Boonville Bite Hard

Review of Bite Hard from Boonville Cider House.  This appears to be the only cider they currently make.

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Cider:  Bite Hard
Cidery:  Boonville Cider House
Cidery Location:  Boonville CA
ABV:  6.9%
How Supplied:  16oz tallboy can

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Availability:   CA, AZ, WA, MN, WI, IL, MI, NY, IN, CO and MO

Cider Description:  Bite Hard Apple Cider is a crisp, semi dry cider, slow fermented from heirloom apples in an English tradition. Made from tannic and full bodied fruit, this cider carries its distinctive BITE with a clean and unique apple finish and citrus notes. We take the time to seek out and preserve the best that Autumn has to offer. 

Cidery Description:  MAKING CIDER & TAKING NAMES SINCE 2010!  With an orchard first mentality, Boonville Cider House uses its favorite varieties of apples to put the finest cider into every can, bottle, and keg. Made with gumption, and drank with gusto, the Boonville Cider House is less a place and more a state of mind. So crack a can and taste Autumn in Boonville, taste us wassailing beneath the stars, and taste the hard work and great times that go into every gallon.

Additional Information from Boonville:  We started in a small town in Northern California called Boonville. Home to Anderson Valley Brewing Co, Roederer Estates and ever growing list of fantastic wineries…We use a blend of Pippins and Russets mostly – hand picked, no windfalls. The goal has been to make a simple and pure cider. Pick apples, squeeze into juice, add yeast, ferment dry, enjoy heartily. We believe the best ciders have a short list of ingredients. 

They also shared this blog post written by the founder & cider maker (titled Ruminations on Our Ethics of Fermentation).

Price:  ~$3 for a single 16oz can (runs about $10 for a four pack)
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing.  The bright yellow can really stands out.  I’ve seen it before, but have been on a kick trying to find a good affordable everyday drinking craft cider (ie. something that comes in a multi pack), so I thought I’d give it a try.  I’ve honestly never been all that impressed by a canned cider, but most of them are plain flagship types that aren’t my favorite anyways.

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First Impression:  Light amber yellow.  Very little carbonation.  Light dry apple scent.

Opinion:  Dry.  High acidity.  Moderate bitterness, tartness, and tannins.  Light bodied.  The acidity and tannins linger for a longer finish.  Green apple and crabapple notes with a hint of citrus.  I’d guess they use champagne yeast.  Clean and refreshing.  I find it interesting they say this is English style; I think it had some of those qualities, but was lacking the richer flavor.  You can definitely tell they used heirloom (not dessert / common eating) apples.  In this case I think more sweetness and carbonation would have made this cider more balanced.  I did however enjoy the higher acidity.

Most Similar to:  Some other drier flagship ciders.  I haven’t had one this dry, but I found it similar to offerings from HUB, Square Mile, and Red Tank, due to the bitterness and tartness.

Closing Notes:   I found the flavor a bit boring and unimpressive for my tastes.  I am however impressed that they have made a truly dry canned craft cider with higher tannins, all fresh pressed juice, no additives, etc, at a reasonable price point.  Going the drier, bitter, and tannic route seems a bit risky as it seems a lot of folks looking for canned cider especially like the sweet stuff, although trends seem to be moving a bit drier lately.  I just like a different more bold flavor profile, high carbonation, etc.  I’m intrigued to see if they come out with any other offerings.

Have you tried Boonville Bite Hard?  What did you think?

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