By the edge of Sørfjorden, an arm of the Hardanger Fjord and surrounded by mountains, lies Store Nå, a farm that has been owned by the same family since 1724. It is currently run by Eirik Nå Aga, the tenth-generation farmer, who is combining the family legacy with craft cider.

Farmer Eirik Nå Aga is proud of his family history and wants to be able to pass the farm on to his daughter in the future. And he wants her to inherit a farm with a profit she can live on. However, farming has changed over the centuries, making a profit is harder, threatening the future of farms all over Norway. But when a new law in Norway allowed the sale of stronger cider, Nå Aga saw an opportunity.

Store Naa Siderkompani: Cider, but not as you know it

In 2018, Store Naa Siderkompani was established. The farm Store Nå has always been growing fruit, so cider production fit perfectly with the farm’s history. “Hardanger has the best apples in the world,” says Nå Aga. “The idea was that the cider should smell and taste like apples straight from the tree.” Judging by the national and international awards received, he has succeeded.

Store Naa Siderkompani: Cider, but not as you know it

Store Nå has been in the same family for centuries. Eirik Nå Aga, left, is the tenth generation.

Achieving that level of quality means no cutting corners, no added water, just 100% apples. Three types of apple are used for each type of cider. Each is fermented separately before being combined for the perfect balance of sweet and tart. The apples are picked and fermented at the farm, but pressed at Aga Sideri, a few minutes away.

Currently, there are three types of cider on sale. The first is 57/2, a classic, Norwegian cider. It is carbonated and works nicely as an apéritif or with fish and seafood. The name is taken from the old farm number.

Store Naa Siderkompani: Cider, but not as you know it

A cider with even deeper roots to the farm’s history is 57/2 Kårkall. An old farmer was called kårkall once he retired and the next generation took over. This cider is made using kveik, a beer yeast similar to a sourdough starter. “Ours is 150 years old,” Nå Aga explains. “I thought, why can’t we use it for cider? So we tried. It gives the cider a slightly more characteristic taste, with umami flavours.”

When Nå Aga’s sister shared the news that she was getting married, it was obvious that his wedding gift would be a wedding cider. The result was 57/2 Brudeferd, a rosé cider made of 95% apples and 5% red and black currants.

Cider has always been a great alternative to beer, and these ciders are certainly giving wine some serious competition.

Store Naa Siderkompani: Cider, but not as you know it

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