Cider Rules: Bantam Cider’s Latest Creations
See how Bantam is taking apple-based brews to the next level.
Two years ago, Bantam Cider entered the growing artisanal-cider movement with its flagship brew, Wunderkindâ€”an effervescent, honey-tinged beverage that quickly made its way onto restaurant menus citywide. After a couple of successful follow-ups, Bantam owners Dana Masterpolo and Michelle da Silva decided to expand their portfolio even further in March, with a 1,300-square-foot taproom adjacent to their Somerville brewery that brings eight draft (and a few bottled) ciders to the fore. At right, a closer look at five ripe-for-the-drinking creations available on the premises.
Bantamâ€™s latest bottled brew stars smoked apples that were fermented with a strain of saison yeast. The result? A smoky cider with umami-like undertones (like apple pie paired with cheddar cheese).
A Montmorency cherryâ€“based cider was aged in Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels for a combination of fruit tannin, tart cherry juice, and natural vanilla notes that â€ścomplement each other beautifully,â€ť Masterpolo says.
To evoke the flavor of witbiers like Allagash White, Bantam infuses dried bitter-orange peel, Belgian wit yeast, and coriander into the ferment. The result has the same wheat bite and crisp citrus aroma of a nice hefeweizen.
Bantam experiments with several rotating varieties of hopsâ€”like Fuggles, Kent Golding, and Glacierâ€”to achieve different flavors. â€śThey all change the cider dramatically,â€ť Masterpolo says. â€śApples are quick to take on the flavor of anything you ferment with them.â€ť
Inspired by Oleana, one of da Silvaâ€™s favorite restaurants, this cider contains a heady blend of cardamom, cinnamon, rose petals, and coriander. The beverage â€śsmells like autumn,â€ť Masterpolo says, and has a pronounced wassail-like nose of cinnamon and spice.
Bantamâ€™s taproom is open to the public on Thursdays and Fridays from 4â€“7 p.m. and Saturdays from 1â€“7 p.m.; 40 Merriam St., Somerville, 617-299-8600, bantamcider.com
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/restaurants/article/2014/04/29/bantam-cider-rules/