Forgive my recent addiction to discussing the wonders of hard apple cider, but being from Wisconsin, I can assure you that it is something that has always been with me. Not only is Wisconsin the home to a very popular brand of cider, but it also houses a number of local breweries, each with their own unique hard cider homebrew recipe. Having tried them all, I often wondered which one would emerge on top.
Now I have always had my favorite, but I don’t want to list it due to the fact that it might lampoon the entire article. I’ll instead, share what I have learned from reading and trying new ciders for myself. What I have found is that cider technology is actually advancing, having read an Angry Orchard Hard Cider review recently, I learned that the game has changed.
What to look for
In its infancy, hard ciders were much less fragrant and flavorful, but since brewing processes have gotten much more technological updates, the process is now not only much more effective, but also able to breed variety. In the early days, cider was brewed using the same process, virtually same ingredients, and sometimes even the same type of apple.
Now with the popularity of cider and its vast expansion, new techniques are being used and developed every day, which makes it a golden age for the hard cider business. No longer are we forced to drink the same cider with a different label, but rather choose which one we like best and perhaps even find other brands that use that same process. God bless the Internet.
Much like every other form of commerce and competition, hard cider is entering an age where being different matters. Where different techniques, ingredients, and levels of experimentation can pave the way for a new generation of ciders that will better resonate with enthusiasts. The time is perfect for new companies to expand throughout the United States and the world and share what is sure to be the future of the hard cider industry. I would like to welcome to the future!
One of the most interesting things I saw during my visit to Italy was not the sites, the rich cultural history, the amazing food, or even the interesting people, but the advertisements on television. My Italian vacation was quite extended, and even if you try to see everything, there will be days in which you just feel like chilling out in front of the television.
Sure, most of the shows are just like we have here, but in Italian, but what was the most amazing was the nature and abundance of advertisements. Being in another country is pretty amazing, but you do not always realize how different it is until you go about your daily life at home. I soon realized that by simply watching Italian television, that I truly was not in Kansas anymore.
The main difference
Being from America, I always held onto the idea that we were drum beating loudmouths to the rest of the world. However, I had no idea that not only were we that, but we were often depicted in such a manner, even to a comical degree. Every country has its stereotypes, and being an American, I can safely say that our stereotype was the most entertaining. It’s like the Italian family in America that is trying to sell you spaghetti sauce, they are painfully Italian, to an almost offensive degree. Think of your most obnoxious friend turned up to 11, and that is essentially every American on Italian advertisements. It’s truly a thing of wonder.
My first experience with hard cider was at a beer fest in Wisconsin. A fall festival where local breweries and breweries from far away showcased their new and old cider lines. My being there was somewhat of random happenstance, but I can definitely say that it changed my life. Not in the sense that I had not had hard cider before, but more that it gave me insight into how the brewing business works.
One of the ciders that I took a liking to was from the nearby state of Michigan. I had had a number of Michigan beers up to that point, but had never tried a locally brewed hard cider from the state. I then became interested in the economy of hard cider and how it has gained popularity in the last few years.
I checked the expansion of many cider with which I was familiar, and found that there was staggering expansion going on in the hard cider industry. After viewing a few message boards, I found that ciders from a nearby town were available as far west as Utah, and as far east as New York. I was astounded that cider culture had expanded so far in so few years.
Today, it continues to be a culture that is growing in momentum. Do this: next time you go to buy beer or whatever spirits you are into, check to see how many brands of hard cider are available, and realize that a few years ago, there was really only one, the one that originated in a neighboring city in Wisconsin.
The more I inspect the differences in culture between Italy and the United States, the more I notice a great deal of overlap. During my first visit to Italy, I attended a beer fest and had the time of my life. It was the first time that I had gone to such an event, and just being old enough to drink legally, I began to understand the cultural divide and overlap.
Being from the Midwest, I attended the Cincy Beer Fest, which featured the best beers and hard ciders from the surrounding states. Expecting the same thing during the Italian beer fest, I found that not only were the drinks different, but so was the atmosphere. In the Midwest, people work hard and play hard, and while I found this same thing to be the case in Italy, I found that they were much more reserved.
The strange part
Was that no matter the cultural differences, people around the world are pretty much the same. They work hard, spend time with their families, and when it’s time to party, they do not hold back. Learning about my culture and the culture of my family was a truly eye-opening experience, and one that could not have been fully enjoyed without a little bit of social lubrication.
No matter where you are in the world, it is important to remember that we are all part of something larger, something that involves escape, and living to our best ability in the reality in which we exist.
One of the things that I learned from my Italian heritage is the importance of the family business. As a second generation Italian, it is my understanding that everything that my family built in this world was the result of perseverance and tight family ties. Take for example, one of my father’s clients that sells air conditioning Chesapeake. The family owned business by another second generation family of Italians was one that was built on hard work and dedication. Having been able to see their services at work, it became clear to me that they had the same work ethic and mentality of my family, and taught me the importance of the family run business.
As a webmaster, my father was put in charge of their webpage, http://www.chesapeakehvacs.com/air-conditioner-chesapeake/. Even though he had little understanding of what the heating and cooling industry consisted of, he used his knowledge of business and family ties to create a local advertising campaign that highlighted the importance of community and family in the broadest sense. It was his campaign that led the advertising of that company to new heights and propelled sales to new highs.
Sales began to skyrocket, and my father’s client kept him in mind when they thought about expanding their advertising campaign. Because she showed such aptitude for appealing to local customers, they brought him back when they decided to optimize for their newest page, http://www.chesapeakehvacs.com/furnace-heaters-chesapeake/, which was their heating page. Again, not knowing anything about how the furnace industry worked, he used his knowledge of business and family to produce a similar advertising campaign that blew the competition out of the water.
