Tuesday, June 2, 2015

“How does a person make great cider?”

You’re asking the wrong question.  Embedded in the question are assumptions that suggest a deep and fundamental misunderstanding about what cider is. That question leads directly away from the very answer you seek.

Look at the sentence again and notice the subject in the middle of this question: the person. By trying to figure out how “a person” makes great cider we are assuming we are important when really, the two important species- yeasts and apple trees- can pretty much make cider on their own. So the question is not how “we” make great cider; it should be, “How do we discover it?”
I hate the term “think outside the box,” but it applies here. Cider, or rather, our ability to know great cider, is especially challenging for us because of the way our lives have evolved over the past 200 years. We are now more than ever removed from nature and we tend to look at things from a scientific perspective rather than a sympathetic one. This is our ego talking. We see ourselves apart from the situation. But one needs to be "in" the process, not above it like a puppet-master, if we are to "know cider".

Here comes the rant... Cider is a holistic venture or it is nothing at all, a sham, a two-dimensional cutout of type-casts arranged by ad-men to appear like culture on a Hollywood set. To them cider is a "(fill-in-the-blank) person's drink." They have the power to manipulate us in mass because we have become vulnerable. We are incomplete in our specialized lives so we grasp on to the illusion of another identity. Cider is an identity. But it's one we can't relate to unless we break from our specialized lives. I will be first to admit that it’s hard to sympathize with 'All', but cider is somehow connected. It's an ambassador to that world. We have to follow it, not direct it back this way.

1 comment:

  1. What about giving a class? Would be great to learn about your process...