memorial day at blue toad

Memorial Day 2017 with Blue Toad Hard Cider

It’s Memorial Day weekend and if you don’t have plans just yet, we’ve got you covered. From Rochester to Central Virginia, we will be running cider specials and hosting events throughout the long weekend to ensure that you and your family has a great kickoff to summer!

Rochester, New York Events & Specials

Friday, May 26 – The Genesee Country Village and Museum is hosting History on Tap at their working museum in Mumford, New York. Blue Toad Hard Cider will be pouring samples of our locally sourced cider for you to try. This event starts at 5pm on Friday evening. Saturday, May 27 – Pittsford Recreation is hosting Paddle & Pour 2017 Saturday afternoon. Regional artists will be showing off their work and local wineries, cideries, and craft breweries will be pouring samples. The event is located on the Pittsford Canal. Sunday, May 28 – The Zac Brown Tribute Band will be playing at the Beachcomber on Conesus Lake. Blue Toad Hard Cider will be available for purchase. ZBTB starts at 8pm, but come by earlier to see James Draudt starting at 3pm! Tuesday, May 30 – Cure those back to work blues by joining us at a Cider Education Class at AJ’s Beer Warehouse on Tuesday evening from 6:30-8pm. Blue Toad Hard Cider will be discussing the cider making process. Learn about the history of the beverages and try some samples as well.

Charlottesville & Central Virginia Events & Specials

Thursday, May 25 – We are taking over Travinia! Join us at the restaurant in Stonefield for our Tap Takeover and APA Can Release. Enjoy a lovely dinner and pair it with Blue Toad Hard Cider. Our APA – American Pressed Apple Hopped Cider will be released in Virginia for the first time. Saturday, May 27 & Sunday, May 28 –  Stop by our Cider Pub in Afton on Route 151 to enjoy Tuck & Ollies hand smoked ribs and chicken specials throughout the weekend. Blue Toad Hard Cider pairs well with barbecue! Sunday, May 28 – Cookout with Team Red, White and Blue, a local veteran’s organization to honor dedication and service this Memorial Day weekend. We will be enjoying outdoor games, delicious cider, and a great cause. The event will be at our Blue Toad Hard Cider Farm in Roseland, Virginia.        
blue toad cider farm

Spend Mother’s Day with Blue Toad Hard Cider

mother's day growlerIf you’re in the Central Virginia area and looking for Mother’s Day plans, stop by

The Blue Toad Hard Cider Farm in Roseland, Virginia. The weather on Sunday is looking to be absolutely perfect! Allow Mom to relax outside and enjoy some local hard cider while the kiddos play by the creek.

This Mother’s Day we are featuring our custom Motherhood growlers that read “Powered by love. Fueled by coffee. Sustained by cider.” Each mom will receive a free growler fill with purchase. Additionally, each mom will receive a free Cidermosa – think mimosa, but with Blue Toad Hard Cider.

Our Cider Farm boasts 360 degree views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and we sit at the base of Wintergreen Resort.  

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New Flavor Alert! Flower City Lilac

Rochester! Blue Toad Hard Cider recently released a limited edition cider in our Henrietta Tasting Room. We are calling it our Flower City Lilac, and we are so excited to have it ready in time for the 2017 Lilac Festival.

Flower City Lilac is a session-able lilac flavored hard apple cider that is clean and crisp with a flowery finish. This cider was produced by steeping dried lilac flowers in the cider. The final drink is 5% ABV.

Be sure to stop by our tent at this year’s Lilac Festival to give this one a try. Until then, we will also be serving it at our Henrietta tasting room.

hard cider recipes

7 Delicious Recipes to Make with Blue Toad Hard Cider

You’ve filled your growler with Blue Toad Hard Cider, and intend to drink every last drop. But then, you start thinking about what to make for dinner and you realize that your favorite cider not only pairs well with a meal, but can actually be included in the prep! Have you ever considered cooking with Blue Toad? What a wonderfully refreshing and delicious way to mix up your meal planning. We’ve put together a list of hard cider recipes. We suggest using our flagship Blonde flavor for these.

