We’re using local, freshly pressed apples to make small batch, traditional, craft hard cider in Salem, MA. Because cider making has a long history in Massachusetts we’re using 250 year old traditional methods like fermenting and slowly aging our cider in barrels. We’re also making a cider that excites us by using the cornucopia of flavors that New England has to offer to further express where our cider comes from. We like to think that our ideas may be far from the tree but our ingredients and our way of doing what we love couldn’t be closer to home.
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.
“The progression of the cider itself started over the summer with this amazing idea from Jackson to make a cider with the incredible apple varietals on CJ’s family farm that we don’t see a lot at the orchards across the region,” Parker-Gray says.
That includes Roxbury Russet: one of the oldest North American varietals, which was first found in Roxbury, but fell out of common use during Prohibition. The Snapes had never seen the apples before, though they had always heard they made excellent cider, Denise Snape says.
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 Zagat (September 28, 2015) 12 Reasons to Drive to Salem
Just in time for fall, Salem hard-cider makers Far From the Tree debuted their new taproom — and really, is there anything more "Peak New England" than sipping cider in Salem on a crisp autumn day? Well, yes: consider that the ciders — served in styles like Cord (oaked maple) and Spring (made with mint and cascade hops) — are made using only local apples. Besides downing flights and full pours, you'll also find special events like live music, poetry readings and more.
Via Boston Globe (August 16, 2015) Hardy, dry, craft ciders made in Salem
To further differentiate their drink, the Snapes offer some unusual, beer-inspired styles. Rind is a cider with wonderfully pungent nose, made with a saison beer yeast, orange rind and coriander. The beverage is remarkably balanced and finished dry. In addition, Far From The Tree dry-hops two ciders and adds mint to one, called Sprig, which sounds like it might not work but does. The flagship cider, Roots, is so far from Angry Orchard on the sweetnes scale to seem like a completely different drink.
Via NorthShore Magazine (August 9, 2015) Hard cider on the North Shore
Most restaurants offer at least one cider on tap these days, with more choices by the bottle. The styles and flavors are as varied as beer, with seasonal offerings like honey, maple, or cinnamon, so it's worth trying a few until you find a favorite. Far From The Tree's Rind cider tasts and feels like a beautiful mash-up of dry cider/Prosecco Col Fondo/Belgian-farmhouse ale."
For cocktail enthusiasts, cider can be a fun ingredient to incorporate into recipes. "In cocktails, dry ciders can hold the place of citrus or dry vermouth, but add a richness that is compelling." Continue reading....
Via Zagat (July 22, 2015) 11 Craft Ciders To Sip Around Boston This Summer
It's hot. You need to cool off. Beer? You could. But lately, it seems like thoughtful cider programs are really gaining traction at Boston bars and restaurants. And whether you prefer a style that's sweet or dry, that cider crispness is sometimes just what you need to cut through the heat and humidity.
Where to start? Here are a handful of varieties at cider-embracing bars that really deserve your attention — and your palate.
Via Enterprise Center (April, 17, 2015)
Local craft hard cider maker Far From the Tree LLC took home top honors -and $10,000-in the 2015 North of Boston Business Plan Competition. Using locally-sourced apples and traditional cider-making methods, Far From the Tree is producing hard ciders that have more in common with fine champagne than with the sweet cider with which most people are familiar.
Less than two years old, the company is growing rapidly, as is the North Shore's entire local food sector. "This was the perfect opportunity to reflect on where we've been and where we want to go," said co-owner Denise Snape. "The competition inspired us not just to think about the business, but to think big," added Al Snape, who holds a degree in oenology (winemaking) and has three years of experience in Europe producing wine and hard ciders.
Via BDC Wire (March 13, 2015) Accessible by T: 4 Cideries to Visit in the Greater Boston Area
It’s easy to realize that the craft beer market has exploded– with it has come lots and lots of new microbrews to check out. Beer lovers heaven right? Well, not everybody is hot off the craft beer craze, so luckily, there’s another adult beverage that is sweeping the nation. That’s right folks, hard cider is on the rise! With open arms we welcome that orchard beverage of the adult variety to the craft market. Want to get your hands on some? Of course you do. So here are four local establishments that press their own cider within earshot of Boston:
3. Far From The Tree – Salem
They have been kicking it in Salem since 2013 and focus on small batches of both traditional and flavored cider. Some of their products are only available seasonally and others year-round. They self-distribute throughout the state as far as Worcester. As of right now, they are working on a space for tastings and tours but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a hand on their local goods. Hit up one of their many sweet events.
Directions: Check out where they are sold and hit up an establishment close to you for a taste.
Via CBS Boston (January 1, 2015)
SALEM (CBS) – They have only been at it since May, but Al and Denise Snape are making slow and steady progress growing their Salem cider house.
Several varieties of Far From The Tree Hard Cider are already sold in close to a hundred locations statewide.
“So far, it’s been fantastic,” explains cider maker and co-owner Al Snape.
But a few weeks ago, a Beacon Hill mistake almost ended everything.
“And from what we understood from the representatives,” says co-owner Denise Snape, “was that it was very unintended.”
A new state law that went into effect January 1, 2015 allows out-of-state wineries to ship their products into Massachusetts. That law also, and accidentally, would have required small distilleries like Far From The Tree to hire a distributor to sell their product.
Via Salem News (January 1, 2015)
SALEM -- Considering the business they're in, Al and Denise Snape probably would've rung in the New Year with a raised glass of cider anyway. But the celebratory toast took on added meaning for the owners of Far From The Tree Hard Cider, thanks to a last-minute vote on Beacon Hill.
Facing a midnight deadline, state legislators on Wednesday approved a bill change that will allow makers of wine and hard cider to continue to deliver their products directly to their customers.
