Apple Shack Cider is a new cider from a brewery in Newcastle, NSW. It’s Murray’s Brewery Co first entry into the cider world. Insisting on the help of wine makers to create this cider.
I spoke to Graeme, the head brewer at Murray’s. He admitted cider took a different set of skills to the beers he normally works with. With beer, the malted barley yeast water varies very little though out the year. If you use the same recipe, batch to batch, the product will be the same. Grains can be stored, yeast is always ready to roll and modern hop products can be used all year round. The product will be consistent
But apples, apples grow once a year. A tiny brewery like Murrays has to fit the cider production around their core beer products. Murray’s have a hyperactive library of 90 styles to brew, bouncing all over the place like a kitten on espresso. This presents a problem; how does one make cider out of season with the apples?
Murray’s have found a solution in an apple juice concentrate. A classic selection of New Zealand’s eating apples, juiced and then the water is extracted. Now that the water is gone, the sugar content is relatively higher, this extends the shelf life. With the overall volume and weight reduced, the shipping costs come down. Now Murray’s is free to make the Apple Shack Cider whenever they need.
The Apple Shack cider doesn’t have the strongest smell in the world but it is displaying some sulfurous elements that remind me of local scrumpy in a cheap West Country pub. A cooked apple scent sits under the sulfur. The more ciders I taste the more I realize that the technique of concentrating juices leading to a cooked apple taste.
Bright and sweet upfront. Low on acidity, just the smallest amount of acid is reminiscent of orange zest. There is an interesting blend of the Pommy scrumpy with a light bright Aussie style with a bold refreshing sparkle.
The Apple Shack Cider has a clear and dark golden tint. Normally when I see this color, I think apple pie and caramel. Instead there is a hole in the flavour filled with a soda water-esk vibe. I wonder, is this the consequence of rehydrating the concentrate?
Reflections of the sulfur shine though in the after taste.
Final Thoughts on the Apple Shack Cider
I want to be honest. This is far from the best cider I have ever had, but even further from the worst. If I saw this in pub would I drink it? Yes, absolutely. The current state of play in most Aussie pubs is 2 ciders if you’re lucky. One will be a stock standard multinational on tap the other might be a bit more boutique. If I saw this as the bottle option I’d grab it in a heartbeat. Apple Shack is for its faults is still more interesting than a pint of Bulmers and know that I was supporting a local small business.
|Product||Apple Shack Cider|
|Company||Murray’s Brewery Co|
|Country of Origin||Australia|
|Region||Newcastle, NSW. New Zealand Apples|