Domestic apples were first introduced to the region during colonial times, and quickly naturalized. Today, feral apple trees growing along roadsides and the margins of fields are a quintessential part of the landscape and the inspiration for the Puckerbrush logo.
While these fruits are often small, misshapen, and marred by scab, the quality is typically excellent for cider production. We include as much of this "wild" fruit as we can in our blends.
Crab apples are also outstanding cider fruit. High in sugar and rich in acids and tannins, they are a very traditional ingredient in American cider making.
We also have a large variety of "on-purpose" apples planted at Newhall Farm. Our oldest trees are mystery varieties in two small orchards, likely planted before prohibition for cider production. We take cuttings from the best of these trees to graft over less useful dessert varieties that were planted more recently. We also have more recent plantings of heirloom and cider apples. Known varieties include Ashmead's Kernel, Bedan, Bramtot, Brown Snout, Chestnut Crab, Cortland, Dabinett, Dolgo, Foxwhelp, Franklin, Frequin Rouge, Golden Russet, Harrison, Harry Master's Jersey, Hewe's Crab, Hudson's Golden Gem, Kingston Black, Liberty, Michelin, Northern Spy, Puget Spice, Redfield, Reine des Pommes, Roxbury Russet, and Somerset Redstreak.
Although the vast majority of the apples we use in our ciders are harvested from our own trees, we have occasionally sourced apples from other local orchards in Vermont. We always state whether fruit used in our ciders is estate grown or bought in.