A Cider a Day

A seasoned brewer turns to cider

"I like to eat as much as I like to drink," says Virtue Cider's Greg Hall.

To that end, the former Goose Island brewer is crafting his RedStreak cider with both table and bar in mind.

This is no flimsy, one-dimensional draught. The English farmstead-style cider is a dry, lightly tannic blend of more than five local apple varieties. One portion of the cider was aged in new American oak while another languished in French oak that once held Cabernet Franc. The result hit taps across the city last weekend, and is a refreshing sipper that packs enough structure and complexity to accompany a meal.

Hall suggests pairing it with a mature English cheddar such as Montgomery's, whose milk comes from cows fed with spent apples from another cider producer, and also beer-friendly foods like sausage and charcuterie. We consider it an exemplary partner for the pan-roasted chicken and lamb tartare at Lula Café, and a charcuterie spread at The Publican.

Two more releases are planned for this year: Lapinette, aged entirely in onetime Cabernet Franc barrels, and The Mitten, a version of Pommeau de Normandie that's been aging in bourbon barrels since January.

Find RedStreak Cider on tap (approximately $7 per glass) at Bad Apple, Delilah's, GT Fish & Oyster, Hopleaf, Lula Café, Nellcôte, The Publican, Uncommon Ground and more.