A Book & A Beer – The Apple Orchard by Pete Brown

When I hear that Pete Brown has a new book out, it goes on my radar to read as soon as I can. He has the ability to be folksy and technical and to cut through the noise surrounding a topic. Be it IPA history or Shakespeare’s Local.

The history of how apples spread across the country is a fascinating one followed by the fascinating topic of how to graft an apple tree to make sure you get the same type of apple, as is re-creating heritage apples and creating new apple varieties.

I mean who amongst us knew that apples basically migrated from Kazakhstan? I liked that the book was structured to follow the growing season and that each chapter had such tidbits of information. Once I grew accustomed to the fact that this was more of a shallow skim across the world of apples with some deeper dives, the book grew on me more and more.

For someone with little knowledge of apples barring a few trips to Oak Glen here in SoCal, this book provides a lot of fun facts.

To drink, well, it’s obvious ain’t it?

Golden State Cider
“Mighty Dry is a champagne-like cider that pairs perfectly with any moment of the day. It’s just dry enough. It’s perfectly balanced, and crispy (if not crispier) as biting into a freshly picked apple.”

101 Cider House
Scrumpy, the flagship cider is their hazy meets barnyard version

Reverend Nat’s
“My newest release is Revival Hard Apple and I couldn’t be more thrilled to share it with you. I start with a secret blend of Washington-grown apples and add piloncillo, dark brown evaporated cane juice, purchased direct from Michoacan, Mexico. I ferment this dark base to all the way to dry using two exotic yeast strains: a beer yeast known for the round mouthfeel in Saisons and a rarely-used secret culture which produces aromas of pineapple, guava and peaches. This cider is brilliantly golden in color and deeply complex while remaining subtly familiar, with just the right amount of sweetness and acidity to be an everyday beverage.”