BOISE, Idaho — Meriwether Cider brewed a special batch called Jupiter's Cider to pay homage to slaves who had a profound impact on the beginnings of cider making in America.
"Jupiter Evans was a slave in the Thomas Jefferson's household," said Molly Leadbetter, one of Meriwether Cider's owners. "He was the head cider maker from getting the apples out of the field to crushing them and fermenting the cider, so we decided that we wanted to make a cider specifically for him."
So the process started with finding the apples that Jupiter Evans would have used on Jefferson's plantation at Montecillo back in the late 1700s.
"And one of those apples was a Newtown Pippen, which is one of the oldest apple varieties in the United States," said Leadbetter. "They brought the juice down to us, and we made a single varietal, which means it's just that apple."
Meriwether Cider bottled their new creation, but they had another idea, so they reached out to the Idaho Black History Museum.
"I thought it was absolutely awesome because it was something I've never heard of," said Philip Thompson, the Idaho Black History Museum executive director. "If we can shine a light on part of our history that is lesser-known while giving credit to a former slave that is responsible for a wide piece of cider development, I was all for it."
One hundred percent of the revenue generated from Jupiter's Cider sales will go to the Idaho Black History Museum.
Thompson told us that when people use their talent to make the world a better place and help fight racial inequality, it's one of the most powerful tools people can use.
"It's this notion that I'm fully invested in rectifying this issue and you can talk it all day, but to actually go above and beyond to create the machine to contribute and support, I can't thank them enough," said Thompson.
Meriwether Cider finished up their unique batch Pet-Nat style, meaning this small business run by a family of four put in a little extra apple juice when they bottled the cider.
"So that there is more sugar in there," said Leadbetter. "That will referment in the bottle and creating really small champaign like bubbles, so the feel in your mouth is really beautiful and soft and delicate."
Meriwether Cider will host a Zoom webinar next Friday at 7:00 p.m. when they officially release Jupiter's Cider.
The seminar will feature more information about the history, the process of making cider and special guest Philip Thompson.
If you are interested in purchasing a Jupiter's Cider bottle, you can go to Meriwether Cider's website. There are a couple of options, including picking up the bottle at either of their locations or having it shipped.