Gone Pickin’ – Our Apple Cider Donut Beer

Ah. My favorite time of year in my favorite place in the country: Autumn in Maine. It really is a magical time of year, when the frantic, fast paced, “catch the sun while you can” summer finally slows down.

When the days get shorter, and the air gets brisk; you pull out your favorite flannel and beanie.
You can feel the holidays just around the corner, waiting to pop out and remind you that you once again forgot to plan ahead (you promised yourself that this year would be different!) But just as you start to think about the chaos to come, something catches your eye.
You look off in the distance towards a sea of green, but something seems different… At first, a smear of yellow, then a patch of orange, with a few sprinkles of red. You take a second to zoom out and a kaleidoscope of colors dance across the horizon.


Fall has arrived, and with it brings New England’s favorite pastime: Apple picking. Grab the family, hop in the car, and hightail it to your favorite orchard. You find that first perfect apple, hanging just out of reach; you ponder for a moment. And then…step…step…leap…grab. CRUNCH. Worth the effort, and worth the wait.

Your mind floods with the endless possibilities that lie ahead of you: apple sauce, apple cider, apple pie, apple cobbler, apple butter…and then it hits you. You remember why you really came. You grab your bountiful tote bags and proceed with a determined stride towards the gift shop, open the door, and are met with an oh so familiar aroma wafting across the room from the bakery counter.

Sweet, bready, fresh baked happiness coated in cinnamon and smiles. The main event, the star attraction, the beloved Apple Cider Donut.

When Jenn came to me to talk about some new fall beer ideas, we went through the obvious choices.
“Brown ale?” We have one. It’s great.
“Red ale?” Ours is delicious.
“Pumpkin beer?” Been there, done that.
“Sweet sticky stout?” Yes, but it’s too early.
Then Jenn casually slipped in, “What if we did something like… an apple cider donut beer?”
Wait a minute…” That’s it!”
“But how do we make an “apple cider donut” BEER?”
“I’m on it, boss!”

The ideas started flowing like the sweet nectar from an apple press. The result? A slightly sweet, malty body, driven by our favorite specialty grains, pleasantly recreating that soft delicate flavor of a fresh baked donut, pursued by a mélange of fresh fall spices. A little dash of cinnamon and nutmeg, with a smidgen of clove and allspice… and it even looks a bit like apple cider.

In a world that moves swiftly, it’s comforting to have a moment to pause, reflect, and enjoy the simple pleasures in life. Especially with family and friends by your side, so pull up a chair, enjoy the slow down. Take a deep breath of that crisp fall air. And drink a donut.

–Cam, Cellarman

Gone Pickin’, our Apple Cider Donut beer created by Cam can be found on draft at The Pub! Come see us soon and give it a try!

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