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Cider House Rules, Again

09/24/12 12:00PM By Jane Lindholm
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AP/Matthew Mead
Glasses of hard apple cider, apple beer, and apple wine, along with, from left, bottles of beer, wine, and hard cider are shown in Concord, N.H.


At the time of the American Revolution, one out of every ten farms in New England had a cider mill.  Hard cider was practically a national drink. But a shift to urban lifestyles and the pressure of the temperance movement forced this farmhouse beverage out of favor. Now it’s coming back, in a big way. Last year, US sales were up 20 percent. One local cidermaker, The Vermont Hard Cider Company, controls more than half of the market. And other local cidermakers are starting to see remarkable success. We explore the cider revival with Ben Watson, author of “Cider Hard and Sweet: History, Traditions & Making Your Own” and we learn about the craft from the cidermakers at Farnum Hill Cider in Lebanon, New Hampshire, Citizen Cider in Colchester, and Whetstone Ciderworks in Marlboro.

Are you a cider aficionado? Just starting to explore the beverage? Share your local favorites with us below or on Vermont Edition's Facebook page.

Also in the program, Vermont's "Solar City." When Green Mountain Power announced plans to merge with Central Vermont Public Service, GMP President Mary Powell promised Rutland a few concessions. With GMP’s help, Rutland would become the solar capital of Vermont. Critics rolled their eyes, but VPR’s Nina Keck reports that many in Rutland hope investments in solar may jump start the city’s economy.

And, the legacy of the Estey Organ Company. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, Brattleboro was home to the world’s largest maker of organs for churches, homes and public buildings. The company is long gone now, but Brattleboro’s Estey Organ Museum continues to celebrate Estey’s role in setting an international standard for tuning musical instruments.


apples hard_cider solar_city rutland estey_organs business
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