Virginia Tech researcher teams up with Cornell to help America’s hard cider identity crisis

Virginia Tech researcher teams up with Cornell to help America’s hard cider identity crisis
Potter's Craft Cidery's first tasting room in Albemarle County (FILE) (Source: WVIR)

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - A pair of researchers from Virginia Tech and Cornell has teamed up to solve America’s hard cider identity crisis. Researchers found the average person knows what different kinds of beer and wine taste like, but not ciders.

Most ciders are made from fermented apples. You can make cider from any apple just like you can make wine from grapes.

Unlike wine and beers, cider does not have a language to describe how many kinds there are.

Researchers like Dr. Jacob Lahne are trying to help create a descriptive marketing language for ciders because there is a disconnect on how people talk about cider.

He wants people to know cider is diverse.

“One of the first things that we found actually is that the way that people perceive ciders and the way that they are categorized don’t necessarily match with the way cider producers are describing them,” said Lahne, an assistant professor for food science and technology at Virginia Tech. “Which is sort of our motivation and justification for this larger research project, because clearly there is a disconnect in how people talk about cider.”

Lahne hopes their research will help cider producers across the nation and help consumers know they have more choices in what type of cider they drink. The research for this project is funded by a $500,000 award from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. To learn more about their cider research click here.

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