As farmers head into orchards and vineyards for the yearly harvest, many people are unaware of the similarities between cider apples and wine grapes. Both fruits thrive under ideal natural growing conditions and boast thousands of different flavorful varieties; hard apple cider was even served as an alternative to Champagne after WWII. Strongbow Hard Apple Ciders' new Artisanal Blend is a toast to heirloom cider apples captured in a lively, semi-sweet cider that appeals to both cider lovers and wine drinkers.

The flavor aficionados at the Beverage Testing Institute awarded Artisanal Blend a Silver Medal and highly recommend it for its nod to the past and modern inviting flavor. This praise is a result of Strongbow's 125-year commitment to creating great-tasting, innovative cider flavors. Strongbow cares for more than 1 billion apples in its own orchards in the UK and Belgium, and is the largest apple grower for cider-making in the world.

The 'Great Blend Trend'
The time is ripe for Strongbow's new Artisanal Blend, as blends have become increasingly popular among young wine enthusiasts. According to Nielsen, the "great blend trend" can be attributed to people's penchant for accessible adventure. Fifty percent of Americans said blends are a great way to experiment with wine.

The cider makers at Strongbow experimented by mixing a myriad of apples from their own orchards to perfect the flavor profile in Artisanal Blend. In the end, three heirloom varieties are featured: Dabinett, Major, and Harry Master's Jersey. These three varieties come together with the ripe notes of the apples' natural sweetness balanced by the flavor of grassy earth and an acidic pop of tartness. Layers of aroma that evoke kiwi, melon and mango stimulate the senses while bubbles provide the palate with a crisp refreshing taste. The blend also has a rustic hazy appearance that harkens back to past generations. This lively, session-able cider is 6% ABV, gluten free and has 181 calories per 11.2 fluid ounce serving.