Hepfel Cider

No, ‘Hepfel’ doesn’t mean ‘apple’ in Swabian, a dialect spoken also in Baden-Wüttemberg, Germany where two brothers, Christopher and Nicolai of Hepfel Cider come from. ‘Hepfel’ is a combination of ‘Hepperle’, the last name of the founders and the German word for apple ‘Apfel’. Christopher and Nicolai fell in love with cider during their trip to South Africa. After their return to Germany, they would look for a drinkable cider in their area but without luck. So in 2015, they launched their own cider. Their Hepfel Cider is available today mainly in shops and restaurants in Kirchheim but also online from Ciderei.Company: Hepperle GbR
Place of Origin: Kirchheim, Baden-Wüttermberg, Germany
Ingredients: apple wine, apple juice, lemon juice, carbon dioxide and sulphites
ABV: 4.2%
Package type: 330ml clear glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: pint glass or flute

Appearance: pours a clear straw yellow with a light greenish hue and a white foam that quickly reduces to a ring. Low artificial carbonation. Low to medium body with a light creamy texture.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is not strong with notes of yellow apples, light green apples, lemon, apple stems, a hint of elderflower, lightly vinous notes and distant sulphur.

Taste: it starts lightly sweet with low to medium acidity. On the mid-palate notes of lemon, yellow apples, green apples and unripe apples and light elderflower with a light astringent taste. Finishes dry with a refreshing Granny Smith apple flavour.

Overall: I was quite puzzled when I discovered lemon juice after reviewing the ingredient list. There are so many sour apples in Germany so why would anyone want to add a lemon juice to increase the acidity level? But let’s focus on the aroma and flavour now. The nose slightly reminds me a fizzy apple beverage. It’s not unpleasant but just doesn’t promise much. The palate is quite ok, not too sweet, not too dry with some flavours to explore. Also, the aftertaste has a nice length with a flavour of a Granny Smith apple. In summary, Hepfel is perhaps not mind-blowing, but definitely pleasant and refreshing so it will do the job on a hot summer day. 3.5/6 

Availability: locally in Kirchheim, Stuttgart and across Baden-Wüttenberg. Online exclusively from Ciderei.

Price: Hepfel Cider was a sample provided by Ciderei.


2 thoughts on “Hepfel Cider

  1. Lemon juice, interesting. I know here in the U.S. a lot of cider ingredient lists have citric acid, which I guess would have the same result, except probably not add a lemon flavor.

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    1. Typical German apple varieties taste extremely sharp. Eating them is basically like biting into a lemon. So I don’t get the point of adding lemon juice here. I can imagine that apples in the U.S. have lower acidity and it’s easier to use citric acid or lemon juice than finding really sharp apples but in Germany? To me ​it’s cutting corners.

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