If you climb all 46 high peaks of New York State, you are part of a elite group of hikers called “the 46ers.” Not to be outdone, Nine Pin Cider – located in the “flatlands” (as the folks in the North Country would call the Capital Region) of Albany – has announced the next edition of its popular 26er cider series.
The Albany-based farm cidery originally launched the 26er series in 2016 as a “year-long cider appreciation challenge.” Now in it’s third edition in five years, the company has signed up more than 1,600 prospective 26ers for the 2020 edition.
During the inaugural 26er series in 2016, more than 325 individuals earned 26er status and during the 2018 program, 669 individuals earned 26er status.
“The 2020 26er program will feature a whole new round of interesting and unique ciders,” said Alejandro del Peral, co-founder and cider maker at Nine Pin. “There’s nothing like it in the hard cider industry and we are confident that for first-timers and returning 26ers, it’ll be well worth the visits to the cidery throughout the year.”
Starting on today, and every two weeks thereafter, a new cider will be released. 26er ciders will only be available at Nine Pin’s tasting room in Albany. Prospective participants who earned 26er status in 2016 and 2018 are eligible to complete the challenge again to reach 26er Silver or Gold status. Achievers at each level receive various prizes and privileges.
In 2020, as in 2018, a portion of the 26er cider sales will support the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK)’s Summit Stewardship Program.
“The 26er Challenge helped support summit stewards in educating approximately 40,000 hikers on the importance of protecting rare alpine plants,” says Kayla White, ADK’s summit steward coordinator. “We cannot do our work without supporters and donors like Nine Pin.
Nine Pin worked with Kinderhook, N.Y.-based Samascott Orchards to develop 26 new and unique ciders that will be part of the 2020 program.
New for 2020 is the inclusion of 26er journals. Participants will be able to keep track of all 26 ciders, their tasting notes, dryness level, and whether they would drink those ciders again.
To sign up to be a 26er or to purchase the journal, you can visit ninepincider.com.