The Nightingale Cider Company, based in Tenterden, Kent, has released Hoppy Cox, a dry-hopped cider celebrating local terroir.
Hoppy Cox, which is a lightly sparkling off-dry cider made from Cox and Jonagold apples, has an ABV of 5.5%. It’s dry hopped with Ernest hops, which are grown at Hukins Hops, located only three miles away from the Nightingale orchards.
Dry hopping is a process often used in the beer industry, where hops are added to beer after fermentation has begun. This imparts fresh hop aromas to the beer without adding any bitterness, and can also provide a unique taste character. The same process can be applied to cider. Ernest hops are a UK variety known for giving fruity notes of apricot, citrus, and spice.
Sam Nightingale, founder of the Nightingale Cider Company, said: “Hoppy Cox is all about the delicate balance of bringing two very local Kentish and Tenterden grown flavours together.
“Over the course of two years of conversations with Hukins Hops, and experimenting with dry hopping our ciders with different hops that they grow, and trying lots of different hopped ciders from around the world, we were lucky enough to get our hands on some Ernest hops, grown and kiln dried just three miles away.
“The moment the guys at Hukins Hops told me about Ernest, I felt that it could have all the right characteristics we were looking for — the new world profile- fruity, fresh with citrus and spice that could work with the wine like acid driven ciders we make. We’re really blown away by how it has turned out and it’s a delicious addition to the Nightingale line-up that we know people will love drinking!”