Drink This Now: Nova, by Far from the Tree

It's the first Massachusetts-made hopped cider available in cans.

Far From the Tree Nova cans

Nova is Far from the Tree’s first canned cider release. / Photo via Facebook

Salem cider house Far from the Tree is getting in on the tallboy trend: 16-ounce four-packs of Nova hit Salem-area package store shelves today.

“This is our first-ever can release, and our first-ever release in anything besides the 500-ml bottles and growler fills,” cofounder and cidermaker Al Snape says.

It’s also Massachusetts’ first canned, hopped cider. “To be brutally honest, the East Coast, and especially the Boston area, deserves a good canned, hopped cider and we are pretty dumbfounded as to why one doesn’t exist yet,” Snape says.

(Cincinnati’s Cidergeist is on the cusp of widely releasing its dry-hopped cider in 12-ounce cans in the Bay State.)

Nova is one of Far from the Tree’s four, original ferments. “Cider does something entirely and completely different with hops than beer does, and we’ve been exploring this awesome, weird world for the last three years,” Snape says. “We really love double IPAs and are wicked hop heads when it comes to beer, so this came extremely naturally.”

Made with 100 percent Massachusetts-grown apples, Nova is off-dry, with citrusy and passionfruit aromas and piney hop flavors alongside the apple crispness.

The pilot batch of Nova rolled off the canning line on Tuesday, and they will be released at select North Shore and Boston locations March 1. Half of the first batch is packaged with limited-edition labels, created by Lesley University College of Art and Design students. The LUCAD-designed cans are available exclusively at Far from the Tree’s taproom, which is hosting a launch party for the student art on Thursday, March 3.

“We don’t have any marketing, advertising or packaging support, so we constantly reach out for help from others,” Snape says. LUCAD professor Elissa Von Letkemann is a friend of the Snapes, and she assigned the project, he adds.

It was an awesome project that Elissa put a lot of work into and I think it really shows her willingness and deep set pride in teaching students with passion and in a real world setting,” Snape says. ” I wish I could have done something like this in college!”

Far from the Tree plans to continue canning Nova—with a tie-dyed hop on the label, designed by Von Letkemann and artist Benjamin Stebbings—throughout March, and another batch this summer. Two other, as-yet-unidentified ciders will be canned April 1 and June 1, Snape adds.

MSRP $11.99 per 4-pack; farfromthetreecider.com.