CINCINNATI – Today, Angry Orchard announced the national release of its first-ever hopped hard cider, Angry Orchard Hop’n Mad Apple. The cider makers drew inspiration for this new cider from a traditional craft beer ingredient – hops – to develop a cider that combines subtle floral and tropical fruit notes from Strisselspalt and Galaxy hops with bright, fresh apple flavor from American apples. First launched in 2012, Angry Orchard is the number one selling hard cider in the US1, where hard cider has seen explosive growth and is showing up on more menus than ever as a refreshing alternative to craft beer and wine.
The cider makers at Angry Orchard experimented with a variety of hops when crafting the recipe for Hop’n Mad Apple and ultimately chose a blend of Strisselspalt and Galaxy hops for their unique flavor profiles. The hops complement the cider’s bright apple aroma, allowing the fruit to shine through. Strisselspalt hops, from France, are subdued and contribute subtle citrus, herbal and floral notes to the cider. Galaxy hops are found in Australia and contribute bright, juicy tropical notes like pineapple and mango. These hops are added to the cider post-fermentation, a process known in the brewing world as “dry hopping”, to give the cider a fresh hop aroma and a pleasant dry finish without any bitterness.
“You might say we’re obsessed with ingredients; we have been experimenting with cider recipes for nearly twenty years, searching the world for the best cider apples and playing around with other special ingredients,” said David Sipes, cider maker for Angry Orchard. “Hops are traditionally used in beer, but we found they work really well in our Angry Orchard hard cider too. With Hop’n Mad Apple, the subtle floral and tropical fruit notes of the hops accentuate the cider’s fresh apple sweetness and give the cider a nice, dry finish.”
Hop’n Mad Apple, along with Green Apple and Angry Orchard’s fall/winter seasonal, Cinnful Apple, are made with American culinary apples including Gala, Fuji, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Granny Smith apples. The cider makers at Angry Orchard are constantly working to perfect and innovate the craft of cider making, and through their experimentation have found that certain regions within the United States, such as the Pacific Northwest and the Northeast, share characteristics – rich soil and ample sunshine – with apple-growing regions in Europe that are known to produce apples conducive to cider making. For the new Hop’n Mad Apple cider style, the slightly less tannic juice of culinary apples from Washington State was found to best accompany the Strisselspalt and Galaxy hops.
Angry Orchard’s chef partner, former Bravo Top Chef fan favorite and Gunshow restaurant owner Kevin Gillespie notes that the juicy apple flavor, subtle hoppiness and dry finish of Hop’n Mad Apple make it a universal pairing for a variety of foods.
“I use hard cider all the time at my restaurant because it is a versatile pairing and cooking ingredient, and this is especially true with the new Hop’n Mad Apple hard cider from Angry Orchard,” said Chef Gillespie. “It’s absolutely delicious with everything ranging from barbeque favorites like brisket and ribs, to hard cheeses with distinct flavor profiles such as manchego and aged gouda. I recently made some hopped cider oysters that were incredible; the bright fruitiness and dry finish of the cider complemented the oysters really well.”
Angry Orchard Hop’n Mad Apple (5.0% ABV) is now available nationwide in 6-packs, for a suggested retail price of $7.99-$9.99 (price varies per market). The hopped cider will also be available on draft in select markets. Like all Angry Orchard hard ciders, Hop’n Mad Apple is gluten-free.
Angry Orchard Cider Company’s cider makers have been experimenting with apple varieties and unique flavors to develop hard cider recipes for 20 years. The cider makers have travelled the world to find the best apples for cider making and chose specific varieties, like French bittersweet apples from Normandy and culinary apples from Italy and the United States, based on each cider’s flavor profile. It takes two apples to make each bottle of Angry Orchard, and some ciders are aged on oak before bottling for additional complexity and balance. Angry Orchard makes a variety of year-round styles, including Angry Orchard Crisp Apple, a crisp and refreshing fruit-forward cider that mixes the sweetness of culinary apples with a subtle dryness from bittersweet apples for a balanced taste. Angry Orchard also makes The Cider House Collection specialty ciders, as well as a variety of seasonal ciders.