Yes, it is 3 Daughters Cider and not 3 Daughters Brewing just deciding to start making cider. Of course, 3 Daughters Brewing really did just decide to start making cider, but the companies are separate.
They have to be. Florida law prohibits the same company from making beer and wine, and cider – being fermented fruit juice – is considered a wine. To start their cider making operation, 3 Daughters had to build a partition in their St. Pete facility, separating the cidery from the brewery and making a company that is, in essence, a wholly owned subsidiary of the brewery.
They have a full operation, too, even going so far as to purchase their own apple press. After a little trial and error, though, they found that producing ciders from pre-pressed juice tends to be a bit better for making a finished end product.
The ciders even have their own ‘tap room,’ affectionately known as The Orchard, taking a chunk of space next to the canning equipment, across from 3 Daughters’ really great-looking stage and gigantic inflatable can of Awake Coffee Blonde.
Sure, you can get the regular and key lime ciders in the main tap room, but all of the real fun happens outside with the full compliment of 8 taps. Believe me, I tried all 8, and they were fantastic. Especially the iced tea one. It literally tasted like a normal glass of iced tea.
But as my daughter danced to the live band playing on stage, we decided on a solid pint of cider. My wife is a big fan of ciders, and prefers the sweeter ones to the more European, dry style. That didn’t stop her from going for a pint of Dry Cider (Cider, 8% ABV), their offering with the lowest residual sweetness, and, coincidentally, the highest ABV.
It’s insanely crisp, about as sweet as a thunderclap. There’s still a good, sharp apple bite to the cider, but it’s not sugary at all. It finished at just the right amount of flavor as to not be overpowering.
I, however, wanted to go a completely different route and got a glass of the Summit Hopped (Cider, 5.5% ABV), being liberally dry-hopped with the same varietal as their Bimini Twist IPA.
And since there’s no boil, there’s no chance for the alpha acids from the hops to get in and make things difficult for the cider. It just has a really interesting, lightly earthy hop character that makes for an interesting play up against the cider sweetness. Very flavorful, very nuanced, and incredibly deep.
Here comes the best part: both regular and key lime varieties will be canned and distributed throughout the state by the end of the year. They even had a stack of stickers with the key lime can artwork on them. My wife has even requested this be the standard cider we keep on hand in the house.
Except for that iced tea one. That one still confuses me.
Drink Florida Craft,