Woodchuck is made in Vermont, and normally, American ciders are sweet, versus British ciders which are much drier. (You could compare it to the difference between Welch's apple juice and Martinelli's sparkling cider). In fact, every other American cider that I've tried has been too sweet for me. But the hops in this cider temper the sweetness and make for a delightfully balanced thirst quencher, perfect for any day of the year.
Hops, if you remember from this post, are actually flowers. They're the dried green seed cones surrounding the cider in the photo below. When cooked in a brew, they increase the bitterness of a drink, but when they are added after the cooking, hops add a nice grapefruit flavor.
You don't typically think of cider and hops as being a good combination. In fact, prior to seeing Woodchuck Hopsation at Trader Joe's, I had never even considered apple and hops as complimentary flavors.
The first Woodchuck cider was handcrafted in 1991 at a small Vermont winery that previously specialized in Apple wine. By 2007, Woodchuck had become the first American cider to sell more than 1,000,000 bottles, and if you ask for a cider at most pubs or restaurants today, it's still the most widely available option.
Woodchuck goes above and beyond when it comes to sustainability. They get power from the sun, and... wait for it... this is pretty special... cow dung. Yep, this delicious cider is made with manure. Check it out: Green Mountain Power. It's pretty cool.
For more information on the history of cider, check out this humorous timeline. Or to learn how hard cider is made, visit this link. Scroll down to read my review right underneath this picture.