Pegasus City Brings English Tradition to Dallas with Unfiltered Hard Cider
Dallas is well-known for its craft beer scene, but local brewery Pegasus City is quietly making a name for itself in the hard cider market with its “Double Dry” cider. Will Cotten, the brewer at Pegasus City, started experimenting with producing cider after reading about the unfiltered, bone-dry drink that is commonly served at orchards in Europe. Unlike most mass-produced American ciders, Pegasus City’s Double Dry is cloudy, unfiltered, and has a Champagne-like effervescence, making it reminiscent of classic English ciders.
Traditionally, any fruit-based alcohol production in Texas requires a winery license. Pegasus City has recently acquired a winery license from the Texas government, enabling the brewery to introduce Dallas to a new style of hard cider. The Double Dry cider has been brewed with unpasteurized juice shipped in from the Pacific Northwest. Although the brewery plans to make more cider and test limited distribution to local bars, the limiting factor will always be the availability of good apples and juice in Texas.
Unlike most ciders, the Double Dry cider is bone-dry, with a high alcohol content of about 7.5% alcohol by volume. Cotton stated that the approach to cider-making was to adulterate it as little as possible. Moreover, the process and decision-making are much more like standard brewing, unlike most American ciders that tastes of carbonation, with the process focused on adding flavors and sweeteners.
Cotton aims to produce cider using fermentable fruits from local farms. The availability of Texas-grown apples is limited, making it difficult for would-be cider makers. Still, Pegasus City has looked into the possibility of using fermentable fruits grown in the state, such as peaches, as inspiration for future cider varieties.
While Pegasus City’s Double Dry cider is still relatively new to the market, it has already become very popular with customers at the downtown taproom. Additionally, it has become a welcomed addition to the list of cider varieties available in Dallas, which include Bishop Cider and Trinity Cider. Bishop Cider is known for its easy-drinking, sweeter concoctions, while Trinity Cider is known for its dryer brews.
As Cotton continues to explore and tweak his recipe, there is a possibility that Pegasus City may offer other fruit “wine” products in the future. For now, the Double Dry cider has brought a new style of hard cider to the people of Dallas, making it possible to indulge in unfiltered, bone-dry cider in the heart of Texas.