Our kindergarten teachers told us the myth of the famous conservationist Johnny Appleseed and how he hobo’ed around the country, sowing appleseeds. Michael Pollan let us in on the use of the resulting fruit: hard cider.
Not a suitable teacher’s gift. Hard cider, which the rest of the world calls “cider,” is a mildly alcoholic beverage made from apples and in the last five years or so, it has become re-popularized in the United States. (In the 1700s, the average American drank 35 gallons of hard cider a year.)
In Salt Lake City, Jennifer and Jeff Carlton are our Johnny Appleseeds, the first to bring us locally-made cider. Formerly in “the investment business,” the couple, especially Jennifer, fell in love with European cider—dry, slightly fizzy, tart with just a tinge of sweet, lightly alcoholic (4.5-4.7 percent by volume).
Back home, she couldn’t find any. So the couple started Mountain West Cidery. “We did a nationwide search for a cidermaker,” says Jennifer. They found Joel Goodwillie and now their cidery makes four different ciders, each named after a Utah canyon: 7-Mile is a session cider; Ruby is their flagship cider; Cottonwood has some hops and Desolation has some prickly pear—a percentage of the proceeds from Desolation goes to Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, just like Mr. Appleseed would have wanted.
See all of our Utah booze coverage here.