Assignment 52 - Finale (Part Deux) and A New Beginning
I had intended to do a two-part blog post for week 52 of my project. I had contacted two craft alcohol makers – Jersey Spirits Distillery and Twisted Limb Cider – for week 52 and both had responded that they’d be willing to have me shoot. Last week’s post featured Jersey Spirits; you can find that here: http://www.sarahflanneryphotography.com/blog/2016/9/4/project-52
I’ve recently kicked off my 2nd year of Project 52, and I’ve decided to take a bit of a different approach this year. I’m focusing on building a solid portfolio, so some assignments I’ll shoot, and when I don’t feel the assignment is in an area in which I want to focus my portfolio, I’ll shoot something else. Assignment 1 was to photograph a stranger. I decided to use my photos from my shoot at Twisted Limb Cider for this assignment.
On the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, I spent the morning with Frank Voris of Twisted Limb Cider. Twisted Limb is located in a large barn built by Frank and his partners on his parents’ property in Newton, NJ. Frank wasn't making any hard cider that day, but he pruned some of his young apple trees, we tasted a couple of his products, and he demonstrated bottling and labeling. I'm hoping to go back later in the autumn to take some pictures when they are hard at work.
Because they are producing a fruit-based product, Twisted Limb has been issued a winery license by the State of New Jersey. Their apples are grown by a local farmer, who crushes them for Twisted Limb. Once Frank and his partners get the juice, they ferment it in old whiskey barrels. This process takes about six weeks, at which point they invite over friends and family, bribe them with free cider and pizza, and have a work party bottling, corking and labeling. They buy most of their raw materials locally, except their bottles, which come from Waterloo, NY! [For those that don't know, I grew up in the city next to Waterloo.]
Twisted Limb primarily produces two hard ciders - a Bavarian style and their Original flavor. Neither were what I expected. Most commercial hard ciders I've had are sweet, but these were both crisp and clean. I also tried a special batch that was made last year for Valentine's Day. It was made with cranberries and was fantastic. They had some issues as the product had continued to carbonate in the bottle, so when you pulled the cork - a small fountain of cider ensued. They are back to the drawing board on this one, and I'm glad they are, as it tasted fantastic!
Many thanks to Frank for letting me take some photos and I hope to get invited back for the day when they are bottling. I recommend Twisted Limb's ciders if you are a cider drinker or if you've tried large production ciders and didn't like them. You won't be disappointed!