This week's Sunday Night Suds takes a bit of a break from beer to look at the Henry Hotspur's Hard Pressed Cider (HHHPC).
I had first learned of HHHPC when I received updated letters of certification from the Va'ad of Detroit which indicated that Gordon Biersch was producing a kosher hard apple cider. At the time I was very excited about this turn of events because the Angry Orchard line of hard cider had just dropped their kosher certification (as of the most recent Star-K LOC there are some Angry Orchard products which are back under kosher certification, but that is an extremely recent development). However, I was not able to locate any HHHPC on the East Coast and could not find much evidence that they had even been sold outside of select markets on the West Coast.
Fast forward to late fall 2014 and I started to receive e-mails from people who had bought the HHHPC because it had been on my kosher beers list. I started to do some research and learned that it was now available in some mid-Atlantic Trader Joe stores. So when our family drove down to Virginia Beach for Yeshiva Week this past January, Mrs KB and I made a stop in a Trader Joe store and scored a couple of bottles of the HHHPC.
The first thing that struck me about the HHHPC is the size of the bottle. I was expecting this to be a 12oz bottle like most other TJ beers but it is sold in a 22 oz for less than 3.00 a bottle. This meant that we could serve it at a shabbos meal with other families so that they could experience it as well.
I cracked open a bottle of the HHHPC at a Shabbos lunch a few weeks before Pesach and passed some around for comments and thoughts. Personally, I felt that it was not sweet enough to be a hard cider, but I was curious about what others thought of it. Well, I have to report that other than Mrs KB and I, the HHHPC met with some decent reviews. People liked the apple flavor and did not detect the alcohol content. I concur that the HHHPC did not have a strong alcohol flavor and I did like that it was a little tart, but I still felt that it was not sweet enough, as compared to some other hard apple ciders like the Smith & Forge and the previously kosher (and now once again) Angry Orchard products.
The HHHPC is certified kosher by the Va'ad of Detroit but there is no kosher symbol on the label. If you would like the LOC, please email me and I will respond in kind.
If you've tried this or any others which have been reviewed on the kosher beers site, please feel free to post your comments (anonymous comments are acceptable).
Finally, if you have seen this post being carried on another site, please feel free to click www.kosherbeers.blogspot.com to find other articles on the kosherbeers blogsite. Hey its free and you can push my counter numbers up!