Freedom's Edge is made from a blend of apples, all sourced from either our own farm in Albion or nearby orchards in Central Maine. What we use varies year by year, based on local growing conditions and what makes the best cider, but this year's blend contains: McIntosh, Cortland, Gala, Northern Spy, Fameuse, Liberty, Baldwin, Dabinett, Newtown Pippin, Spartan, along with some wild seedlings.
We press the apples and let them ferment to dryness (until all the sugars have converted to alcohol), which generally takes a couple of months. We then blend the different apples into what will become the final cider, and age it for several more months in stainless steel tanks. This allows the tannins (which give the cider its body, but also can sometimes create a bitter sensation in the palate) time to mellow. This is what gives Freedom's Edge its distinctive mouth feel and drinkability.
Though Freedom's Edge is dryer than many hard ciders, we do sweeten ours a little with cryo-concentrated apple juice. (Cryo-concentrate is just a fancy way of saying we freeze some juice and allow it to melt.) The fruit sugar melts sooner than the water, which allows us to separate it off and use it as a natural sweetener. We then filter the cider, carbonate it, and we do add a small (but necessary) amount of sulfites to prevent spoilage. The alcohol by volume in this year's blend is 5.5%.
That's it...we don't use any other ingredients, because that's all that's necessary to create a wholesome, delicious (& naturally gluten free!) product.