What would you do with $56,000? Buy a car? Travel? Purchase the most expensive wheel of cheese you’ve ever wanted but couldn’t afford? New York governor Andrew Cuomo would invest in local hard cider production, and just a couple weeks ago, his office announced that’s exactly what the state is going to do!
In a statement released on May 27, Governor Cuomo’s office approved a grant of $56,874 to the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station to “support the development and testing of apple varieties for the production of hard cider.” This project’s funds are only a small fraction of the $1.1 million being invested by the state to promote agriculture in New York. Home to cider brands like Harvest Moon and Johnny Appleseed, New York is the second-largest producer of apples in the United States, so it makes sense that the governor wants his state to be on top of its cider game. Plus, last year, FiveThirtyEight called hard cider “the fastest-growing segment of the beer and flavored malt beverages landscape, by a mile,” which could make for a nice return on this investment.
“Cider makers are actively seeking apple varieties that produce more characterful ciders,” Cider Guide writer Eric West told Grub Street, “so this funding could have a significant long-term impact on New York’s cider industry.”
This is great news for farmers and cider makers, of course, but also for cheese lovers! Hard cider makes a great pairing for rich, creamy cheeses like Camembert and Brie, tangy chèvre, or strong blues. There are endless possibilities. You can even get cheese washed in hard cider.
The expansion of the cider industry means these wonderfully cheesy cider pairings will be even more accessible to New York’s cheese enthusiasts. Hopefully, other states will follow suit.