Sean Turley was interviewed for the current issue of the Maine Bar Journal to discuss his interest in heirloom apples and cider making.
Clutching a bottle of hard cider, Sean Turley wanders to the back of the Portersfield Cider’s farmhouse in Pownal and points to an ancient, sprawling wild apple tree that has provided some of the fruit for the limited-run batch in his hand. In stark contrast to a carefully pruned grafted apple tree, the hundred-plus year old wild apple tree is enormous and unruly, extending its tangled network of branches outward and upward toward the sky. For years, Turley has assisted the owner of Portersfield Cider (and other cider makers) on their shared quest to find distinctive, native fruit for their ciders. Employing a variation on the old tradition of gleaning, Turley sources wild apples for his brewers from landowners around the state and returns their kindness with bottles of hard cider at the end of the fermentation cycle several years later. Turley recently sat down with Maine Bar Journal to discuss his interest.