November 22, 2020 | 1:38 PM
Standing in the new Plymouth tap-room space of the High Limb cider company, VP of marketing Mary Kate Byrne asks a poignant seasonal question.
“Do you like pumpkin?” she says, preparing to crack a can of High Limb cider flavored with the fall favorite. “Pumpkin’s like a very controversial thing.”
Despite my beer-snob credentials I do like pumpkin-flavored beverages, and having tasted High Limb’s version, you should like it, too.
“There’s nothing more basic than pumpkin-spice anything,” Byrne continues. “But that’s why we have ours fermented on the actual flesh of the gourds themselves.
“We’re actually hand-chopping and roasting butternut squash and pumpkins, with pumpkin spice seasoning on the flesh of these vegetables, which gives it that true pumpkin flavor as opposed to that sugary flavor other brands have.”
Hand-crafted is the theme of High Limb, which is getting its first tap room as part of the new G Pub space (there’s also one in Providence) coming to Plymouth early next year. Located in a retail complex in a renovated Planet Fitness, G Pub will feature bars, a restaurant, and entertainment like ping-pong and pool tables.
“Instead of, ‘Where do we stop for dinner before we go bowling or go to a show?’, it’s designed to be your destination,” says Byrne.
The G Pub folks own the High Limb cider brand, and the tap room, situated in the middle of the stunning space, between the front of the house and the cider making and production area, opened this month. On a recent evening before the official opening, Byrne walked me through several High Limb offerings.
The Core Series includes a cider called “The OG,” made with Massachusetts apples like MacIntosh, Gala, Fuji, and Golden Delicious. There’s a light series (fewer calories) and a Batch series, from which the latest cider is a blend called “New England,” made with raisins and brown sugar.
“Another one you have to try is smoked,” says Byrne, holding up a 750-milliliter bottle.
While there was lots of talk during the tasting about High Limb tamping down the sweetness of their ciders, most of what I tried is still quite a bit sweeter than what I prefer (think Downeast, rather than Shacksbury, Artifact, or tiny craft outlets like West County). Personal preference aside, a good portion of the drinking populus may end up finding a little sweetness to be more accessible.
When open, High Limb’s tap room will feature 10 ciders on draft, as well as cider to carry out. Pandemic-permitting, they’re hoping to open the entire G Pub Plymouth space in early 2021.
“In Plymouth there’s a really strong restaurant and culinary scene down by the water, but there was nothing really up here, says Byrne. “We felt like it was kind of up and coming. This area felt a little quieter, and probably needs a little more energy, so we wanted to be kind of the catalyst to that.”