Hard Apple Cider Jelly 

If you ever needed an excuse to have Blue Toad Hard Cider for breakfast, here it is. Try it on your toast, or on a cracker with some cream cheese. This recipe just calls for four ingredients, so if you are a beginner at canning, this might be your best bet.

Hard Apple Cider Peanut Brittle

You are less than 30 minutes away from Hard Apple Cider Peanut Brittle, according to this recipe. You can even add maple syrup and bacon to add to the deliciousness.

Hard Apple Cider Cupcakes

 There aren’t many foods I like to indulge in more so than cupcakes, and adding Blue Toad Hard Cider to the recipe? I. Am. Drooling. This recipe calls for a whiskey caramel apple filling – can you imagine?!

Sparkling Hard Apple Cider Sangria

 The perfect summer cocktail: White wine. Apple. Pear. Cinnamon stick. Blue Toad Hard Cider. Mix it into a large pitcher and enjoy.

Hard Apple Cider Mule

Think Moscow Mule, but with Blue Toad Hard Apple Cider.

Slow-cooker Apple Cider Pulled Chicken 

Slow-cooker recipes are so easy, usually yield a large amount of food, and always come out tasting delicious. This recipe for Hard Apple Pulled Chicken can be used on sandwiches, salads, or even plain. The combination of sweet onion, paprika, and Blue Toad Hard Cider doesn’t just sound delicious, it sounds heavenly.

Hard Apple Cider Chicken & Dumplings

I’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t like chicken and dumplings – likewise, I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t enjoy Blue Toad Hard Cider. So why not combine the two? This recipe for Hard Cider Chicken and Dumplings takes less than an hour and serves four people – or just four meals for yourself.
craft beverage tasting room

6 Reasons Why Craft Beverage Lovers Should Stop by a Blue Toad Tasting Room

1. Blue Toad has multiple locations, in two states!

If you read our origin story, you know that Blue Toad’s founders chose Rochester, NY and Nelson County, VA for good reason – it’s home! But even within those two areas, there are several different locations, each with it’s own unique feeling. In Rochester, our flagship tasting room located in Henrietta boasts a beautiful wooden bar with a cozy bar feel. We brew our cider in house at this location, and if you ask nicely, you may be able to take a peek behind closed doors. On certain nights, we host live music by local artists and when the weather is nice, we have our corn hole boards available for patrons to play. If you take 490 over to Victor, you can stop by our second Rochester location. A retired train car has been transformed into the perfect place for you and your friends to taste our locally made cider. Our final Rochester location showcases the very apples we use in our cider recipes. Schutts Apple Mill & Farm in Webster, hosts our third tasting room. While you’re there, be sure to grab some of Schutt’s fresh apples, baked goods, and of course, hard cider! For hours and directions, click here.

2. We have live music!

We love featuring local artists and showcasing their talents. Be sure to follow our Facebook pages to get updates on live music events!

3. Growlers, pints, flights – you can try Blue Toad Hard Cider in several ways!

If this is your first time walking into a Blue Toad tasting room, be sure to try our cider flights. Flights give you the opportunity to test taste anywhere from two to nine different ciders. Of course, you can always try any of our ciders in a pint. And for those of you who fall in love our cider – we offer growler fills so you can enjoy Blue Toad Hard Cider at home! 

4. We have beautiful views! 

Our Virginia locations offer stellar views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. On a clear day, our Cider Farm boasts some of the most spectacular 360° views in the area. These views are the perfect backdrop for any event, including weddings, which we have started to host! 

5. We use locally sourced apples only! 

Our business model is simple – but very important to us. Blue Toad Hard Cider uses only locally sourced apples for every batch of cider we make. We even go as far as to separate our New York and Virginia ciders. For all the ciders made in New York, our apples are sourced locally from the Rochester area. For those ciders made in Virginia, our apples come from just six miles up the road. We support local business so we encourage you to #drinklocal!

6. You can learn about how Blue Toad Hard Cider is made! 

Just ask! Our bartenders will be happy to give you a quick tutorial on how our cider is made. If you’re lucky, they may even give you a peek behind the scenes!    
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Hard Cider is Making a Comeback

Hard Cider is having a moment. Well, its having several moments in reality. Over the past seven years or so, hard cider’s popularity has skyrocketed. In 2011, cider only had about .2% of the market share. By the end of 2014? It owned 1%. Sure, that number isn’t HUGE… but did you do the math? In three years, cider’s market share grew fivefold. That’s absolutely unheard of especially considering that cider had nearly disappeared completely after prohibitionists cut down apple orchards in hopes to destroy the cider makers in the United States.

