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Angry Orchard Eyes Innovation Potential With New Upstate New York Cidery

April 24, 2015

Boston Beer Co.’s Angry Orchard cider has announced plans to open a new research and development center in New York State’s Hudson Valley, with a focus on experimentation and innovation in the booming cider segment. Located on a historic 60-acre orchard in Walden, New York, the site will be used to augment Angry Orchard’s innovation capabilities, with the company set to plant the orchard with traditional bittersweet cider apple trees and other heirloom varieties over the next several years. The center will also feature a cidery designed for experimental, small-batch production, which is set to open to the public for tastings by late fall.

Ryan Burk, formerly head of Michigan’s Virtue Cider, has been named the cidery’s head cider maker. Additionally, Angry Orchard’s cider-making team plans to research wild fermentation, barrel aging, new apple varieties and apple harvest maximization, among other topics, at the facility, in collaboration with local universities, community organizations and other cideries.

Launched in 2012, Angry Orchard is the leading cider brand in the U.S. An Impact “Hot Brand,” the franchise grew by 81.3% to 14.5 million (2.25-gallon) cases last year, according to Impact Databank.

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