Oh hey there! I think I can finally say that I feel like I’m back on track after the holidays. Not in the sense that I’m back on a diet, I’m not into that, but I feel like I have a groove & a routine again. It took a second and this week made me question almost everything that I do but here we are, we are alllllll good.
This week I wanted to share with you the 2nd half of my Nine Pin Cider 26er journey and share with you how proud of am of finishing it. It’s one thing to set out to hit a 6-week challenge, it’s another to set out to finish a 52-week (errr every other week) challenge and complete it. For the last 52 weeks, every other week I made my way to Nine Pin’s tasting room and became a part of their 26er club.
Nine Pin Cider
Nine Pine Cider may be one of my favorite cider brands. Their flavors are unique, delicious AND local. Not to mention the majority of them aren’t too sweet and if you know me you know I hate most sweet things, especially alcoholic beverages. They are not only good standalone but the ciders make amazing mixed drinks as well, you just have to get a bit creative.
I personally LOVE the ginger cider and love mixing it with my homemade kombucha, it’s one of my specialities. While I always like Nine Pine Cider, after doing this yearlong challenge I feel like I am one of their loyal followers, drinkers, and friends. They have such a fun tasting room in downtown Albany where you can sit, grab some drinks, food, and play board games with friends. They even have tons of events going on throughout the year there.
Not to mention, they have I think 18 taps so you aren’t trapped with just one kind of cider, you can try MANY or you can grab a beer if you aren’t into cider. The staff is also super friendly and fun, so you feel right at home.
What is the 26er Challenge?
The 26er challenge is a yearlong process of trying a new cider every 2 weeks. They come up with many different varieties and each time you go in you get your card hole-punched and your name recorded in the system so that they can keep track. You can try either a small or a large pour and then once you are done you get to call yourself a 26er. You also get some sweet benefits (see below) for finishing said challenge.
My friend did a few years ago AND this year so I’m sure she gets even more benefits. In my opinion, this was a genius idea by Nine Pin as a way to build loyal customers and give us something to be excited about. I can’t wait for the next 26er challenge, although I’m hoping next year they have a Pumpkin Spice flavor in the fall, hint hint, cough cough.
I did a recap at the halfway mark this year, which you can read here.
14. Passion of the Pear
15. Agave Lime
16. Pineapple Mosaic
17. Lindsey’s Reserve
18. Blueberry Thyme
19. Raspberry Noir
20. Ashmead’s Kernel
21. Broadway Rose
22. Bourbon Barrel Aged Blueberry
23. Lemon Verde
24. Cranberry Spice
25. Maple Applejack
26. Chardonnay Rose
Of all the ones above, the only 2 that really stand out to me were the Cranberry Spice & the Chardonnay Rose. The Cranberry Spice was such a delicious wintery drink and I could drink it year round. The Chardonnay Rose reminds me of a champagne and was just the right amount of bubbly, bitter, & sweet.
Benefits of Completing the 26er Challenge
So I have no idea if Nine Pin will do this challenge again BUT in case they do, here are a few of the benefits we received for completing the challenge.
- Personal Nine Pin Card w/Happy Hour Pricing for life
- Swag Galore: glass, t-shirt, etc.
- PARTY! for all 26ers
- Cool new relationships with all the Nine Pin staff
- Fond memories with fellow 26ers
I’m not going to lie I’m so proud that I stuck to this challenge. I’m pretty consistent with my diet, my exercise, my lifestyle, etc. but when it comes to doing something for myself that’s fun, I usually fall flat. This was something that me and my bestie prioritized this year and WE DID IT!
So, what’s next?! I’m working on a few things, I want to try new restaurants in the Albany area this year! There are so many cool ones popping up so I want to try and make that a priority. Stay tuned!
What fun goals do you have planned for this year?!