Via Northshore Magazine (October, 2017) Far From The Tree Orchard
Al Snape, the owner and founder of Far From The Tree, believes New England can have a hard cider that is distinct from the rest of the world. Like wine, hard cider offers distinct tastes from region to region, country to country. New England, though, does not yet have its own cider taste. From the way it seems, with their recently acquired 120-acre apple orchard, Salem’s Far From The Tree might become the New England cider.
Far From The Tree is not the first craft cider company to own an orchard; several mom-and-pop cider makers produce their cider from their backyards. That said, Far From The Tree is onto something a little different. Besides being able to grow their own apples specifically for hard cider, the long-term plan is to build a satellite tasting room right on the orchard. The orchard, which is located in the semi-remote town of Acton, Maine, won’t just be used to grow the company’s apples, says Snape. The hope is that someday the patrons of Far From The Tree will be able to explore the land, make their way to the tasting room, try out a few ciders, and actually camp right there on the orchard, avoiding the need for a long drive home. The whole thing, Snape says, will be educational for people—to help them understand the differences between apples grown specifically for hard cider and those grown for picking and eating.
Via Boston Magazine (June 21, 2017) Far from the Tree Cider Bought an Apple Orchard in Maine
Since launching in Salem in 2014, Far From the Tree cider maker Al Snape has used all Massachusetts apples in his fermentations. But that will change in the next few years: Snape and his business partner and wife, Denise, just finalized the purchase of a 120-acre orchard in Acton, Maine, with the eventual goal of harvesting a variety of uncommon, heritage apples for cider-making.
Far From the Tree worked with the Maine Farmland Trust and Three Rivers Trust to buy the property, and Snape hopes to one day open a satellite tasting room on the conservation land.
Via Cider Culture (March 3, 2016) Far From The Tree: Deep Roots, New Growth
Just down the road from an ancient English castle, Al Snape started experimenting with cider from an “abandoned apple orchard on a thousand-year-old priory.” Not many Americans can claim this scene as their backyard, let alone say that it is where they started making cider. Launching their business in Salem, Massachusetts, Far From The Tree owners Denise and Al Snape believe place, time and culture have strongly flavored their ciders. And after interviewing the Snapes, I found the saying, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” has a much deeper meaning for them.
“Like winemaking, cider reflects the place. A certain time, a certain culture, a certain people,” said Al, as he recalled memories of growing up next to an orchard in Massachusetts. Chances are pretty good that apples are part of his heritage. He can trace his family lineage six or seven generations back to colonial America, a time when everyone was planting apple trees and drinking the fruits of their labor. “Cider was much more of a homemade drink,” said Al. “Everyone had a barrel at home.” Unfortunately, that custom no longer exists and today cider culture is very different.
Via Boston Magazine (February 25, 2016) Drink This Now: Far From The Tree Nova Cans
Salem cider house Far From The Tree is getting in on the tallboy trend: 16-ounce four-packs of Nova hit Salem are package store shelves today.
“This is our first-ever can release, and our first-ever release in anything besides the 500-ml bottles and growler fills,” co-founder and cidermaker Al Snape says.
It’s also Massachusetts’ first canned, hopped cider. “To be brutally honest, the East Coast, and especially the Boston area, deserves a good canned, hopped cider and we are pretty dumbfounded as to why one doesn’t exist yet,” Snape says.
Nova is one of Far from the Tree’s four, original ferments. “Cider does something entirely and completely different with hops than beer does, and we’ve been exploring this awesome, weird world for the last three years,” Snape says. “We really love double IPAs and are wicked hop heads when it comes to beer, so this came extremely naturally.”
Via Boston Magazine (February 5, 2016) Husk Cider to Debut at Row 34 and Island Creek Oyster Bar
Dry, subtly sweet, bright, and lively, a crisp cider like the soon-to-be-tapped Husk can be an elegant accompaniment to a briny, buttery Island Creek oyster. At the two Boston restaurants affiliated with the acclaimed Duxbury farm, this pairing is all in the family.
