Have you ever heard of Bulmer's Norman? How about Tremlett's Bitter or Ashmead's Kernel? These curious names belong to old world cider apple cultivars. These and many others have been grown for hundreds of years in England, mainland Europe, and the Eastern United States for the production of hard cider.
In recent years, consumer interest in hard cider has skyrocketed, and cider production has expanded across the United States - including Minnesota.
Evaluating old world and new world cultivars
This year, our apple research and extension team is beginning a study to evaluate various cultivars for cider production in Minnesota. The study has two parts:
First, we will trial a selection of traditional European cider apple cultivars to determine if they're suited to growing in Minnesota.
Second, we will assess the juice of cold-hardy apple cultivars that are already grown throughout Minnesota to determine which of those can contribute interesting flavors to cider.
Extension Educator Annie Klodd is the principal investigator on the project, and introduces the research in this video.
This research is made possible through funding from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant program. Additional support provided by the University of Minnesota Department of Horticultural Science and Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station.