If the amendment had not passed, cider houses like Far From The Tree would have been required to hire a distributor to make deliveries, a move the Snapes said would have put them out of business.
Via Wicked Local (December 18, 2014)
Al Snape spends his days tending to dozens of oak barrels in a near-freezing cellar on Jackson Street in Salem, where he and his wife, Denise, opened Far From the Tree cider earlier this year.
Snape logs almost 12 hours a day cultivating varieties of hard cider.
Before his long days in the cellar, Snape spent hours and hours with a book published in 1822 about the culture and management of apples, including cider making, called “American Orchardist.”
The book, published in Boston and written by Massachusetts native James Thacher, offered the “most approved method” to date for making cider — a New England tradition since the Mayflower landed.
“I really wanted to make cider as close as I can to the way it would have been done 250 years ago,” Snape said.
Via Boston Magazine (November 14, 2014) The 12 New England Cideries to Visit This Fall
Growler fills, rare bottle releases, and enticing taprooms aren’t just the domain of craft breweries. Here are a dozen of the most exciting cider destinations to seek out.
Far From the Tree
Salem. farfromthetreecider.com; Visits by open appointment only.
Must Try Cider: Rind (cider with saison yeast and orange rind)
This Salem newcomer has already made its mark with dry British-style ciders incorporating local products like Cascade hops from Four Star Farms, maple syrup from Country Maple Farms in Shelburne, and mint from the Herb Farmacy in Salisbury. Co-owner Al Snape utilizes his oenology degree and his background producing wine and ciders in Bordeaux, Germany, and Champagne to create crisp, refreshing ciders that draw astounding depth from classic Cortlands and Macintosh apples. Currently, Far From the Tree is looking at opening their taproom in the spring of 2015, but in the meantime they’re welcoming any visitors who want to drop by.
Via BDCWire (November 14, 2014)
Drink Craft Beer makes its triumphant return to Space 57 in downtown Boston this weekend for its third annual Fall to Winter Fest – a who’s-who when it comes to this season’s local beer and, especially this time through, cider.
The mantra Drink Craft Beer has evolved since Jeff Wharton and Devon Regan first started the group in 2006. Now it encompasses more than just beer, which is why it shouldn’t be surprising that there’s a slew of ciders on tap at this weekend’s fest. Eight cider makers are set to pour 23 different ciders to be exact.
FAR FROM THE TREE – Spice
Far From the Tree, a cider making duo from Salem, embrace the spirit of the spice rack with their new seasonal: Spice. It’s made with molasses and sea salt from Marblehead Salt Company and here’s where the spices come in: It’s also made with fresh ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves to boot. Far From The Tree impressed at the last Drink Craft Beer Fest. To say I’m looking forward to their latest offering would be an understatement.
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.”
Salem is known for its witches, but a small craft beer maker, budding gin distiller and hard apple cider maker want the city to be known for its brew, too.
What they all say they need to tap the market for beer and spirits tourism is a way for consumers, tourists and foodies to tour, sip and buy.
Until now, the city’s zoning laws haven’t allowed them to have breweries and tasting rooms near the downtown and its rich food scene. But the City Council voted its approval of a change on July 17 — a change the beverage makers say is key to their ability to survive. The change needs a second vote to become permanent, but it is not expected to face any serious hurdles.
These brewers and distillers do not want to create barrooms. Instead, they want to show customers how their drinks are made, allowing them to watch brewers climb ladders to the tops of towering silver vats; to see the barrels where the cider is aged; to smell the bread-like smell of malt barley and hops; to hear how yeast microbiology works; to listen to the stories of how the beverage came to be; and, most importantly, to taste a drink that has been crafted by hand with love.
Via Mass Vacation (May 16, 2014)
In 1637, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts proclaimed that no one should be in a tavern “longer than necessary occasions.” Conveniently, no footnote defined the length of necessary occasions and, in the near 400 years that have passed, Massachusetts has weathered numerous prohibitions and bans.
Today, MA boasts numerous local libations – many of which are located on the North Shore. From distilleries to wineries and breweries, the North of Boston offers a diverse selection of local, handcrafted refreshments.
So, take your pick – the hardest part is deciding which drink to try first.
Far From the Tree Cider – Salem, MA
The newest cider company on the North Shore, Far From the Tree Cider recently received their license in January 2014 and began production in early February. Using Massachusetts apples and other local ingredients, Far From the Tree strives to create a cider to be enjoyed today or aged for years and saved for a special occasion. Their handcrafted cider is made with the utmost of care and passion, utilizing a slow aging process in oak barrels. The cider is also unpasteurized, unfiltered, and chemical-free.
Via BDCWire (July 18, 2014)
Have you been converted by the Narragansett Del’s Shandy cult yet?
Say what you will about shandies. Even if you find some of them too sweet or cloying for your tastes, you can’t deny that Harpoon’s Big Squeeze, Steigl’sRadler (#TeamRadler) and that ever-ubiquitous green and yellow tallboy can(that’s been flying off shelves since mid-May) have caught on big time this summer.
The folks at Drink Craft Beer, an eight-year-old collaborative designed to promote the good in all things craft beer, are set to capitalize on the trend when it hosts its third annual Summerfest this weekend. 25 breweries will pour nearly 100 saisons, summer ales and ciders. Here’s where the shandies come in: Attendees will get the chance to make their own by mixing any of the beers or ciders with some of local restaurant B. Good’s regular and rosemary lemonade.
New Englanders Jeff Wharton and Devon Regan first started DCB way back in 2006. If that doesn’t sound like a long time ago, think of it this way: Initially the two considered started a MySpace – instead of a website – for the cooperative. Times were different then, man.
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.”