Family-run business making small-batch hard cider using local and mountain apples. The cider is on tap and on shelf locally, and they’re open for tours by request. They are featured in the Fair Game Beverage tasting room, open Friday-Sunday.
Chatham Cider Works is part of the Heart of NC Trails and is available at Fair Game Beverage Company, 580 Craft Beer, and Chatham Marketplace.
The cidery is owned and operated by Maureen Ahmad and Jim Crawford. “We wanted to make a cider that tasted like what my family drank on my uncle’s farm,” says Jim. CCW’s hard cider is unfiltered, and higher in alcohol than most other commercial brands. It sits between a wine and a beer in alcohol levels. CCW’s product will be available in kegs and 750 ml bottles. The bottled cider is naturally carbonated, with a final fermentation in the bottle that produces a fine bubble and distinct flavor unlike most ciders that are force carbonated.
Hard cider used to be widely made and drunk in the United States, but it died out during Prohibition. It is enjoying a resurgence, with cider makers and consumers discovering how varied the product can be.
The selection of apples for cider has a significant impact on the flavor. CCW sources apples for flavor profiles that produce a balanced cider with light acidity and tannins. “The fun is tasting different apples and what they produce,” says Maureen. “We’ve made wonderful cider from backyard apples grown right here. We hope to press more backyard apples for a truly local cider later this year.”