Nomad Dry Hard Cider

Nomad CiderMaker: North Peak Brewing, Dexter/Traverse City, Michigan, USA

Appearance: Like cloudy lemonade. Fizzy head upon decanting, then with a few bubbles in the haze.

Nose: A crisp, subtle apple aroma with a bit of limestone in the background.

On the palate: Medium-bodied and very dry. Golden delicious, more mineral water.

Finish: Crisp and clean. Leaves a bit of a carbonated tingle behind.

Parting words: This is hands down the driest American cider I have ever tasted. It’s really remarkable. Not that it’s the best one I’ve ever had, but it’s unlike anything I have had made in this country. I’ve had British ciders that approached this level of dryness, but the closest comparison that came to my mind was the dry Austrian Riesling I reviewed a while back. An apple-infused San Pellegrino or Gerolsteiner come close too.

My only complaint is the price, which is very high. If I recall correctly I paid over $12 for a six pack. Still, there’s not much out there like it, and it’s very refreshing on a hot, humid summer day. Nomad Dry cider is recommended.

The Wanderer Session India Pale Ale

Maker: North Peak, Traverse City, Michigan, USA

Style: India Pale Ale

ABV: 4.2%

Appearance: Golden brown with a foamy head. An odd cloud hangs over the top half of the beer as I drink it.

Nose: Floral but slightly fruity. Wildflowers, fresh pineapple, peppered mango.

On the palate: Medium bodied and complex. Hops are the biggest flavor component here, naturally, but there are fruit and malt flavors here too. Dried wildflowers, orange peel, breadfruit.

Finish: Malty and hoppy. Lingers for a pretty long time.

Parting words: Against my better judgment, I bought yet another North Peak beer to review, based on the recommendation of another blogger. I’m glad I did. This is a fine, well-made IPA with more than just bitterness going on. The lightly fruity undertones of the Wanderer take it beyond the realms of the workaday session IPAs. I was very pleasantly surprised with this one. Maybe there is hope for North Peak yet. The Wanderer is recommended.