Aired: July 3, 2010

Hard Cider: Early America’s Drink of Choice

In the 18th century it was hard cider, not beer, that was the alcoholic beverage of choice. Even children often drank hard cider with breakfast and dinner because it was safer than the water. So how did this preference for hard cider disappear from the American palate? David Williams (George Mason University) investigates the demise of this quintessential early American drink. And: A visit to the tasting room of Albemarle CiderWorks. Also featured: Deborah O’Dell (University of Mary Washington) studies magnetic orientation in bees, which, like homing pigeons, use magnetic fields to orientate themselves. She’s interested in recent studies that suggest that bees living near cell phone towers may become disoriented and produce less honey.


9 Comments on “Hard Cider: Early America’s Drink of Choice”

  1. Jeanne

    A most interesting show…(and amusing to me that you paired a show involving W.A.S.P.’s with one on bees!)

  2. Dr Dave Williams

    Glad you liked it. Here is a link to the article which the interview grew out of. Note also the Johnny Appleseed links, which show him to be a classic Yankee, hippy WASP.
    -Dr Dave

  3. Corrie Martin

    Hi there Dr. Williams and With Good Reason! We would like to put this interview on our blog for Farnum Hill Ciders. Is that ok with you, and would you like to write an introduction for us? Please let me know. Thanks. Corrie

  4. Charlotte Shelton

    The most interesting response to this program for us has been the number of people who are stopping by the Albemarle CiderWorks Tasting Room to sample “proper cider/” We are hosting an open house with complimentary tastings of the four ciders we are offering in our second year this weekend, Saturday the 10th and Sunday the 11th, from 11 am to 6 pm. . We hope to report that real cider is alive and well in Virginia… Charlotte Shelton

  5. Corrie Martin

    Charlotte — that is great to hear! We are thrilled at the limited attention that true cider garners, and believe that the cider rebirth is coming. I hope that your tasting weekend was all it should be and that you’ll pass along hello from all of us here at Farnum Hill to you all.

  6. Elliot Majerczyk

    Dear Beth,

    Thanks for all these cider spots. I do hope the show will convince more people to sample early America’s drink of choice.

    Elliot Majerczyk

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