The Urban Farm Fermentory, or simply the UFF, was founded in March of 2010 by Maine native Eli Caver. This “experimental” fermentation center focuses on using local ingredients from Maine. The fermentory producse a variety of fresh pressed apple ciders that are spontaneously fermented with wild yeasts found on the fruits and in the air, similar to how sour beers are created, making them tart and dry.
Aside from cider, UFF also makes kombucha, a dry and sour fermented tea which contains a minuscule amount of alcohol and mead. The good people at UFF offer free samples at their facility in Portland, Maine during business hours in their tasting rooms. We picked up a few ciders to try for this tasting.
6.5% ABVMade from freshly pressed Maine apples, the first thing we noticed when we poured Dry Cidah was its apple juice tint and looming large bubbles. A whiff of this cider and you can pretty much predict the mouth-inverting puckering that is to come, with noticeable tart apple complemented by a gentle earthiness. The light body of this sparkling sweet cider brings forth the aforementioned commanding tartness, sour apples, and Apple Jacks flavor.
6.5% ABVThe minutely darker, bubblier cousin of Dry Cidah, Hopped Cidah produces similar super tart scents, but now with a complex, perfumey overtone that is best translated by its light-bodied taste: traces of elderflower, under-ripe fruit and fruity perfume linger on the palate.
6.8% ABVBaby Jimmy is the product child of Jim Beam; this unfiltered cider is aged in Jim Beam bourbon barrels, giving it a complexity of oaky flavors. The clearest and lightest shade of today’s bunch, Baby Jimmy also has the most noticeable carbonation. Natural rind cheese and a soft earthiness enter the nose; that fragrance cascades into an even more unique flavor combining tart vanilla — a nod to the cider's barrel-aged origins — and bitter cheese.
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