From the comfort of your seat at Mullers Cider House.
What a pleasant surprise that here, in Rochester, we have this special place where the selection of hard ciders is exceptional. Patrick Jaouen, whose father was originally from Brittany, France, the renown apple territory, opened this spot with his partner three years ago. They realized that hard cider sales have skyrocketed by 80% year after year and wanted to open a bar specializing not only in NY ciders but from all corners of the world.
At any given time, they have 100 ciders available by draft and bottles including full size. Patrick is well educated in hard cider production, teaches classes and recently gave a TED Talks presentation. He explained that European brews are processed differently than in the US since they use sour, not pleasant tasting apples. Sweet-eating apples are used here. In the U.K. and France, the keeving process produces a naturally sweet and well-colored cider, clear due to the removal of pectin, not yeast, and is full of flavor because of the low nutrient levels during fermentation producing a sparkling unfiltered beverage. Here in the states, fermentation of apple hard cider uses the process by which yeast converts the apple sugars into ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide and is filtered for a clear cider. It’s a similar process used to make wine and brew beer.
Since I drink dry red wine, Patrick poured a flight of four 3 oz. samples featuring sour ciders, all with different flavor profiles. First up was from local producer, RootStock and their Hopped cider (6.9% alcohol) with the nose and finish similar to beer. The hops flavor was pronounced. Next was Ireland’s Magner’s Original (4.5%) and was refreshing and light. Star’s Frisky Whisky (6.9%) is aged in whiskey barrels and definitely has those oaky boozy notes and finally Angry Orchard’s Rose with its pink color was a bit too sweet for my taste, but is a big seller.
And then there’s the kettle corn. Patrick and his wife dream up wild combinations that pair well with the ciders. Think seasonal kettle corn with maple syrup and bacon, or Thanksgiving dressing and cranberries or Christmas peppermint and hot chocolate. Yes, kettle corn. They also serve small plates of pizzas, flatbreads and salad along with paninis including the Elvis which has peanut butter, banana, bacon and honey on sour dough. Gotta love their sense of humor.
The vib is a safe feminine space and families enjoy Sunday brunch, but don’t go to watch the games. Sport shows aren’t played so the clientele is generally couples or women enjoying time without getting hit on. Charity events are actively promoted which add to the warm but modern ambiance.
I thoroughly enjoyed tasting the various styles of hard cider and look forward to the next time. For more information on Muller’s Cider house, visit their website.
Opinions of the author are her own and products were purchased or otherwise noted for discussion. I welcome your comments and suggestions for food and specialty items from upstate New York and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org