Category Archives: Beer + Cider

A Hard Cider Hat Trick

By Christopher Matthews Both good things and bad come in threes. For my hard cider entries in the 30th Annual Hudson Valley Homebrew Competition last month, however, it was a rare and perfectly positive trifecta: not only did I take … Continue reading

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Back in the Winners’ Circle: Matthews’ Homebrew Cider

By Christopher Matthews I made quite a splash with my (hard) cider at the recent 2019 Hudson Valley Homebrew Competition (HVHC). Not only did I take First and Third Place in the “Standard Cider” category, respectively, but also Best in … Continue reading

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NY Craft Ciders Rock the Lower East Side

By Christopher Matthews November 2-11, 2018, was Cider Week in New York City, a festival of multiple cider events and tastings in bars and venues across the Big Apple, organized by the New York Cider Association. The aim: “to cultivate appreciation of New … Continue reading

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Seriously Delicious: Foggy Ridge’s “Serious Cider”

By Christopher Matthews  It’s cider season in the Hudson Valley, and I have lately been gathering the materials – and fruit – to make my own (now) annual production. This process has taken me several times to Half Time Beverage in … Continue reading

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2018 Hudson Valley Wine & Spirits Competition: Benmarl Sweeps Top Awards

By Christopher Matthews One year ago, Benmarl Winery shared the coveted Winery of the Year award (with Tousey Winery) at the 2017 Hudson Valley Wine & Spirits Competition (HVWSC). At the 2018 HV competition, held this past Saturday in Rhinebeck, … Continue reading

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At 2018 NY Wine Classic, Cider Makes Strong Showing

By Christopher Matthews At last week’s 2018 New York Wine Classic, the 33rd annual “Oscars” of the NY wine industry, some 853 NY wines competed for medals (Double Gold, Gold, Silver and Bronze), the coveted “Governor’s Cup” (Best in Show), … Continue reading

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2017 Hudson Valley Wine & Spirits Competion: Whitecliff Wins Big…

By Christopher Matthews …with its 2016 Vidal Blanc from the Hudson River Region (HRR)! Not only did Whitecliff Vineyard & Winery win Best in Show with its Vidal Blanc, but it also took Best Overall Hudson Valley Wine (using Hudson Valley fruit) … Continue reading

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HV Cider Benchmark: “God Speed the Plough”

By Christopher Matthews In the ongoing craft (hard) cider renaissance in the Hudson Valley (HV), a structural impediment (and irony) exists: there aren’t enough cider apples to go around. While culinary/dessert apples are widely available — New York is, after … Continue reading

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Italian Elegance: Lugana Wines

By Christopher Matthews For wine lovers, Italy’s incredible regional diversity and myriad grape varieties – many of them indigenous, and some produced only in certain Italian locales – are the gifts that keep on giving. But that’s what also makes Italian … Continue reading

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Hopping Up Hudson Valley Cider

By Christopher Matthews With its tradition of apple-producing excellence — and aided by the New York Farm Cidery license option — the Hudson Valley (HV) has become an epicenter of the burgeoning (hard) craft cider scene, supported by the Hudson Valley Cider Alliance. And as a … Continue reading

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