As part of our cider maker series, we highlight some of the smaller or more unique US cider makers.
Grand Illusion, one of many urban cideries that are on the rise, is located in Carlisle, PA – about 30 minutes outside of Harrisburg, PA. Grand Illusion opened their doors in February 2018 with three ciders and 14 employees. The cidery was started by Dr. Chad Kimmel (a Ph.D. like me!) and his wife Andrea.
Grand Illusion graciously provided us with their 3 ciders to try at home.
Blue Illusion – The 1st in-house cider on draft in the tap room – is a blueberry-lavender cider. Often floral ciders taste soapy, but that was not the case for Blue Illusion. The off-dry cider is medium bodied with clear apple flavors that are enhanced by the slight berry sweetness and finishes with slightly spicy and lemony notes from the lavender.
Mystic Citra Pineapple Cider is dry hopped with a combination of Cascade and Citra hops. Both Cascade and Citra hops have grapefruit notes, with Citra adding more of a tropical flavor (think passion fruit, mango, and lychee) to the semi-sweet pineapple and apple flavors, the latter of which lingers a bit on the finish.
Street Magic Cider is hopped with a combination of Citra and Centennial (sometimes called “super Cascade” because of an elevated alpha acid content (i.e., increased bitterness). However, the off-dry cider was not bitter at all. Grass and grapefruit peel are present in the nose and apple flavors are present at the beginning of the sip, followed by a tangy grapefruit finish..