Husk Cider, a small-batch fermentation by Salem’s Far From the Tree cidermakers using New England apples, premieres on draft next week at Row 34 and Island Creek Oyster Bar. The cider was made in collaboration with Row 34 beer manager Megan Parker-Gray, beverage leader Jackson Cannon, and CJ Husk, the “oyster dude” recognized by his flowing blond locks and meticulous shucking skills.
Named for Husk, perhaps now he will be known for growing rarely-seen heirloom apples on his property, the Nichols Tenney Farm in Hollis, New Hampshire.
Husk, an Island Creek Oyster Farm employee, took over land that has been in his family for three generations, and Parker-Gray, Cannon, Far from the Tree owners Al and Denise Snape, Husk, and a couple others hand-picked the apples from his orchards, the Boston Herald first reported this fall.
Via Salem News (October 25, 2015) Far From The Tree hard cider house launches, expands state-wide from downtown Salem
SALEM — Al and Denise Snape were married in September 2013 and opened their business on Jackson Street one month later, skipping their honeymoon to instead chase a dream that spent years in fermentation.
Two years later, they have a hard cider empire stretching across the state, from its headquarters on the North Shore to the far reaches of the Berkshire Mountains.
The Snapes are the minds behind Far From The Tree Craft Hard Cider, which recently expanded and opened a tasting room in front of its home on Jackson Street.
Born online, made in the U.K.
Their story started several years earlier in 2007, when the two were matched to each other through online dating site eHarmony.com.
“We started dating, and she started getting me into wine,” said Al Snape, co-founder and head cider maker. “I was always a beer guy, but I ended up falling in love with wine very quickly.”
The love of wine led to the couple to leave the United States in 2010 and head for Europe, where Denise continued her career as a project manager for pharmaceutical companies. Al, meanwhile, worked toward a degree in oenology — the science of wine and wine-making — at Plumpton College, a partner of the University of Brighton in East Sussex, United Kingdom.
Via Boston Herald (October 22, 2015) 'Oyster dude' enters local hard cider scene
Long-haired “oyster dude” C.J. Husk is a legend in the Boston-area culinary community, as oyster shucker extraordinaire and unofficial brand ambassador for Duxbury’s famous Island Creek Oysters. He’s about to add his personality to the burgeoning local hard cider market, too.
Husk and the team behind the world-class drinks menus at Island Creek Oyster Bar (Kenmore Square) and Row 34 (Fort Point and Portsmouth, N.H.) harvested Roxbury russet apples and other heirloom varieties last month at his family’s farm in Hollis, N.H.
They filled the entire bed of a green 1971 GMC pickup truck that belongs to Al Snape, of 2-year-old boutique cider maker Far from the Tree in Salem (www.farfromthetreecider.com). Snape is now turning the apples into dry, spontaneously fermented farmhouse cider.
About 90 gallons of it will be kegged and served, likely under Husk’s name, at Island Creek Oyster Bar and Row 34 early next year.
Via Boston Magazine (October 9, 2015) HP Lovecraft Inspired Cider for October
October is Salem’s month, and the city’s new, hard cider taproom, Far From the Tree, is marking the occasion with four fantastical fermentations inspired by the works of New England horror author, H.P. Lovecraft.
Narragansett Brewing is also paying homage to the Providence, R.I.-born author this year by naming booze after his works, most recently launching the Reanimator Helles Lager. Far From the Tree cider maker Erik Pudas is aware of the Lovecraft beers, and he acknowledged Salem has other creepy connections he and his team could have drawn from for their October ciders. But the Portsmouth, R.I. native felt strongly about crafting the Lovecraft line for several reasons. Continue reading..
Via Eater Boston (September 3, 2015)
Far From The Tree Debuts Its New Tasting Room in Salem
Two-year-old Salem cider company Far From The Tree has officially opened its new tasting room at 108 Jackson St., where it is currently offering cider sampling and growlette filling. The full pour license could come later this month, according to the company's website.
Via North Shore Magazine (October 20, 2014)
There’s a circle of confusion that begins whenever Al Snape tells others about the two-syllable word he spends his days making: cider. “Instantly, they think of sweet cider,” he says. So, it’s like beer? they ask. “Well, not really. It’s more like wine with apples instead of grapes.” Oh. So it’s like wine? “Well, no. It’s cider.”
