Good ciders the world over are made from a blend of sweet apples, sharp apples and bitter apples. Sweets provide the sugars for the yeast to consume, sharps provide the acid that lends to a cider's tartness, and bitters contribute the tannins that give a cider its body and structure.
In our path to discovering the best apples for the perfect midwestern cider we were consistently thrilled by the excellent sugar and acid profiles of our apples, but were always underwhelmed by their bitterness.
Bitter apples, also known as spitters for their acrid flavor, are really only good for making hard cider. So naturally when prohibition came along it wreaked havoc on the country's bitter apple infrastructure. Still to this day small upstart cider makers have a very difficult time sourcing spitters, and here in the midwest its damn near impossible to find them in any meaningful volume.
So we did what any reasonable brewer would do... We turned to hops and grains to add bitterness and body. The result is tart, dry and flavorful with a well balanced body. Its not your typical cloyingly sweet macro-cider. Its decidedly different. Its delightfully Sociable.