This subject, for me, is different due to the fact that I love craft beer. But for those who are in the same boat as me, I suggest you head to Blue Toad Cider immediately and order a flight of all their ciders. There is a cider for everyone. Some ciders are sweeter than others, while one of my personal favorites, ROC Hard Amber, is more middle of the road on the flavor spectrum and has some beer characteristics in its profile. With this being said, Blue Toad Cider is a great place to go and have some drinks with friends and family. The atmosphere there is amazing. The minute you walk in, the person working the bar (a ‘Cider Slinger’) greets you with a hello and will answer any questions you have about the taste profiles of their ciders.
Blue Toad Cider began its process a few years ago when owners Greg, Scott, and Todd came together to open up a brewery. During this process, there was a list of about six other breweries waiting for approval to open. Eager to get their start and produce high-quality alcoholic beverages, Greg pitched an idea to start making hard cider. He had tinkered around with making hard cider by himself but had the idea to get ahold of his friend Evan Schutt, who owns Schutt’s Apple Mill in Webster.
Instead of using “European-style apples,” the owners wanted to stay local and produce cider only using apples that are grown in Monroe County, specifically at Schutt’s Apple Mill. Schutt’s is known for their great cider and the only thing that could make it better is to make it an alcoholic beverage. Everything used in the cider-making process comes straight from the farm to the tap. All other sweeteners and added ingredients are also sourced locally. (The name Blue Toad comes from the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia and from one of the owner’s names, Todd. His childhood nickname was “toad.”)
Blue Toad Hard Cider has three flagship flavors they are known for. These are always available to drink in pints and for growler fills. These flavors are Flower City Blonde, ROC Hard Amber, and the newest, Black Cherry. Flower City Blonde is very approachable for the average drinker. Its taste profile consists of “straw-colored and clean-tasting with a bright taste of fresh apples that finishes with luscious pear notes.” ROC Hard Amber is brewed hints of caramel, brown sugar, molasses, raisins, and butterscotch. Black Cherry is blended with black cherries and apples and is middle of the road for a great approachable cider. This one is “Not too tart, not too dry, just right to enjoy anytime of year.” Blue Toad’s goal is to make ciders that will make their customer ask for another. (As a consumer, I can support this statement.)
Blue Toad is beginning to can their cider at the end of May and it will be available for purchase in 4-packs. The first run will be their Flower City Blonde. Another great aspect of Blue Toad is that their pricing is reasonable. It allows the consumer to come in and try all of their ciders (flight) for a low cost of $10. (Affordable and great tasting cider is a combo that can’t be beat!) A mug club is also available for any customer. Events are listed on Facebook, and Blue Toad is located at:
120 Mushroom Blvd #105, Rochester, NY 14623 | 5 Railroad St, Victor, NY 14564