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Hit-Or-Miss

Angry Orchard Gets Edgy With New Line Of Ciders

Angry-Orchard-Edge

Fans of the Angry Orchard will want to keep an eye out for the new cider series Orchard’s Edge. A spin on the classic, the new brand will focus on new ingredients and techniques in cider-making.

Orchard’s Edge will be available in two flavors: Knotty Pear and The Old Fashioned.

The Knotty Pear will lead with ripe apple, baked pear aromas and a bit of cardamom. The Old Fashioned cider will blend American apples aged on oak with dried tart cherries, navel orange peel and charred bourbon barrel staves.

Each flavor will feature a 6.5% ABV.

You can find Angry Orchard’s Edge line at any participating bar, restaurant, or grocery retailer. A six-pack goes for about $10.99.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Stella Artois Brings Upscale ‘European-Style’ Cider to American Markets

stella-artois-cidre

Stella Artois will take its best shot at conquering the American apple cider market on May 13th with the release of their new Stella Artois Cidre — a “European-style” brew that’s definitely not your grandma’s apple cider. Traditional American-style cider is on the sweeter side and brings back fond memories for those of us who first tried cider while gnawing on fried chicken at the country fair, whereas European-style cider dials down the sweetness in exchange for a more varied flavor palate and an excuse to feel extra-sophisticated.

Stella Artois’ take on cider is drier and more savory, with “a more complex taste profile” than leading American ciders. This has Stella Artois industry heads hoping that their cider will overtake white wine as the drink of choice at classy American dinner parties. (Fun fact: Hard cider is also referred to as “apple wine,” which sounds a little more upscale than “alcoholic apple juice.”) For the record, Stella Artois Cidre pairs best with most cheeses, fish, and chicken — just not country fair fried chicken. American cider is still probably best for that.

Categories
Technology

Hard Cider Phone Home – The First Digital Bottle Cap is Here

Do you ever find yourself raging up in the club, fist-pumping the night away with attractive people, but worried your Dom P or Cristal bottle service doesn’t look expensive enough? Well, Kanye West, don’t worry. UK cider giant Strongbow is currently prototyping the StartCap – a bottle top with the kind of smart RFID chip you’d find in a passport or credit card that can trigger remote actions once opened.

RFID technology can use an antenna to trigger just about anything you connect it to and has found uses in road-detecting car tires and casino poker chips. Strongbow lays out some fun use cases in its promo video but logic dictates that if this technology reaches the mass market, the functions tied to the smart caps would likely be controlled by the company – or at least the watering holes selling the stuff. I’m sure the more hacking-inclined out there would commandeer the technology for their own custom use, but for the rest of us this innovation doesn’t seem very useful for the consumer beyond alerting the authorities that they need to sell you more alcohol.

None of the advertised use cases for the StartCap make sense. Picture it: you open your Strongbow Gold and it activates music, turns on lights, fires a confetti cannon, or checks you in on Foursquare. What about the next person who cracks open a bottle? Does it skip to the next song? Turn off the lights? Make them strobe on and off? Fire the confetti cannon again? And how is it going to know who you are to check you in online? You start asking some questions and all of a sudden Strongbow seems mighty suspect.

Interestingly, the most recent comments on the Strongbow video decry the idea as a ripoff and redirect to a Dutch advertising student’s concept video from May 2011 that seems to understand that advertising and actual usefulness do not have to be mutually exclusive in these types of marketing gimmicks. The video, seemingly done on spec for native Heineken, illustrates a smart bottle opener that triggers the creation of a Facebook event page for the awesome spontaneous Heineken party you just started automagically. Not that RFIDs are prohibitively expensive or this application is significantly more useful, but having the chip in one durable device rather than distributed to every bottle cap that’s going to end up falling to the floor and being trampled on by the end of the night seems much more practical.

“Start anything you want,” the Strongbow video promises. Well, start anything you want; as long as that thing is something the company pushing silly RFID bottle caps also wants.

via DesignTAXI/ photo courtesy of Strongbow (YouTube)