Edmonds-based Core Hero launches with apple cranberry hard cider

Core Hero founder Steve Kaiser applies a few drops of cranberry juice on a refractometer to measure the Brix or sugar level.
Core Hero founder Steve Kaiser applies a few drops of cranberry juice on a refractometer to measure the Brix, or sugar level.

Here’s a way to enjoy cranberries with your Thanksgiving dinner—or anytime—and it’s handcrafted in Edmonds by Core Hero Hard Cider. Apple cranberry hard cider is one of two varieties launching in November after the drinks’ prelaunch at the Edmonds Summer Farmers Market.

“Visitors at the farmers market kept asking me where they can buy more of the hard cider they were sampling and buying,” explained Steve Kaiser, owner of Core Hero Hard Cider. “The enthusiastic support for local hard cider encouraged me to take the next step and make it more widely available.”

Cranberry BackgroundCore Hero is launching when hard cider sales, as a drink category, have grown 180 percent from 2011 to 2014 according to Impact Databank Cider Report. Even though hard cider was more popular than beer or wine during colonial times, only in recent years has it taken off much like microbreweries did in the Seattle area during the 1980s.

Demand for cider apples is so high all of a sudden that there’s a supply shortage according to Kaiser. Many cideries use a type of apple grown only for hard cider and these apples can’t be found in any grocery store. The rare apples are higher in tannins and have other flavor characteristics that make them a poor choice for eating fresh but make an excellent cider, Kaiser noted.

“I blend hard cider apples with regular apples and crab apples grown in Edmonds, Lopez Island and Quincy,” said Kaiser. “For the apple cranberry cider, I add locally grown fresh cranberries during the fermentation stage so the color is released to give the drink a blush red hue. I don’t use apple concentrate from China or other questionable cost-saving methods because I believe there’s a difference you can taste.”

Core Hero is now available at Whole Foods in Lynnwood and later in November at PCC Natural Markets in Edmonds. For more information, visit www.coreherohardcider.com.

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