Between November of 2013 and November of 2014, cider sales had increased 75%. The next closest beverage category? Craft at 20% growth.

There’s plenty of reasons for hard cider’s resurgence – one of which is that cider appeals to women, another is that customers are more curious about craft beverages, whether that be beer or cider, and of course, the fact that cider is gluten-free wins over an entirely different crowd.

In New York State, where Blue Toad currently have three tasting rooms, craft beverage stores in general are popping up everywhere. In the last year, 32 new craft beverage stores opened statewide.

Meanwhile, in Virginia, where Blue Toad currently have a cider pub as well as tasting room, sales for wine and cider (they are grouped together since cider is such a new commodity) were up 6% from 2015 to 2016. More than half a million cases were sold in fiscal year 2016. When separated, cider sales in Virginia were up 52% with over 400,000 cases sold.

So, we pose the question – why do you drink hard cider?

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The History of Cider

Hard cider has grown enormously in popularity in the past decade. But did you realize that the fermented beverage has been around since the Romans ruled an empire? There is evidence that dates cider back to 6500 BC in Asian and European cultures. The idea of fermenting apples has been traced back to around 55 BC. Way back then, the water was so unsanitary that people actually drank more cider than they did water. Around the sixth century brewers became a skilled profession around Europe, making beer drinks as well as cider. Rumor is that between the 13th and 17th centuries, Europeans were even paid in cider.

Normandy became a big player in the cider-making business around the 16th century. It was here that folks started playing around with different types of apples – some, of course, tasted much better than others. In other places in Europe, as well as colonial America, cider became an important part of the culture.

It is the Pilgrims that are credited with bringing apples with them on their voyage to the Americas. The seeds of the apples were planted and orchards grew. The apples were then purposely fermented to create a cider drink because it was safe and sanitary. In fact, most of the orchards are said to have been planted not for apple consumption, but for cider making.

Over the years, the popularity of cider ebbed and flowed with the different groups of immigrants who came to America. When prohibition was enacted in the 1920s, apple orchards were cut down in hopes that cider supplies would die with them. When prohibition was repealed, cider was slow to make a comeback since many apple orchards were wiped out.

Ciders vary by region in the United States. New England ciders are typically simple and sweet or barrel aged for a sharper flavor. California apples are usually more bitter and sometimes even sparkling. While Blue Toad is made in both New York and Virginia, we source only local apples for every batch of cider. That means, if you’re drinking a Flower City Blonde in Rochester, the apples used are from the Rochester area. If you’re drinking a Blue Ridge Blonde in Nelson County, you’re drinking apples from the area.

In the past decade or so, cider has seen a resurgence – and we are proud that Blue Toad Hard Cider is part of that! Currently hard cider is only about 1% of the beverage market, but is growing faster than any other type of drink out there, and is expected to keep growing. There are typically hard cider drink options in most bars and restaurants these days.

Be sure to ask your next bartender or server if they have any fresh Blue Toad Hard Cider on tap!    


  Resources: “Cider.” How Products Are Made. . Encyclopedia.com. 28 Mar. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>. Lehault, C. (2013). Go Back in Time with New England Style Ciders. http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2013/05/what-is-new-england-style-cider-strong-hard-cider-with-raisins.html Kerrigan, William (2012).  
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Behind the Scenes: Blue Toad Hard Cider

