New cider at Wilmington brewery uses cherries steeped in history

The hard cider is a limited edition made with two treasured types of cherries.
WILMINGTON, Delaware (WPVI) -- Breweries are typically looking to make waves with the next big thing, but in Wilmington, they're looking to the past with an exciting new cider collaboration.

It's called The Fruits of Eleutherian Mills, and it officially debuted Wednesday at Wilmington Brew Works.

It's made with two treasured types of cherries that are steeped in history. The cherries grow in the E.I. du Pont orchard at Hagley Museum and Library.

"They harvested some Montmorency and Black Tartarian cherries, which we co-fermented with our cider," explains Ryan Rice, a cider maker at Wilmington Brew Works. "That gave us this wonderful drink, which is bone dry. It's not sweet at all. It has a wonderful tartness from the cherries and just a subtle cherry finish on the back end."

The cherries were picked in early June.

There were only so many, so the folks at Wilmington Brew Works say the trick was getting it right on the first try.

By 1804, E.I du Pont had established an orchard of nearly 400 peach, pear, apple, plum and cherry tree varieties.

Hagley Museum and Library has been working to re-establish that, and they're thrilled to be utilizing the fruits of Eleutherian Mills in this new and exciting way.

"For me, it's a chance to share history with the community and to work with great collaborative partners that I've been friends with for years," says Paul Orpello, the director of Gardens and Horticulture at the Hagley Museum and Library. "It gives me the opportunity to show off all that we're doing horticulturally and to present it to the local community in a way like no other product."

Again, the cherry hard cider is limited edition and they imagine it will sell out pretty quickly.

The next batch will use peaches, then apples in the fall, all from the trees in the E.I. du Pont Garden and Orchard at the Hagley Museum and Library.
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