A cidermaker tells all

“Uncultivated” by Andy Brennan. Chelsea Green

Should you have any thought of creating an apple orchard and making craft cider to sell, your first year’s efforts are likely to run $27,755.

That’s what Andy Brennan, who co-owns Aaron Burr Cider in Wurtsboro, New York, calculated in his biographical book on the subject. What’s most interesting about this very readable volume is how he got started by foraging apples in the Catskills. He explains the wild apple, how cider is made and compares step-by-step cidermaking with conventionally grown (commercial) apples, natural (untreated) apples and noncultivated (wild fruit). Along the way there’s a history of apples, especially in colonial America.

According to the book’s publisher, Chelsea Green, Mr. Brennan owns Aaron Burr Cider in New York’s Catskills region. He regularly speaks about natural apple growing and cider production at museums, trade events, festivals, restaurants, and anywhere local food enthusiasts are found. He says his first word was “apple.”

Since its founding in 2011, Aaron Burr Cider has become well known among cider enthusiasts for its natural approach to cider making using wild apples and yeasts.

“Uncultivated: Wild Apples, Real Cider, and the Complicated Art of Making a Living” by Andy Brennan (Chelsea Green, $24.95).

New York Times

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