Swilled Dog Hard Cider

By Candace Nelson - 10:00 AM

Swilled DogSwilled Dog Hard Cider is the second hard cidery in West Virginia (the other being Hawk Knob). I had written about how the hard cider industry is making a comeback in Appalachia, and I'm happy to see another cidery enter the market.

Swilled DogSwilled Dog is located in Franklin and does not yet have a taproom, but they are doing events around the state. I went to a tap takeover at Iron Horse, where I got to sample all their ciders.

In 2016, Swilled Dog Hard Cider was launched in Franklin, West Virginia. From the simple idea of making small batches of hard cider in our basements to bringing our company to life, our goal has always been threefold: share our passion for making hard cider with everyone, promote sustainable happiness, and make an impact in the communities we serve.

Throughout our journey from apple to bottle, we take great pride in the ciders that we make. From fast fermentation, naturally flavored variety ciders to more traditional slow fermentation ciders, it is important to us that you not only enjoy our ciders, but you also understand our process. Therefore, being as transparent as we can about our production is paramount. The majority of our apples used in our ciders come from our local farmers who share our commitment for expanding both the hard cider and apple industries. We are also working with them to plant more cider specific apples. Without them, our cider company would find it difficult to exist. However, it is still challenging to source specific varieties of apples that are needed to make great ciders. Therefore, we have planted our own orchards with varieties of heirloom and cider specific apples that will one day be a part of some amazing ciders that we can't wait to share with you. Helping to restore our industry, promoting local agriculture, and educating consumers about heirloom variety apples trees will continue to be a top priority for us.

As a family owned cidery, we also enjoy having a good time, and we hope that our enjoyment for our business shows in everything we do. Whether it is concocting new and exciting recipes, planning an awesome event, promoting the hard cider industry, or just simply sharing a nice, crisp glass of cider with you, we want everyone to have a great time. To us, this business is a passion that never feels like work.

Lastly, we strive to not only bring our customers high quality hard cider but to also make a difference across the communities we serve. Because of this, we have made a commitment as a company to contribute at least one percent of all of our sales to making an impact in our local communities. For us, our business gives us the opportunity to give back; not only with sales proceeds but more importantly our time (Our Story). 
Swilled DogTheir motto is "Get Swilled." So, we did just that.

Walk the Dog
Walk the Dog is our flagship semi-dry cider meant to be enjoyed all year long. After selecting the perfect combination of apples and fermenting to the right balance of flavor and acidity, this cider offers a refreshing finish that will keep you wanting more, or as we like to say, this cider will surely Walk the Dog!

Bunny Slope
We call this one the Bunny Slope because we feel that it is a nice and easy transition to hard cider for all you craft beer lovers out there. After our initial fermentation process, the perfect amount of hops are added for that bitter, citrusy taste that you are used to enjoying with your favorite craft beers. So to all you craft beer drinkers out there, get introduced to hard cider by taking a run at our Bunny Slope.

Apple Bottom
Apple Bottom is a semi-dry unfiltered cider. Born from the perfect blend of apples and champagne yeast fermented in the slow traditional manner, this cider offers a great balance of sharpness and acidity while delivering a refreshing, crisp, and full-bodied apple flavor that you will love.

Granny's Gold
This semi-sweet cider is made by taking a blend of what we call the golden grannies (Goldrush, Jonagold, and Granny Smith apples) along with a few complementary varieties and stopping the fermentation process at just the right time to leave the perfect amount of residual sugar with a nice tart finish. A little bit of honey added after fermentation really makes this cider something special. 

Island Vibes
The wait is over Swilled Dog fans! We are so excited to introduce Island Vibes, our take on pineapple cider, to the Swilled Dog lineup. We think that you'll agree that hard cider can be enjoyed all year long after you taste our Spring/Summer seasonal. This beachin' cider will take you to the islands with our special blend of pineapple and apple. No matter your location, the addition of pineapple will transport your senses to a tropical paradise. Soon you'll feel your toes in the sand, hear waves breaking, and see palm trees blowing in the salty sea air. Now who's ready for some warmer days ahead with Swilled Dog Hard Cider?

Swilled DogI'll be honest in that I love each of these! But my absolute favorite was their Walk The Dog. I liked it so much that I went directly to Ashebrooke Liquor Outlet to pick up a bottle to have on hand at home.

Swilled DogOne of the owners came and chatted with us about the cider, which was really cool. He mentioned the dog on the logo is actually modeled after their dog - Lucy. How cute is that? 

And if you think all cider is super sweet, think again. Craft cider is not stuffed with artificial sweeteners, so this is a bit more on the dry side. If you're a craft beer drinker, it may be a more natural transition than you expect. If you haven't tried this cider yet, get to it! And let me know which is your favorite!

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