Mar 29, 2023
When you think about beer or wine or spirits or any alcoholic beverage “beyond” these categories, what do you think of? Is it flavor? Friends? Or maybe just a vibe? It’s that last thing that I got stuck on recently thinking about cider and its place amongst all these options. For years, cider has been a steady 1(ish)% of the beer category in the U.S., where it’s classified. But at a time when some segments are trying to tread water, like wine or beer, that steadiness seems … pretty good.
And in the context of trying to consider what it all meant, I came across Massachusetts’ Artifact Cider Project. If you head over to their website at ArtifactCider.com, you’ll find the company actually does sell its cider on vibes. One cider is for "late night bonfires" while another is meant for "brunch and beach." There's even a cider named Wolf at the Door that carries the vibe of "fight not flight," adding a layer of mystery to whatever that may mean to you, dear drinker.
Anyway, while in Chicago for the annual American Cider Association conference, it was a great excuse to seek out Soham Bhatt, co-founder of Artifact, and someone who I came to learn has an insatiable curiosity. It’s that trait that led him to cider and as you’ll hear, drives what he and the Artifact team continue to do in search of all kinds of drinkers. In this conversation we get philosophical about how hobbies turn into careers and what it takes to convince people to pick cider over other alcohol options. Along the way, you’ll also get an appreciation for Soham’s never-ending quest to learn more—whether that’s about cider, movies, people, or just about anything else. Whenever you last picked up a cider, be it for a search for flavor or something a friend just handed you, Soham’s perspective will help you think about all this in another way. How vibes matter in the pursuit of something new.