Burnt Mills Cider Company
It was a rare day of perfection – sunny, seventy degree weather, a bucolic setting, mouthwatering food, and most of all, some of the best hard ciders I’ve ever tasted. (And yes, I’ve been to Angry Orchard) I can’t recall the last time I’ve done a tasting, whether it be wine or hard cider, where I loved, not just liked but absolutely loved every sample - until I visited the Burnt Mills Cider Company in Bedminster, NJ. Here, you won’t have any trouble finding a cider to love, the problem is that you will find yourself falling in love with pretty much their entire selection.
It’s almost impossible selecting a favorite but in a gun-to-my-head situation, I will say the Semi Dry wins in a photo finish as its subtle-sweetness allows for a true appreciation of the fruit. The Jersey Red walked a perfect tightrope between dry and sweet with just a hint of tartness. The Pineapple is a sweet lover’s dream – think Pina Colada cider. But the biggest surprise of all was the Hops. There’s a reason why you’ll never see breweries listed on my blog – I don’t like beer, IPA’s or anything that has the word “hops” in it. But by some magic, Burnt Mills has made a Hops cider that’s citrusy, not sour – and I absolutely loved it!
Burnt Mills offers than just extraordinary hard cider, however. The vibe inside the rustic tasting room is that of an upscale tavern with friendly, attentive staff and gleaming oak tables. Outside, it’s more of a campground feel with picnic tables, fire pits, and plenty of grassy spaces for the kids and dog to romp. (Domino the winery dog gives Burnt Mills 5 paws up!) Best of all, you won’t find any stodgy rules here about bringing food, so feel free to pack a picnic, chairs, blankets, etc. For those who didn’t come prepared (like us), there was a food truck – Angry Archies - which specializes in seafood but I must say that their chicken sandwich and truffle fries were awesome. Burnt Mills is definitely a come for the cider, stay for the fun type of place and even though it’s a two-hour trek from our house, we will definitely be back…and Domino too!