Known as “apple country,” Adams County offers perfect growing conditions for apples. Cideries in the area, including Jack’s Hard Cider, transform these apples into delicious hard cider. Not only does Jack’s produce cider locally, but it also procures apples from nearby orchards, giving you an authentic taste of Adams County.
Have you ever wondered how the folks at Jack’s make their signature hard cider? We recently stopped by and got the “in-cider” information.
Our journey begins in the orchards of Adams County. Apples are grown, harvested, and transported to Jack’s production facility in Gettysburg. The apples are then dropped into a large container where workers check for any debris. Jack’s strives to have at least three different varieties of culinary apples in a batch, which results in a unique cider every time.
After the apples are washed in a giant bath, they enter the apple press. Here, apples are milled, turned into apple sauce, and pressed on double belts to extract apple juice. The juice is then pumped into the fermentation tank.
These fermentation tanks hold up to 50,000 gallons of cider. Inside these temperature-controlled tanks, cider is treated to adjust the acidity and remove solids, blended to create the perfect taste, and ultimately fermented into hard cider.
After the fermentation process is complete, cider is ultra-filtered to provide a clean, fresh drink. Cider travels from the fermentation tank through tubes that filter the cider. The cider flows through these tubes until filtration is complete. Once it meets the correct level of filtration, the cider enters the Brite Tank.
As cider fills the Brite Tank, carbon dioxide is pumped into the tank, which carbonates the cider. This process creates the bubbly cider we all know and love. When the cider reaches the desired level of carbonation, it’s time for canning and kegging.
The cider travels from the Brite Tank through a specialized pump that regulates the filling process.
When filling kegs, cider flows into a special machine that fills four kegs at a time. The kegs then receive a cap and label that denotes which flavor cider it is.
When filling cans, empty cans travel down a canning line where they are filled with cider and receive a lid, which is sealed shut. The filled cans continue down the conveyer belt and enters the boxing machine. Workers process the packages and stack them on pallets, where they are added to inventory.
The final step is distributing Jack’s Hard Cider across the country. The cider made in Gettysburg is distributed to 12 states. Whether at your favorite bar or local beer store, grab a can of Jack’s!