A letter from Andy Kaplan:
Freedom's Edge Cider Co. founders Ned & I are best friends, head cider makers and brothers-in-law. Our two families are deeply rooted in Maine, and our vision for Freedom's Edge is to express through our cider, as fully as our abilities will allow, our deep love for the place we call home.
We started our journey in 2019, and our vision is to source most of our cider apples from our farm in Albion, right on the border of Freedom, Maine (hence "Freedom's Edge"). But our trees are still maturing, and for today we still purchase apples from a number of orchard partners around central Maine. Despite this, our commitment to you is still the same: we will ensure that the apples from our partners' orchards are grown with the same sense of care and stewardship of the land as our own.
We believe that there is something unique and special about this state, and that nothing expresses that uniqueness more completely than apples...they, like the people who choose to live here, have to work hard to make it but seem to thrive on the challenge. We promise to bring that same hard work and care to our cider making. We know you'll hold us to it...but please feel free to reach out to let us know how we're doing at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for going on this journey with us!
Ned Ervin & Andy Kaplan
Ned's a former chef and chemical engineer who's always got something brewing in his basement. Andy's a historian who became interested in the northern New England cider culture of the 18th & 19th century, and wondered whether the two of them might be able to recreate what was best about those ciders...the purity, the sense of place, the apples perfectly suited to the local climate...while still making something that would be consistent in quality and easy to drink.
Freedom's Edge is the fruit of that collaboration. It's a blend of apples grown on our own farm in Albion (some wild, and others cultivated) along with some from nearby orchards. Some of our varietals, like black oxford, originated in Maine, while others, like Newtown Pippin and Roxbury Russet, were brought here by settlers from Massachusetts and New York in the 18th century.
We press the apples ourselves, with a healthy assist from our kids, and ferment them to dryness, before aging them in our tanks and adding just a hint of back sweetening from fresh apples we've left out to cryoconcentrate over the winter. The result is a well-balanced cider with a nice finish that's as much a pleasure to drink as it is for us to create.
Because we craft every barrel ourselves, production is still very limited. Freedom's Edge is not available in stores, only in selected bars and restaurants in Maine. Someday we'll change that. But we're not in any hurry. Because much more important than being available everywhere is that every pint is the absolute best we can make. We hope you'll agree.