feel like it! We just made a new small batch at the end of May for the taproom and for select on-premise, on-tap customers. We'll feature these watering holes soon in another blog. In the meantime come out to the cidery and enjoy some award-winning ciders.