Peace Tree Brewing Cider
With the holiday season upon us, more family and friends are regularly hosting gatherings. With gatherings come food and beverage, particularly of the fermented nature.
This week I had been in Iowa visiting friends when a message came across that Peace Tree Brewing Company had placed a recently finished apple cider on draft in their taproom. The Knoxville, Iowa based brewery is tucked away behind a 45 minute drive from Des Moines. I hadn’t been to the taproom since its beginnings about two years ago. The brewery is certainly an enjoyable space with room for entertainment including a bar with fresh offerings.
Peace Tree has been exploring their range of fermented opportunities since opening in 2009. They introduced one of the first Iowa produced beers that had an alcohol content higher than 6.5%,the Belgian-style Blonde Fatale. In 2010, Peace Tree brewed a farmhouse-style ale using sweet corn, and iterated upon it this past summer by infusing a batch with Brettanomyces. With Autumn fading, but in time for holiday gatherings, Peace Tree has now released a Champagne-yeast based cider, currently available only in their Knoxville taproom.
It sounds like this is the second shot Peace Tree has taken at creating a cider, the first having been only a 5-10 gallon batch. This time around Peace Tree has enough to serve on tap, and will as well sell about 200 bombers within the coming weeks. I stopped in for a pint in the taproom, but also took a home a growler to share with friends over dinner.
The cider was a rather hazy yellow and didn’t present itself as a light, refreshing drink. I think the cleanest looking cider I have come across is a Crispin Light, and Peace Tree’s entry looked more like a Crispin Honey Crisp. Again, this was not a cider looking at refreshment but I think rather attempting to produce a bit more daring flavor.
The cider has a big punch up front. I didn’t catch what the ABV of the cider was, but it led with the bite and followed with a residual sweetness. This cider was a sipper to best balance the flavors and prevent a clash across the palate.
Peace Tree is not the first Iowa brewery to make a cider in-house, but they’re giving it a go with one of the state’s best entries.