Sorry for the late post, I had to run out to a client and freeze my butt off this morning. Anyhow, if you’re a cider fan (especially one in Richmond or Charlottesville) you may have noticed Potter’s Craft Cider popping up in retail outlets. If you’ve sampled it you’ve probably wondered “who are these Potter guys?” Wonder no more, just read:
Where did you grow up?
Tim grew up in Tallahassee, FL, Dan grew up in Chapel Hill, NC
How long have you lived in Virginia?
Tim moved to VA in June of 2011, Dan moved to VA in the summer of 2009
What brought you to cider?
Dan and Tim have been homebrewers (of beer) for many years and had long discussed starting a brewery. Meanwhile, Dan was living at Historic Tuckahoe Plantation in Richmond, where he was pursuing several endeavors including planting a hop yard, market garden, and raising grass-fed beef and chickens. At Tuckahoe, Dan produced sweet cider to take to farmers markets to sell with his meat and produce. As a homebrewer naturally would, he fermented several batches, and a passion for hard cider was born.
How long have you been making cider?
Production began in the fall of 2010.
Where else (besides your current cidery) have you made cider?
Tuckahoe Plantation- in Richmond, VA.
What characteristics do you enjoy in cider?
Generally, we enjoy the vast array of flavors and aromas that can be achieved in cider through varying combinations of apples and yeast. In our hundreds of test batches, we have experimented with every apple variety that we can get our hands on and have experienced flavors and aromas that we’ve not found in any other beverages. We feel we’ve only scratched the surface and have a lot more exploration and experimentation to do. This fact, the “frontier” of new flavors and aromas that can be achieved with the two basic ingredients in cider, is very exciting to us.
Since many in VA are new to tasting ciders, what should they be looking for when trying your cider for the first time?
First, I would want to explain what our cider is and what it is not. Our cider is made from fresh pressed local apples and yeast. We do not add any sugar or water. We ferment out all of the fermentable sugars so the result is a dry and crisp cider. In this way, our focus is on the apples and the complexity they provide – the fruit is really showcased in a dry cider. Any perception of sweetness comes from our blending of apple varieties and yeasts, not from the addition of sugar or back-sweetening.
We recommend that people drink our ciders in a nosed glass or brandy snifter to get the true essence of the cider.
Our second release has been aged in once-used apple brandy barrels produced by Laird and Company, the distillery just south of Charlottesville in North Garden, VA. We are very excited to release this cider and find that the time it spent in the barrels has provided excellent body along with intense aromas of caramel, vanilla, and toasted oak.
Dry ciders generally pair very well with a variety of rich, spicy, or salty foods. We recommend pairing our ciders with foods such as pork and duck, sharp cheeses, or rich desserts.
If you could visit with any cider maker in the world, who/where would it be?
We have quite a few international field trips in mind…We are very interested in learning from the producers using classic French methods. We would also love to visit the Asturian cidermakers in Spain. Generally, our approach is that we have a lot to learn and we know that in addition to learning from experienced cidermakers, we have a lot to learn from the beer and winemaking communities as well.
What is your favorite food and cider pairing?
So far it is our Farmhouse Dry with duck from our friends Joel and Erica at Free Union Grass Farm.
Who is your favorite cartoon character?
Dan: Homer Simpson Tim: Popeye. Specifically, Bluto from Popeye.
What is one thing we haven’t asked you that you want Virginia cider fans to know about you or your cidery?
We are going to keep experimenting. There is so much that we want to do or try in terms of new varietal development, new techniques, barrel aging etc. We have had great success with our barrel aging so far, but again, we have a lot to learn. Keep an eye out for new releases and email us to set up a time to visit our cidery and learn about our geeky projects and experiments.
If you could buy any one item from SkyMall, what would it be?
That toaster that somehow allows you to toast both hot dogs and hot dog buns at the same time. Not a big hot dog fan, but I remember seeing that in the mid-nineties and thinking, “wow, the future is here”.
The Get to Know Your Cidermaker – Tim & Dan of Potter’s Craft Cider by Swirl, Sip, Snark, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.