  You know our cider, but we want you to get to know us! The people behind the big blue toad logo on our cans. Why Blue Toad? Why New York and Virginia? Why hard cider? The story starts in the small town of Scottsville, New York where the three owners of Blue Toad Hard Cider grew up. Scottsville is a quintessential small town – population of around 2,000 people, one high school with graduating classes of under 100 people, one stoplight, and a 15 minute drive to the closest grocery store. Yes, every small town cliché is true about Scottsville, but none rings more true than the fact that everyone knows everyone. Todd, Scott, and Greg grew up in Scottsville, New York. They all went to high school together at Wheatland-Chili High School and took on careers in different fields. After settling down and starting families of their own, a “desire to consume high quality alcoholic beverages” got the wheels churning and ultimately, Blue Toad Hard Cider was born. Why Blue Toad? There’s been about a million stories swirling around as to why Todd is actually referred to as Toad, one of which includes a misspelling on his birth certificate, but I doubt we’ll ever know the true story. In any case, Todd was raised as “Toad” – he and his family settled down in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Todd and his wife, Kim, opened a pub nearby and decided on the name Blue Toad – a play off of his name and the beautiful mountains nearby. Meanwhile, Scott was in Scottsville making batches of beer in his barn while Greg was making cider in his garage, so they decided to combine their efforts. When the idea to start a hard cider business came up, the name Blue Toad felt natural since the brand already existed. Why New York and Virginia?  After reading some of our story, you can see why New York and Virginia are natural choices for our cider. Our owners have roots in the Rochester, New York and Central Virginia regions. Since it is so important for us to have locally sourced apples included in every hard cider we produce, we’ve even named similar ciders differently to pay homage to their region. For example, in Rochester, our blonde cider is named Flower City Blonde and features a blend of local Golden Delicious, Empire and Crispin apples. Meanwhile, in Virginia, our Blonde is called Blue Ridge Blonde featuring locally sourced Golden Delicious, Red Delicious and Granny Smith apples. We currently have five tasting rooms – 3 in New York, and 2 in Virginia. You can find more information on our locations here. You can also find our cider in Wegmans stores in both regions. Why hard cider? Well, why not? It’s easy to drink, it’s fun to make and to experiment new flavors, plus our gluten free friends can enjoy it. Also, hard cider is one of the fastest growing beverages in the past decade. So, friends, you want it, we’ll make it!
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St. Paddy’s Day – Blue Toad Style

We at Blue Toad Hard Cider know how to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day right. We’ve got a multitude of celebrations for you and a seasonal flavor that is perfect for anyone celebrating their Irish roots!

Paddy Green  

Our seasonal flavor for St. Paddy’s Day is deservedly named Paddy Green. This cider is very light, clean and crisp and fermented using 100% local apples. It is clean and refreshing with a tart finish. Just enough for your tongue to do the Irish jig!

You can pick up cans of Paddy Green at Wegmans stores in both the New York and Virginia regions or stop by one of our five tasting rooms for a pint. You can find more information on our tasting rooms here.

Virginia Celebrations 

St. Paddy’s Day Celebration at The  Blue Toad Hard Cider Pub

Join us for a St. Paddy’s Day Celebration on Saturday, March 18th from 2-10pm at our Cider Pub in Afton, Virginia. There will be live music from Gallatin Canyon from 6-8pm.  We will have drink specials, food specials, and will be giving away a pair of tickets to The Festy Experience.

For more information on this event, visit our Facebook page.

Blue Toad Hop & Vine Tour 

Additionally, we will be having our annual Blue Toad Hard Cider Hop & Vine Tour. Pickup at South Street Brewery on Saturday, March 18th at 2pm. We will visit Wood Ridge Brewing, Blue Mountain Barrel House, and end at The Blue Toad Hard Cider Pub just in time for Gallatin Canyon. Bus brews and ciders are included! There will also be St. Paddy’s Day gear, a Blue Toad mini growler for you to fill up! After the show, we will return you to South Street Brewery in Charlottesville.

To join in on the fun and purchase a ticket, visit our Facebook page.

New York Celebrations

Start your St. Paddy’s Day celebrations early at our Henrietta tasting room. We will opening on Wednesday of this week from 5-pm.

Join us at our Henrietta or Victor locations for $3 pints of Paddy Green. There will also be 25% off all Paddy Green Growlers at all three New York locations.

Hope you see you this weekend!

New Mother's Day Growler

The Perfect Gift for Mother’s Day

MDG

Motherhood: Powered by Love, Fueled by Coffee, Sustained by Cider


Give the perfect gift this Mother’s Day with our new limited edition Mother’s Day Growlers! Each growler comes filled with love, and your choice of hard cider. Available now in all NY tasting rooms!