Eat like a Local

Pucker up, Graft Cider is Taking You on a Sour Cider Journey

By / Photography By Colleen Stewart | May 22, 2018
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Graft Cider is a sour cider made in Newburgh.
Photo provided by Graft Cider.

Sae and Kyle moved to the Hudson Valley from Baltimore around a year and half ago with one plan and one plan only: to make cider. This plan to landed them in Newburgh and they hit the ground running, opening Graft Cider and beginning production before they even found a place to live. Kyle, along with his sister Sara (also an owner of Graft) came from a family cider buisness and have been producing juice for years. With Graft, Kyle is looking to bring new styles to the American cider market, seeing the opportunity to experiement and introduce the dry, funky, and sour flavors he found in European style ciders and in the farmhouse beer currently on the scene. Sae heads up distribution, often travelling all over the country to spread the good cider word. But the most improtant Graft team member? Kyle and Sae's Daschund, Low Rider. 

No tasting room...yet! Graft's ciders can be found in eleven states and counting. In NY, at local distributors like Half Time or on restaurant menus, like Gaskins in Germantown. Don't see Graft at your local wine shop or liquor store? Request it!

Owner Kyle and Sae of Graft Cider in Newburgh, New York.
Kegs and cans at Graft Cider in Newburgh, New York
Photo 1: Kyle, Sae, and Low Rider at the cidery in Newburgh.
Photo 2: Some kegs and cans in the cidery.

Inside the Can
Graft focuses on sour ciders that emulate the of-the-moment juicy, sour styles in the craft beer world. Kyle, Sae, Sarah, and the rest of their team produce a unique line of beverages, organized into three categories. The core/flagship group consists of the Farm Flor, their rustic table cider: a blend of wild yeast fermented cider and tart farmhouse barrel aged cider. The other core cider is the Lost Tropic, a juicy and tart dry hopped cider with citra and Vic Secret hops, orange zest, and grapefruit zest. Graft's other two categories are the Book of Nomad and Cloud City series. Book of Nomad focuses on fruited ciders, like pineapple honey and blackberry strawberry, and Cloud City is their line of "dreamsicle" ciders. Graft also puts out seasonal gosé ciders, that are only available for a few months at a time. 

Depiste their fruitful end products, the cider philoshopy at Graft starts simply. They use local, fresh pressed juice and unpressed apples from farms in New Paltz, utlizing eveything, from the skins to the wild yeast present on the fruit to kickstart fermentation. They also worked with Mount Saint Mary to produce their own unique strain of yeast that is added in where fit. Right now, Graft is producing on a 5,000 gallon barrel system but demand and a desire to create even mores ciders is moving them to think bigger, with a goal of a 10,000 gallon barrel system in their sights.

The labels for Book of Nomad cider at Graft Cider in Newburgh, New York.
The labels for Book of Nomad cider at Graft Cider in Newburgh, New York.
Photo 1: One of the labels from the Book of Nomad series. Photo from Graft's Facebook. Art by Caleb Luke Lin.
Photo 2: One of the labels from the Book of Nomad series. Photo from Graft's Facebook. Art by Caleb Luke Lin.

Outside the Can
Graft Cider took the can art idea and ran with it. And we're loving it; totally brings out our "gotta catch 'em all" vibes. They create a story on the outisde of every can. The Book of Nomad and Cloud City series feature the story of Nomad, a character living in a 1920s world with his dog. With each new cider added to either series, Kyle writes another iteration of Nomad's story, based on the flavors present in that cider. Then artist, Caleb Luke Lin, visually interprets Kyle's story for the outside of the can. Be sure to catch up on the adventures; Nomad's stories are posted on Graft's website. 

Labels on the fridge at Graft Cider in Newburgh, New York.
Sae, owner of Graft Cider in Newburgh, New York
Graft cider at Gaskins in Germantown.
Cans of Farm Flor at Graft Cider in Newburgh.
Photo 1: Labels cover every surface at the cidery.
Photo 2: Low Rider, the unofficial mascot of Graft.
Photo 3: The spring seasonal gosé cider at Gaskins in Germantown.
Photo 4: Cans on cans on cans of Farm Flor.

Fresh off the Cider Press
Graft just released their line of mochi ciders for Book of Nomad featuring peach, pear, and apricot flavors. Gotta try 'em all!

Graft Cider@graftcider
Half Time | @halftimebev
Gaskins | @gaskinsny
Mount Saint Mary | @mountsainmarycollege
Caleb Luke Lin | @caleblukelin

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