Types of Cider.
Currently we make 3 varieties of cider, also known as sweet cider, soft cider, or in the United States, just cider. Although, in our opinion, there is a huge difference between actual cider and the apple juice many people call cider in the states. In Europe, apple juice is apple juice and cider is cider. They are not the same thing. Since Bluebird Orchards uses an ancient European brewing technique for making our cider, it is different from our apple juice. It is cider, made the traditional, Old World way, and our apple juice is just that: juice squeezed directly from the apple without any spices or aged flavor. Cider is not apple juice. If it is made right, you can taste the difference.
With cider making a huge comeback in the United States over the last 5-8 years, consumers are getting confused as to exactly what the word “cider” means here. Sweet cider, cider, or soft cider are all names for the same basic type of cider: that is, any cider that is not “hard” cider or the type of cider that contains alcohol. Hard cider is the only type of cider that contains alcohol, and as such, can only be sold in establishments with a liquor license.
That said, Bluebird Orchards makes hard and soft cider. Our hard cider goes by a different label called “Cool Dog Cider.” And our soft ciders go under the Bluebird Orchards label. Just to avoid any more confusion than what is already out there.
Sweet Ciders by Bluebird Orchards aka Soft Ciders.
On top of all the confusion regarding soft vs hard ciders, there is also another distinguishing factor regarding ciders; that is carbonation. Cider can either be “still cider” (non-carbonated) or carbonated. Again, we make both.
1. French-Style Still Cider.
Our still cider is spiced and pasteurized so it will not have any fizz or carbonation. This is a good cider for drinking hot cider on a cold day, since carbonation would be destroyed when you heat up the cider anyway. We make it spiced to give it that warm, holiday-like feeling and to make it special rather than just apple juice.
2. French-Style Spiced Cider.
If our cider doesn’t say it is “still” it is lightly carbonated naturally. We do not add carbonation, it is a natural fizz created by using the European technique for cider making. This cider is lightly carbonated and spiced with cinnamon and other natural spices to give it an apple pie flavor, only better. Nonpasteurized so it must be kept in the refrigerator.
3. French-Style Soft Cider.
This is also a carbonated cider but without any spices, Just the natural sweet sugars and strong apple flavor brought out by our natural brewing technique and our unique blend of apples grown only here on our orchard. Nonpasteurized so it must be kept in the refrigerator.
Bluebird Orchards Hard Cider.
Our hard ciders are made under our other brand name called “Cool Dog Cider”. We offer a Traditional French-Style Hard Cider and a flavor that was created by Bluebird Orchards called “Smokin” Cider which no other cidery in the industry makes. We will have an updated list of places to purchase our Cool Dog Ciders coming soon.
Soft Ciders are available in half gallon glass growlers to preserve their flavor and 16 ounce individual sizes. Sorry, we cannot ship ciders that are carbonated for obvious reasons, but if you live locally, stop by before they are ALL GONE.