I’m all about some funky cider collabs, and Graft always nails them.
I’ve long been a lover of sour ciders, which comes as no surprise to me as I am a lover of any sour food or drink. I have strong memories of me sucking on lemon slices and drinking lemon juice concentrate out of those lemon-shaped bottles as a child, and my mom can back me up on that. In the late 90s, when you’d compete against your middle school friends to see who could suck on a Warhead the longest without making a face, I’d roll my eyes as everyone around me would fail and not a single muscle in my face would flinch.
GIVE. ME. SOUR!
If you’ve ever had Graft Cider before, you know about their various series, such as Book of Nomad (exploratory fruited ciders), Cloud City (ciders with lactose), and Shared Universe (cider collaborations). Everything they create is truly one of a kind; sometimes, you have to savor that single can you have, for it may be the only time you ever get it. And whether you are a collector or cans or an appreciator of excellent design, their cans will not leave you disappointed. I’ll occasionally peruse through their former Cloud City creations and yearn for one I’ll likely never have, but can only dream about.
Recently, I was brought home a collection of ciders after a long work week – because working in Infection Control during a pandemic = work work work work work! – and I had to try the Shared Universe | Red Spacecar first. A collab with Stillwater Artisanal, this is an oak-aged red wine cider hybrid made with NY Apples, Cab Franc grape skins, Pacific Gem hops, & wild yeast. (Per Untappd.) Most cider / wine hybrids work, though some are better than others. I wanted to specifically review this one because it really knocked it out of the park. The grape and apple intermingled well, one not completely overthrowing the other, as I’ve had some hybrids that leaning heavier on the wine flavors. That being said, there was an omnipresent warm oakyness from the barrels that was quite pleasant and occasionally reminded me, “This isn’t just a regular cider.” Its effervescence says “Cider!” and stunning fuchsia hue reminds me, “There are those Cab Franc grape skins in the mix!”
To the best of my knowledge, this was only released in August, so if you see it, GRAB IT while you still can! You don’t want to one day lament, “Well, what could have been…”
InCider Info – tl;dr: