About Our Ciders
Ohio Grown Apples • Harvest Driven • Gluten Free • No Preservatives
Kelly’s Dry and B-Yard
West End Ciderhouse ciders are produced at both West End Ciderhouse and West End Ciderworks & Distillery by lead distiller and cider maker, Kelly Sauber and assistant cider maker, Shen Cook. The base for all of our cider, Kelly’s Dry, is made from Ohio grown apples that have been pressed at the orchard and set to ferment within one day of pressing back at the production facility. This quick turnaround from orchard to fermentation is why we refer to our cider as “fresh pressed.” It is never from concentrate, syrup or frozen juice. It is unfiltered and contains no preservatives or added sulfites. The Ohio orchards we purchase apple juice from have planted primarily to satisfy the demand for dessert and eating varieties in our region. They make a fine drinking cider that lends itself to blending and are generally lower in tannins, higher in acidity, and have a bright flavor that is refreshing. Common varieties include: Melrose, Cortland, Fuji, Granny Smith, Yellow Delicious, multiple Reds, Winesap, Grimes, Jonathan and Jonagold, Pink Lady, McIntosh, Honey Crisp, Gala, Mutsu, Goldrush. Some seasons we are fortunate enough to have enough of a single variety apple with outstanding character to make an entire batch; this season we bottled a batch of 100% Enterprise apple cider. Still a “modern” variety apple, Enterprise’s parentage is tart varieties with some crab apple and it makes a delicious cider. Our main suppliers as of 2019-2020 are Hirsch Fruit Farm, Hugus Fruit Farm and Hidden Hills Orchard.
B-Yard is our lightly sweetened cider for those that prefer a sweeter finish but it still falls in the “semi-dry to semi-sweet” range depending on your palette. It’s not “sweet” in the way many of us have come to expect with a commercially produced cider in the United States. We add a bit cane sugar and fresh pressed apple juice back to the fermented cider, referred to as “back-sweetening.” Currently (Jan 2021-?), our B-Yard is 100% Gold Rush apples fermented to dryness that has been back-sweetened with 100% Winesap apples. It has a tart, crisp apple flavor but is not cloyingly sweet in the finish and is 6.5% alc. by vol.
Kelly’s Dry and B-Yard typically finish in the 6% to 8.5% alcohol by volume range and all of our ciders range in sweetness levels are noted accordingly and include the full range dry, semi-dry, semi-sweet, and sometimes sweet to appeal to a range of palates. The carbonation levels on all of our cider are, unless noted otherwise, are Petillant, or lightly sparkling.
Our tapped ciders and meads, poured into growlers or packaged in cans, contain NO ADDED PRESERVATIVES and must be refrigerated. Ciders and meads packaged in 375mL glass bottles do not contain preservatives, having been fermented to complete dryness, do not require refrigeration but are best stored in a cool location at a comfortable room temperature.
We support efforts of current and potential orchardists to plant cider apple trees and look forward to producing quality single variety ciders in the future.
Staying with our “Grown in Ohio” values, our goal is to use fruits that are either farmed in Ohio or sustainably wild-harvested Ohio. Over time these have included: Currant, Grape, Elderberry, Persimmon, Plum, Strawberry, Pawpaw, Raspberry, Pear, Blueberry, and Peach. These fruits have come from Integration Acres, Shade Winery, Chester Hill Produce Auction, Cherry Orchards, Wagner Fruit Farm and Hirsch Fruit Farm. Our fruited ciders are primarily created by infusion, letting the fruit steep in the cider for a period of time. Sometimes we add pure cane sugar to enhance the fruit flavors. We create drier fruited ciders that are apple forward, in other words, you will likely find the predominant flavor to be apple with a tart, clean finish, never cloyingly sweet.
Our fruited ciders typically finish in the 5.5 to 6.9% alcohol by volume range.
We are always looking for new local fruits, so if anyone wants to harvest any Mulberries, Gooseberries, Serviceberry, miniature Kiwi or any other Ohio gown fruit, for our ciders, give us a call!
Spiced and Botanical Cider
Our most popular year round cider is Zingiber, containing fresh pressed lemon and ginger juice, it packs a tangy “zing” that is delicious paired with seafood and works great as a cocktail mixer or served over ice in the summer with a splash of soda for a low alcohol spritzer.
Skadi’s Cup Cyser, is a blend of hard cider and mead (honey wine) with spices we’ve come to expect in an apple pie or mulled cider. When cider and mead are blended, it’s referred to as a “cyser.” There are further categorizations when we add fruits or spices to mead, if you’re interested in the various names for different mead blends, check out Craft Beer & Brewing’s “Mead by Many Other Names” at their website. Skadi’s is good year round if you like apple pie spiced cider or mead but it is our go to in the cooler months because it’s a higher alcohol by volume, typically around 9-11% or higher, and has a warming quality we enjoy.
Rosa or Rose cider is a lower alcohol by volume cider, typically around 5.3 to 5.5%, that has been infused with citrusy botanicals: lemongrass, rosehips, citrus peel and hibiscus included. It’s typically in the semi-sweet to semi-dry range and very sessionable and refreshing. Sometimes we add seasonal fruits to Rosa or we add Rosa to our Ciderhouse Margarita or Collins cocktails
The Sauce, our semi-sweet cider botanically infused with dried cranberry and citrus, hibiscus, and chili peppers. We like to infuse this one with fresh pineapple too, The Sauce and Pineapple Sauce, is excellent with smoked meats and spicy food.
SINGLE VARIETY CIDER
We started making single variety ciders after our first season, mostly out of curiosity about how the finished product would taste, how it contributes to a blended cider’s flavor. Granny Smith was our first single variety cider available for retail sale in 2014 at the Ciderhouse, we were fascinated by the flavor profile and motivated to learn more about apples that had been used specifically for cider in the past because of their high tannin content. We are proud to offer Kingston Black and Roxbury Russet ciders in 2021 and 2022 in cooperation with Ralph Hugus of Hugus Fruit Farm.