In essence, all it takes to succeed in business is a little bit of ingenuity and knowing how important local, family run businesses are to the community. It does not take a rocket scientist to know that local businesses are the backbone of our economy, and that people will always respond to advertising campaigns that highlight their importance. Whether it is your area of expertise or not, knowing how to appeal to people is much more important than having knowledge in the industry.
Think about your week on a regular basis, now think about how much time of that is spent working. Most people with careers or full time jobs work on average, 45 hours per week, and if they are lucky, have two weeks off per year. Now in America, this is standard, a set of guidelines that everyone accepts and most people are forced to adhere to. But what might surprise other people, is that in other countries, such as Italy, people work far less and have more time off.
In America, we have this idea of the hardworking American, that anybody, rich or poor can pull themselves up by their bootstraps and become a wealthy success. Without going too deep, this is not necessarily true, but the overlying thesis is that work should take priority over play.
And while this is true in some cases
There is more to the story. Hard work is appreciated, and it can get people ahead in life. However, there are numerous benefits to the idea of play, that recreation and vacation are not only crucial to the happiness of workers, but also the success of the business. Happy workers are productive workers, and vacation is the way to achieve this.
Think about it this way, give people more time off, let them come back happy, and watch profits soar. Studies have shown that if we increase the time that people have off, that we increase productivity. Perhaps it’s time to think about making our population happy before focusing on profits.
Chances are, there are few things about Italy that are not known on a global scale. I’ve spoken briefly of wine country, the culture of Italy, and its draw as a vacation spot. But what many people do not know is that there is more to Italy than meets the eye, and more than I can possibly explain. Again, having never been there, my experience is limited, but my family is second-generation, and so I’ve heard tales.
Perhaps what is most interesting about the country is its rich history, which lends to not only its tourist attractions, but its mix of culture as well. Pockets of different native and immigration populations makes it the perfect destination for those looking for the true “melting pot” of the world.
No matter what you are into
Italy has what you need to have a good time. Its culture is second only to its pristine beaches, ornate cities, and worldly cuisine. Now that I mention it, I’ve heard that while Italian food can be found virtually anywhere, it is more like the United States in terms of availability. German, Spanish, French, American and many other foods can be found throughout the country, and many restaurants have a mixture of these.
It is also nearly impossible to throw a stone without hitting a pristine beach, full of some of the most beautiful people on the planet. Italy is the perfect place to simply enjoy life, to be yourself and share cultural experiences with interesting people.
Wine is just one of the many things that Italy is known for, and boy is it known for its wine. One of the largest producers of vintage wine in the world, wine is part of the country’s history, heritage, and modern culture. Nowhere in the world is there a finer selection of classy wines as well as vineyards as far as the eye can see.
Having never visited Italy, I have not experienced its wine country first-hand, but I have read a number of books regarding the topic. During my reading, I learned that many regions of Italy are home to unique wine, in that, they must be crafted in the region in order to be called the specific brand of wine.
Rich in history and culture
Perhaps what makes Italy’s wine country so impressive is its diverse geography. The country is so large, that it is host to a number of climates, both temperate and hot, that grow different types of unique grapes. Since different grapes produce different flavors of wine, what you get is a wide array of flavors and aromas, each with its own unique regional flavor.
There is also a reason that many wines are paired with Italian food. In fact, Italian food and wine pairings are recognized all over the world, helping to establish the global wine market and define how people enjoy their meals. If you are looking for a great wine destination, look no further than the country that changed the way we look at wine.
I mentioned in previous articles that growing up in America and hearing about my native land, that people here have much less fun than Italians. In fact, studies have shown that Americans take much less time of work than Italians, and in some cities in Italy, there are places that force workers to take vacation time. I was astonished to hear this because in America, it is all about working hard and getting rich.
That is not how the Italians think. In fact, they know that in order for people to stay happy and healthy, that they need some time off work. Not to fret about their job, but to truly enjoy themselves. They work hard, they have earned time off, and should be able to spend time with family and friends far removed from work. I’m not sure if this is true in Italy, but in some countries, employers are not even allowed to contact employees who are on vacation.
The results of this Italian practice is as the above headline would suggest, are astonishing. Employers found that not only were employees happier with their situation, but that productivity increased significantly and profits soared. Italy has something right when it comes to having fun, they are a country that is largely of the idea that people need to have fun in order to be truly happy.
Perhaps American companies can adopt this strategy only to find that giving people time off is a great way to make more money.
There is something about Italy that makes it different than the rest of the world. As state before, growing up in America, I grew up with American culture. In fact, American culture has permeated much of the world, McDonalds on every corner worldwide, Coca Cola being sold on every street corner in every industrialized nation. And while there is nothing wrong with this, there is something to be said about Italy and its resistance to change.
Perhaps resistant to change is the wrong choice of words, perhaps it is the heritage that Italy holds so dear that makes it a gem of a European city. Think about the sights and sounds of Italy and try to compare it to the rest of the world, especially those saturated with American culture. Italy is just different in many ways.
The ways in which it is different
Italy is different not only because it is not as saturated with American culture, but that it has so much history that it is up there as far as worldwide cultural influence. The food, wine, style, and ideals of Italy have spread far and wide, not only due to the Roman empire, but because of how unique and alluring it is as a whole.
The language, people, dress, pretty much everything one associates with Italy is that of refinement and style. A romanced culture that is second to none and needs not be subject to the cultural whims of other countries. Italy is perhaps the most noticeable culture worldwide, second only perhaps to the US, and with good reason.