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Local Food Journey

Good Intent makes great cider

Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/04 at 02:15 PM

There’s a cider boom going on in America right now. The proof is in the fact that sales of cider (the alcoholic kind) reached $600 million last year, more than tripling sales from 2007, according to research firm IBISWorld.

Adam Redding is getting in on this explosion by founding Good Intent Cider, a new cidery out of both Gettysburg and Bellefonte. Cider making seems to be in Adam’s blood, something that has become a bit more than just a hobby to relax with after his day job as a scientist. “When I was in college we used to make cider in our dorm room. That was pretty rough stuff that we made back then, not anything you’d want to sell,” Redding said. “I didn’t really get back into it until years later. I saw that Cornell offered a cider making course at their ag extension in Geneva, so I talked to my wife about it.”

His wife, Jenn, told him to give it a try. She figured if he liked making real cider, then he could pursue it, and if not, it was not a big investment.

He got started making cider around the time when he moved back to his home area, which is Gettysburg. Starting small by making 20 gallon batches, he began sharing with friends and getting positive feedback, even requests to buy. “I got tired of giving it away so I went through the motions of licensing,” Adam said. “So we formed a business in May of 2011 and had our license of May of 2012.”

Adam noted that he is definitely not alone as a cider maker in this fast-growing market. “If you look at the amount of people who are getting into cider making even in the last year, I’d say cider making is definitely booming,” he said. “A lot of people involved are not just a winery who are saying ‘let’s just make some cider’, but there’s a lot of people like us who are strictly cider.”

The process of making cider is not much like beer, but more like white wine making, Adam said. This is despite some people who associate cidermaking with brewing. “There’s no brewing involved even though we get lumped in with brewing,” he said. “There’s no heating steps, no extraction step, no mashing, nothing like that. Also, given the cost of the juice and the apples that goes into it, it’s better to be aligned with wine.”

“Our cider is different than the typical cider by virtue of it’s alcohol content and it’s not diluted. That’s the biggest piece of misinformation, they expect it to be very sweet and carbonated and less than 5.5% alcohol, at least in Pennsylvania,” Adam added.
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Compared to craft brewing of beer, Adam said, cider is still more expensive to make. While grain can be shipped anywhere, good cider apples should be locally grown. This also raises a geographic challenge, as you cannot grow apples unless you have a certain number of cold winter days.

“All of our apples come from Adams County, and there’s some of the crab apples that we pick in Centre and Huntingdon Counties,” he said. “But the bulk of the cider comes from Adams County.”.

There are three varieties of Good Intent apple cider, including:

- Adams Apple, which is a straightforward very lightly carbonated, very lightly sweetened cider that would be considered off-dry, one that is made to highlight the flavor of the apples alone.

- North Meets South, a cider that is aged in bourbon barrels, giving it a subtle bourbon flavor that does not overpower the cider but enhances it.

- Good Charmât, which is a naturally sparkling cider that is sort of a cousin to champagne and has flavor enhanced by crab apples.


Bourbon barrels for aging North Meets South cider

Adam said he has added a perry to Good Intent selections called Calebasse Bosc. Perry is a beverage made with pears, in this case bosc pears. Producing this has its own challenges, he said. “Pears are tough to work with, they have a different chemistry, harder to press because they are not firm, and they are just kind of difficult all around,” he said. “But perry is buttery, it’s ginger flavored, and all of its flavor is natural from the pears. Good for people who want something sweeter and less tart than cider.”

As for where you can find all this great cider, there are several restaurants that carry it in our area, including Gamble Mill Inn and Bonfatto’s in Bellefonte, the Nittany Lion Inn, Zeno’s, and Local Whiskey. They also have a stand at the Boalsburg Farmers Market. There are also several restaurants serving Good Intent in Gettysburg.

An exciting development that Adam mentioned is the opening of a tasting room in Bellefonte, which will be happening soon. “We are planning to structure the business and support sales around that location,” he said. “It will be set up where people can bring their own food to eat with our cider. We don’t really plan at all to make our own food, at least not initially. However, we do plan on bringing up the El Gringo taco truck and maybe have a guest dinner there where we have a chef in to make a meal.”

{name} Author: Jamie Oberdick
Bio: Editor, Local Food Journey | Passionate about supporting local food in Central PA

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