Last Friday I went out with colleagues for a Downeast Cider House tour. I have been a big cider fan ever since I lived in Ireland (a loooooong time ago). While you can find even pear and berry ciders in Ireland and rose cider in Canada, New England companies produce almost only apple cider – the fermented juice of apples. So on Friday evening we drove to East Boston, where I hadn’t been before (if you don’t count the airport). Downeast Cider House is in an old shipyard building and from the marina we had a beautiful view at the Boston skyline – I am definitely going to go there again to take photos. But since it was also cold, we quickly went inside and waited for our tour guide.
The one hour long tour started with four samples of their different ciders, all of whom I liked a lot. Our guide told us how Downeast Cider was founded in a dorm room in Maine (giving us ideas that it should be easy enough to try and make a small amount of cider at home) and that the company is only eight years old. I had drunk their cider before in pubs. So, at least in New England they seem to do well.
Afterwards we went through the small brewery and he explained the production process to us. I guess since we were all German, he specifically stressed their brandnew canning machine – bought from German engineers. I, on the other hand, was quite shocked by the idea that companies nowadays still decide to go for cans instead of glass bottles. But that surely is because drink cans are hardly sold in Germany (at least in comparison to bottles).
What I liked about the tour and the brewery was that everything felt young and full of great ideas. Right next to the production plants, there is a small bar. You could even buy a whole barrel full of cider.
Maybe I should buy a whole barrel since I apparently can’t drink enough cider?! The last part of the tour took us upstairs into the development department. I couldn’t fully concentrate on the guide because there was the cutest office dog there and it was just waiting to be petted by everyone.
Eventually we got to taste some more samples. My favorite was a mint infused cider while I shuddered when I tried the agave one.
At the very end we all got a whole can of the original Downeast cider and went into the backyard. Everybody who wanted to opened the bottle on the side and then chugged it. I decided to only watch and put the can into my handbag … this part was a little too much of an American college feeling for me.
I found the Downeast Cider House tour very interesting. I had been to beer breweries and distilleries before, but never to a cider brewery. Also, this one is local and I didn’t just go as a tourist. I think it made me more aware of how much apple ciders are a part and also an important industry of New England – Downeast mostly uses apples (actually their juice) from New England orchards. I would totally recommend the tour because it was entertaining and enjoyable. Plus come a little early and bring your camera to take photos of the Boston skyline from the piers around the corner. In case you are interested, book your tour here.
P.s. I went on a paid tour and have not received any money for writing this post.