Here in New England we’ve officially ventured into fall, AKA my favorite season. I prefer cooler weather, honestly anything over 80 degrees is too HOT for me. Besides the weather, I thoroughly enjoy the food, drinks, activities, decorations and etc. that come along with the season. My favorite fall treat, other than everything pumpkin flavored, is apple cider. If you hand me an apple cider , plus a homemade cider donut, I’m quite the happy camper. However, for my 21+ friends there might be one thing better than apple cider…freshly crafted hard cider.
One of my favorite places to get hard cider, year-round, is the Lookout Taproom located at Belkin Family Lookout Farm. As I always love to do in my posts, I want to give you a little history about Lookout Farm. According to the Lookout Farm brewing site, Belkin Family Lookout Farm was established in 1651, making it one of the oldest working farms in America! Located in Natick, Massachusetts, the 180-acre orchard is home to over 65,000 trees. They grow and harvest a variety of apples, peaches, pears plums, nectarines, pumpkins, grapes, strawberries and hops. Only the freshest homegrown ingredients are used to craft their beers and ciders. As the popularity of their brews grew, the farm, shortly after, opened Lookout Farm Brewing and Cider Co.
The beer and ciders on tap differ from time to time, especially based on what season you’re visiting the taproom. The varieties of beer and cider is always creative and unique. If you can’t choose which beer/cider you’d like a glass of, you can opt for a flight. Flights are the perfect way to discover your new favorite drink! After finishing a cider flight, I like to get a glass of which flight cider was my favorite. The flights include four, 4 oz glasses for $10. You’re able to pick four beers/ciders from a list of six.
I visited the taproom last month. I was beyond excited to go, as I knew they were serving the seasonal Pumpkin Patch cider (a fall-favorite of mine). During my visit, the ciders on tap were Barn Burner, Strawberry Fields, Pumpkin Patch, Arbor Way Rose, Hop Up and Spa Day. Since there were some ciders on the list I had never tried before, I decided to opt out for the familiar Barn Burner and Hop Up.
In the above photo, you’ll see the hard cider I got. The cider names from left to right: Spa Day, Arbor Way Rose, Pumpkin Patch and Strawberry Fields. My favorite is hands down Pumpkin Patch. The cider is tarte, but beautifully balanced with a sweetness and delicious fall spices. Sipping Pumpkin Patch transported me to a crisp fall day at the pumpkin patch. The gorgeous notes of nutmeg added a sense of comfort to this cider. Lookout Farm Brewing and Cider Co. explains that they condition this cider with over 1,000 pounds if hand cur and roasted sugar pumpkins. Driving into the farm last month, I was greeted by an overwhelming amount of pumpkins growing. I love this cider so much, I purchases a 4-pack to take home with me.
My next favorite is Spa Day. Spa Day is a crisp and refreshing cider with notes of cucumber, sea salt and lime. The lime was very prominent, which is always fine by me in alcoholic beverages. I feel this is more of a summer cider, but having it was a great way to wrap up summer 2019.
Ranking in as my third favorite is Strawberry Fields. I absolutely love the sweet, sugary flavors of strawberries. This fruit is the perfect pairing for a tarte, hard cider. Strawberry Fields is crafted in batches made with over 700 pounds of farm-grown strawberries and a hint of basil to fully round out this flavorful cider.
Last, but not least, is Arbor Way Rose. This is a new blend released at the taproom last month. It’s part of their Pretty in Pink Hard Cider Rose line. This specific cider is conditioned with over 300 pounds of their fresh grapes grown on the farm. I would describe this as the tartest of the flight, with as very strong apple flavors. The blend is somewhat dry but went down easy!
The taproom also offers eats and treats. The menu offers food options including, but not limited to, flatbreads, fried pickles, hummus plate, nachos, fries and tots and wings. I ordered the Margherita flatbread. The flatbread was delicious with fresh pesto, mozzarella, tomato and a sweet balsamic drizzle. I thoroughly enjoyed the fresh basil flavors in the pesto. For bar/taproom food, I’m continuously impressed with the quality of food at the Lookout Taproom.
Obviously, no cider flight experience is complete without indulging in some of the farm’s classic, homemade cider donuts. The donuts freshly made and tossed with the perfect amount of cinnamon-sugar. Pro-tip: take a bite of the cider donut and then take a sip of hard cider.
If you haven’t already been convinced to visit the Lookout Taproom, on Thursday nights there is Taproom Trivia where you can win prizes. I happened to visit on a Thursday night and had so much fun playing trivia. Many Fridays and Saturdays, there is live music which adds to the already lively atmosphere of the Lookout Taproom.