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Sara Foss's Thinking It Through
by Sara Foss

Thinking It Through

A Daily Gazette life blog
Her column and blog rolled into one

Tasting cider at Nine Pin

I’m always interested in trying new food and drink, and last weekend I swung by the tasting room at Nine Pin Cider Works, which opened earlier this month in North Albany.

Nine Pin makes hard cider from local apples. And it’s very good cider. Last year the company’s owner, Alejandro del Peral, won a gold medal in the Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition for his noncommercial cider, called Catskill Thunder. Nine Pin’s flagship cider is available in some local stores and bars, but the company makes several other kinds of ciders, and they’re only available at the tasting room. I wanted to sample all four ciders, so I ordered a flight for $7.

And I enjoyed all four. They were all on the drier side, which was refreshing — in my opinion, commercial ciders tend to be too sweet, and Nine Pin’s ciders are more akin to wine than the juice-like beverage produced by some of the bigger cider companies, such as Woodchuck. I liked Nine Pin’s flagship cider well enough, but I actually preferred the other three kinds of cider: a blueberry cider, made with blueberries from Indian Ladder Farms, a ginger cider and an even drier cider made from apples grown on del Peral’s farm.

Nine Pin sells growlers, and my friend and I decided to purchase one and fill it up with cider to take to a dinner party the next night. Right now, only the company’s flagship cider is available for growler purchase, which thwarted my clever plan to buy a growler full of the as-yet-unavaible-outside-of-the-tasting-room ginger cider. However, we were told that Nine Pin plans to make at least some of its specialty ciders available to growler owners, and I’m looking forward to being able to swing by and fill up my growler with some exotic and obscure kind of cider.

In the meantime, I’ll just bring their flagship cider everywhere I go.

Nine Pin is a great addition to the Capital Region’s burgeoning food scene, and I hope they’ll thrive in their warehouse district headquarters for years to come. Making craft cider from locally grown apples is a great idea, and del Peral appears to be a skilled craftsman. I plan to return with my growler soon, and fill it up.

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