Midwest hard cider with strawberry flavor

If you’ve never had a hard cider, they are made up of 100% apples and are becoming the rage across the Midwest. Oliver Winery’s Beanblossom Strawberry Hard Cider is a great alternative to wine or beer and is sold in many local Missouri & Illinois wine shops.

Oliver Winery is located in Bloomington, Indiana and is one of the largest wineries in the Midwest. According to their website, Oliver winery was started in the 1960’s as a hobby, and by 2008, Oliver had distribution in 14 states and total case sales exceeded 270,000 cases. 

The Varietal:

The Beanblossom Hard Cider is made up of 100% Midwest apple wine with natural strawberry flavor added.

Did you know Hard Cider has a long history in the U.S.? Hard Cider was the main beverage in Colonial America, due it being safer to drink than water and easier to make than beer or wine. Plus, I found out that Johnny Appleseed planted apple trees across the U.S., so settlers could make hard cider not for people to eat the apples. That’s right the Johnny Appleseed story we learned as kids, was actually reinvented by the apple industry. The apples he planted were to too tart for consumption, but perfect for hard cider.

The name “Beanblossom” on the label threw me for a loop, with my initial thoughts being – Is that a flavor or just a fun made up name? On our recent trip to Indiana I realized that right before we got to Oliver Winery we passed “Beanblossom Creek” and had a “Oh, I get it!” moment. The tasting room staff told us that Beanblossom Creek goes right through Oliver Winery’s orchard and vineyard.

Oliver Winery video of the making of Hard Cider:
As a designer, I was immediately drawn to the Oliver Winery colorfully illustrated Hard Cider aluminum bottles. This 4 minute video shows the making of the Hard Cider and a few clips of Illustrator Kevin Pope’s original sketches.

The Pour:
This hard cider is clear, brilliant yellow and bubbly like a sparkling wine.

The Sniff:
The aroma is almost entirely strawberry. Once it’s in a glass it has very faint apple smells.

The Taste:
Overall, this wine is light and crisp. Flavors that stood out to me at first were strawberry and then switched to sweet apples. One thing I like about the flavored hard ciders is the strawberry is not over powering. This hard cider definitely leans toward the sweeter side and it has a moderate finish.

The 500ml aluminum bottles are perfect for a summer concerts and picnics in the park. This one I enjoyed sitting outside reading a book.

Wine Varietal: 100% apple wine with natural strawberry flavor
Producer: Oliver Winery
Price: $4.00 for 500 ml bottles
Produced and Bottled: Bloomington, IN
Alcohol: 8% (which is really high for a cider)
Website: www.oliverwinery.com
Glass used: Vinum XL Riedel Montrachet glass

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