I want to kick things off this year with something different. Shacksbury is a cider maker that is near and dear to my heart for a number of reasons. Although beer is our bread and butter here, Shacksbury have changed the way I look at cider as beverage. By taking an approach that is mostly found in European techniqus, they are offering some of the most unique cider in the US.
Starting in 2013. Shacksbury chose to forgo the sweet ciders that most of us are used to. They knew that with the right apples and the right technique, Shacksbury could create something for a more discerning market. Apples are sourced from individual orchards (if not outright foraged) and the final product is closer in spirit to ciders enjoyed in the UK and the Basque region of Spain.
My first experience with Shacksbury was having Luke on Steal This Beer and soon thereafter a bottle of their Ticonderoga. An amazing blend of apples from Vermont and UK, socked away in rye and madeira barrels. Trying this one blew my mind. I had never tried anything like it and it forever changed my view on cider.
They make a variety of ciders but a lot of their special items spend a lot of time in barrels, developing complex flavors. Some of their specialty items are collaborations. They have worked with Dragon Orchard over in the UK and Petritegi in the Spain for ciders like Arlo and Semi-Dry. In addition to partnering with orchards for fruit, they partnered with NYC restaurant, Momofuku and are even working with breweries like Threes Brewing, Mystic Brewing and a upcoming collaboration with Modern Times in the next couple of months.
“When you make cider the way we do, the line starts to blur between saisons, farmhouse ales and ciders. Being a big fan of beer personally, nothing makes me happier than going to a beer event where we are pouring Arlo and having people coming over and saying things like “this is the best beer I have had all day, what is it!?” – Luke Schmuecker
Shacksbury’s home is Vermont and they have recently opened their tasting room in Vergennes.
The space is warm and inviting and you can even get a cup of soup.
You can get Shacksbury in a number of places but there is nothing like visiting their space in Vermont. I want to thank the whole Shacksbury gang for having me out. The new tasting room is amazing and I am excited for the things to come.