Ploughman Cider recently launched its new cider club, Ploughshares.
The membership program delivers fresh, Pennsylvania grown and produced cider to your door quarterly.
As both a Pennsylvania enthusiast and a bon vivant, there are a few products I cannot condone the purchase of elsewhere — for example, potato chips, apples, and — you guessed it — cider.
We’ll get to the potato chip issue in another post (spoiler alert: we’re an Utz/Herr’s household), and I could wax about apples all day. But obviously we’re here to talk about Pennsylvania cider.
Notably, Ploughman Cider in Aspers, Pa., near Gettysburg.
Ploughman Cider is the well-tended project of Ben Wenk, who simultaneously operates Three Springs Farm with his family.
The cider is made from apples grown on their own farm and pressed at a nearby mill. Then the juice returns to the farm where it’s blended, fermented — and when the time is right — bottled or canned.
Ploughshares Cider Club
Ploughman’s new Cider Club, Ploughshares, is an opportunity to get the know the brand more intimately. And to conveniently get cider direct to your door throughout the year.
Members select either a bushel (large) or peck (medium) — a dozen or half-dozen ciders — delivered every three months.
Discounts on web orders and merchandise, member-only releases, a members-only newsletter, along with a moniker of membership: enamel pin or patch, depending on level, also are included.
A handy pocket cider-tasting journal allows you to track what you’ve tried (from any cidery, in fact) and make notes. The template allows you to identify the flavors, aromas, body, and finish — and ultimately learn what you like in a cider.
In addition to delicious, handcrafted Pennsylvania cider, the goal of Ploughshares is to provide its members a connection to the orchard and cidery.
Though current times don’t allow for in-person activities, ultimately Ploughman anticipates hosting farm-side gatherings and other special experiences for bushel-level members.
Fall 2020 Ciders
I have the “Peck” selection (shown above). I cracked open a can of Birdwatcher as soon as it was cold. This cider with peaches is a seasonal offering. It’s light, crisp and dry — with a hint of funk. Add these to your pack on your next hike.
Next, I tried Muhibbah, a dry cider made with makrut lime leaves, star anise, cumin, and coriander. Named for the Malay word for cross-cultural harmony, we could all use a little Muhibbah these days. This one is also available in 500 ml bottles.
Rosé but make it cider. Henspeckle has its place on my Thanksgiving Dinner table. The sweet juice of Stayman, Rome, and Jonagold apples is fermented with chokeberries, which provide bitter contrast and the beautiful color. Together, they unite for a dry, somewhat tannic cider, with an aroma of spring fruit.
Goldrush is the latest in the Ploughman 64, so named for the 64 acres of apple trees planted by Ben’s grandfather in 1964. A special “scratch” single-varietal cider, in this case, aged in oak barrels. Offered to Ploughshares members; limited additional release.
“Rugged authenticity” is how Ben describes Rosedale, a dry, unfiltered cider made with backyard crabapples.
I’m eager to try Brother, a quince and Jonagold apple-based cider.
What cider is on your must-try list?
To sign-up for Ploughman Cider’s Ploughshares cider club, make your club selection here.
Not quite ready for the full membership? Ploughman ships statewide. Order online here or find them at various farmers markets throughout the area.