A New Glass Just for Hard Cider

Boston Beer's Angry Orchard unveils orchard glass to deliver best cider-drinking experience possible

orchard glass

CINCINNATI -- Boston Beer's Angry Orchard Cider Co. unveiled a new glass designed just for drinking hard cider: the orchard glass.

Cider is a unique beverage that walks a line somewhere between wine and beer, according to the company. And while there are many glasses out there, developed to enhance the flavor of wine or craft beer, cider makers couldn’t find a glass they felt did the same for craft cider. With hard cider having a renaissance in the United States, the Angry Orchard's cider makers wanted to give those discovering the drink the best cider-drinking experience possible.

The cider-making team enlisted the help of several cider and sensory experts to create a new glass from scratch, specifically designed for the unique, fresh-apple flavor profile of Angry Orchard’s most popular cider, Crisp Apple, made with culinary apples from Italy and traditional bittersweet cider apples from France. The end result of the project, the orchard glass, enhances the cider’s crisp, fruit-forward, fresh-apple taste and aroma, according to the company.

“We travel the world looking for the best apples for cider making, exploring different ingredients and cider-making techniques, all to enhance the cider experience,” said Ryan Burk, Angry Orchard head cider maker. “To me, craft cider is all about apple expression, and this glass really delivers an improved apple intensity, flavor and aroma, which is so important to most hard ciders but especially our Angry Orchard Crisp Apple.”

For years, craft brewers have been adopting specific glassware for their beer to be served because they care about what they’re brewing and know the drinking experience doesn’t end once a beer leaves a brewery. The same holds true for cider, and the cider makers were passionate that cider deserved the same care and attention.

“The orchard glass has significant drinker benefits,” said Roy Desrochers, a sensory expert who helped develop and test the glass. “Our team of trained and certified descriptive sensory panelists evaluated the glass and determined the orchard glass improves the cider-drinking experience from a flavor, aroma and ergonomic perspective when compared to a traditional pint glass or a bottle.”

The orchard glass incorporates four key features to enhance the cider-drinking experience from a flavor perspective:

  • Nucleation seed: Small etching at the bottom of the glass to slightly enhance carbonation to improve flavor and aroma intensity without depleting the carbonation too quickly.
  • Rounded bowl: This design feature helps collect and concentrate the cider aromas: bright, fresh apple.
  • Chimney: The glass narrows from a wide bowl to a more concentrated opening for more intense aromas; cider aromas are subtle so it’s important for the glass to go straight up rather than tapering out to dilute the aromas.
  • Straight Lip/Beading: The straight lip places cider at the right spot on the palate, at the front/middle of the tongue, showcasing the balance between sweet and dry while the beading at the top of the glass releases a bit more carbonation to enhance the flavor as the cider hits.

In addition to flavor enhancement, this uniquely-shaped glass has additional features to help maintain the optimal temperature and also improve ergonomics.

  • Drinking temperature: The bottom of the glass, where it’s comfortable to hold, has a smaller surface area, so a drinker’s hand won’t warm up the cider as much as a regular pint glass. That way, the cider stays at an optimal drinking temperature longer.
  • Optimal comfort: The glass is very comfortable to drink from, with an easy grip, and the cider flows comfortably into the mouth. While this isn’t about flavor, it is part of the overall drinking experience.

The orchard glass will be available at select bars and restaurants around the country that serve Angry Orchard and at the Angry Orchard's new Hudson Valley cidery in Walden, N.Y. when it opens. The glass is also available for purchase in a two-pack for $14.95 at Angry Orchard’s e-store: www.angryorchardstore.com.