Even if you have guzzled a bottle of hard cider, chances are it tasted nothing like what Al and his wife, Denise, are offering with Far From The Tree Cider. After three years on the other side of the Atlantic, the Snapes came back home in 2013 with a different impression of what hard cider could be: dry, subtle, and nuanced in ways that its sticky-sweet counterparts are not. All that’s left to do now is clear up the misunderstandings, one taste at a time.
Via edible Boston (September 4, 2014)
My Polish grandfather made hard cider. If I remember accurately, his “recipe” involved taking a fresh batch of our local upstate New York cider, placing it in his cold basement, checking it periodically, and letting it age long enough to ferment. While this process sounds simple, the founders of Far From The Tree cider would humbly tell you that it bears a striking resemblance to the one they use to produce their unique, dry, and delicious craft hard ciders.
Located on Jackson Street, Far From The Tree operates in the unheated cellar of a building that they share with their landlord, who runs a marine construction company. The entire back section of the cellar contains an abandoned walk in freezer. Oak barrels fill the front and back sections of the room, and a beautiful, rustic wooden bar built by Denise’s brother hugs the left wall of the front space. It is, Al notes, perfect for them. “It’s wonderfully designed to hold a constant temperature. The Champenoise knew digging 50 feet down into the limestone would be worth it for the same reason. Cider, much like white wine, needs to be kept under 60 degrees and maintain a very steady temperature as it ages. With the insulation provided by the abandoned walk in freezer unit we can very easily do this with little to no energy. I would not be able to make this cider in a conventional space without a massive investment in temperature control.”
Via Boston Globe (May 15, 2014)
SALEM — Essex County is already home to more than a few makers of craft beer, liquor, and wine.
But Al and Denise Snape and their friends Al Needham and Tim Fitzpatrick are making something a little different in a dim old warehouse on an unfashionable block just south of downtown Salem.
The four principals of Far From the Tree cider want to introduce local drinkers to a British-style hard cider, dry and refreshing, made with raw materials from Massachusetts.
“My background is in wine. I’ve done vintages in Europe, and I’ve got a huge affinity for representing a place or region with a drink,” said Al Snape. “It’s all about apples from here, barrel aging, and keeping it kind of simple. The only thing we add to this is a bit of maple syrup from Massachusetts.”
They are right in keeping with the food-to-table and local-food movements, and their all-natural cider tastes very different from the intensely sweet, mass-produced brands found in stores.
As the overly used cliché goes, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” But when it comes to making hard cider, the latest company to join the ranks is straying from the typical fermenting process to deliver drinkers a better taste of what New England has to offer.
“What we want to do is bring hard cider back to its roots, and do it how Colonial New Englanders drank their cider,” said Denise Snape, co-founder of Far From the Tree Cider. “Along this whole process, we’ve realized we want to educate people, and let them know cider can have real, natural ingredients.”
In January, the four-member team behind Far From the Tree Cider received their state license to make hard cider, and they set to work immediately so that they could have their product on the shelves and on tap by this May.
Snape said 59 oak barrels, which they will use to age and ferment their beverages in, were delivered to their headquarters last month at a large warehouse in Salem. The company incorporated in September 2013. “It’s all moving pretty quick,” she said.
Via Nobo Magazine (April 2, 2014)
SALEM – I’ve met numerous entrepreneurs in Salem over the last two years, each injecting life and spirit into the teeming community. Far From The Tree Cider has joined in the effort by creating a local product that is “unique to the core”, using a 250-year old New England tradition in the process.
After working for a decade in their respective careers, founders Al and Denise Snape took off to Europe, looking for a change of pace and the opportunity to explore craft beer and winemaking.
“If someone else wants to do it too, you start to think to yourself that it must not be that crazy,” Al said.
Denise continued to work on a visa while Al spent his time studying and earning a degree in oenology and viticulture. While making wine in Germany, Bordeaux and Champagne, he was taken by the European approach in developing alcoholic products.
“I watched how winemakers took their region and their culture and turned it into a product that is more than just something to drink,” Al noticed. “It is representative of who they are.”