When summer was winding down, my family and I headed up north for a friend’s wedding in Door County, Wis. Aside from my sister getting a kick out of the goats grazing on the roof of Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant & Butik, we also got a chance to try Island Orchard Cider, a French-style hard cider that is produced in Ellison Bay, Wis.
The crisp, not-too-sweet cider hit the spot on a mild, late summer day. With the chill in the air, it got me excited for this fall season and incorporating hard cider into my beverage rotation.
Cider makers also are embracing the fall season. White Plains, N.Y.-based Heineken USA announced that it is making this fall Strongbow Season. The brand is encouraging legal drinking age consumers to consume Strongbow over ice throughout the season. To promote this, Strongbow is rolling out a program that includes national TV advertising, targeted digital media, social media engagements and point-of-sale materials designed to drive the purchase of Strongbow’s four flavors all season long.
“Hard cider remains one of the hottest segments in beverage alcohol and its consumption spikes in the fall,” said Alejandra de Obeso, brand director of Strongbow for Heineken USA, in a statement. “Strongbow’s retail program will remind consumers that fall is the perfect season for spontaneous get-togethers, as these moments can be enjoyed with a Strongbow over ice shared with family and friends. Even better, Strongbow Season is a great time to bring our four delicious flavors to any table, whether it’s Gold Apple, Honey, Red Berries or Ginger.”
Strongbow also will support the fall program through partnerships with pre-store digital shopper media on both desktop and mobile, which is designed to drive traffic in-store and to the newly re-launched strongbow.com.
“As the summer transitions into fall, consumers begin a new routine, which includes even more hosting occasions at home with their closest friends and family,” de Obeso added. “This is a fantastic time to discover the refreshing taste of Strongbow flavors over ice. There is a clear opportunity for retailers and on-premise accounts to drive incremental sales and profit of Strongbow Hard Ciders.”
Crispin Cider Co., a brand within Chicago-based MillerCoors Tenth and Blake division, also is sharing with consumers how they can incorporate hard cider into their fall beverage rotation. This month the company released 15 Men, its first rum barrel-aged cider within its six-year-barrel-aging program.
Made from Colfax apple wine aged in dark rum casks and finished with Wildflower Honey and Dark Candied Syrup, 15 Men was inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island.”
The 6.9 percent alcohol by volume limited-edition release features a sweet and tart balance of apple acidity coupled with complex warm notes of baked apples, burnt caramel and vanilla followed-up with subtle floral fruit, the company says.
With new releases and campaigns set for this season, it looks like I’m not the only one who will be enjoying hard cider this fall.