how we make
to perfect cider
Shield Cider is made from 100% organic Norman cider apples,
wild fermentation and time. Our ciders need nothing else — no pre-pressed juices, no concentrates, no added sugars, no cultivated yeasts and no forced carbonation. No added ingredients of any kind, with absolutely no exceptions.
Pick the perfect blend of mature organic apples.
Our proprietary blend of 112 sweet, bittersweet and bitter apple varieties are grown organically on family farms in Normandy. Each apple is harvested only when fully ripe – between the months of September and December. No blemished fruit is accepted — we inspect each delivery from multiple rounds of harvesting timed to ensure peak maturity and freshness.
Prepare the apples.
Just like fine cheeses ripen with time, so do apples. We store ours to promote the concentration of flavors. Then we sort the apples, wash them carefully and mill them into smaller pieces.
Macerate the apples.
After milling, the crushed apples rest in a controlled chamber where oxidation helps further develop the apples’ natural aromas, rich flavors and dense juices.
Press the apples.
We cold-press our apples using a hydraulic press with cloth membranes. While others crush their fruit beyond recognition, we limit our processing to two pressing cycles. Every bottle of Shield Cider contains cold-pressed juices from one pound of apples.
Clarify the apple juice.
Now we give our juice the time and space to turn into cider. We tank the cold-pressed juice and natural separation occurs — pulp and yeast rise to the surface and sediment falls to the bottom. We then carefully separate the clarified juice into a refrigeration chamber.
Let the juice go wild — fermentation.
While modern cider manufacturers introduce cultivated yeast and forced carbonation, Shield Cider does not. Our wild fermentation process uses only the yeast already present on the skin of our apples to transform natural sugars into alcohol and Shield Cider’s recognizable crisp carbonation.
This natural process means Shield Cider’s flavor is absolutely unique — the qualities of our land flavor each bottle of cider, just as terroir also flavors coffee, chocolate and wine.
Microfilter the ciders.
After 3 to 5 months of fermentation, we use an environmentally friendly, energy efficient crossflow ceramic filtration system to microfilter our ciders. Microfiltering gives Shield Cider its visible purity and clarity without distorting its natural aromas or flavors.
Create the blend.
Our cider master analyzes the finished ciders of the season and carefully blends the best of them to create the balance of flavors and aromas you find in every bottle of Shield Cider.
Pasteurize the cider.
We pasteurize Shield Cider to stop the fermentation process, isolate it from contact with air and preserve its quality. For sparkling ciders such as ours, it’s especially important to stop fermentation at exactly the right time in a cider’s life.
Bottle, ship and share!
Did you notice the lot number on your bottle? We can trace every Shield Cider from harvest to bottle.
Now it’s your turn to share the Shield Cider story. Tell your friends about our organically grown, cold-pressed, wild-fermented cider. Better yet, pop some tops, pour and let them taste for themselves.