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Woodchuck Hard Cider Celebrates Its 30th Anniversary In Style

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at October 4, 2021

When Woodchuck Hard Cider first launched in Proctorsville, Vermont thirty years ago, the beverage business had a vastly different look and feel. This was before the craft beer and spirits boom; few drinkers had ever even heard the abbreviation IPA, and it would be decades before anyone could tell you what RTD stood for. And yet through all of these changes, this curious northeastern brand has managed to stay as relevant as ever.

Initially born out of a two-car garage, Woodchuck’s flagship Amber immediately outgrew the small space and production moved into neighboring Middlebury. Today, you’ll find their Cider House and Tap Room offering tours and tastings five days a week. This will serve as homebase for Woodchuck’s 30th Anniversary campaign, which kickstarts this week and culminates with the Ciderstock Music Festival in August of next year.

The company’s staying power owes much to innovation in packaging and flavor. They’ve found success with a line of multi-flavored variations offered in sleek cans; built off of natural ingredients. But sustained sales have as much to do with what they’re not putting in those cans. Cider is naturally gluten-free, which boosts its appeal among health-conscious millennials. In fact, market research suggests that hard cider sales are soaring amongst this particular demographic.

Woodchuck goes a step further by specifically avoiding other notorious additives such as high-fructose corn syrup and processed sugars. In so doing, they’ve crafted a variety pack of unexpected ciders, ranging from Cranberry Lime to Watermelon and Citrus, each with a calorie count of 100 per can.

Of course, you can also say that Americans have been hardwired to enjoy cider for centuries. The first apple trees were planed in the New World all the way back in 1623 by William Blackstone. They were cultivated more for drinking than eating. And by the end of the 18th Century, a sitting American President (John Adams) was proudly admitting to drinking a tankard of the juice every morning to calm his stomach.

Throughout the 1800s, as apples grew into one of Vermont’s most abundant crops, the lion’s share of it was going into hard cider and brandy production. And so when Woodchuck came on the scene in 1991 they were merely tapping into an American tradition that had fallen by the wayside.

Thirty years later, they’re celebrating the milestone birthday with the introduction of new branding on their top-selling canned ciders, including Barrel Select and Dark & Dry 80. These offerings will now be easier to access online, as the brand unveils its new direct-to-consumer sales platform. Whatever specialty one-offs you can’t find in your local market can be shipped to you directly from the cider house in Middlebury.

And this neck of the woods is an especially captivating landscape to explore come autumn—to which millions of annual leaf-peepers will attest. If you’re making the trek, a visit to Woodchuck’s production barn is certainly a worthwhile pitstop. As for everyone else, the brand invites you to participate in the “Artist Spotlight Series.” The recently launched campaign will highlight a range of local creatives every week throughout autumn. You can follow along on social media channels by tracking #ChuckTurns30.

And now you can even submit your own work to be part of a crowd-sourced competition. Works of art celebrating Woodchuck’s 30th birthday, compiled throughout autumn, are automatically entered to win a slew of prizes—including limited-edition ciders and apparel. The latest information is available over at their Instagram account.

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