EDIT: The 26er program has been paused this year due to COVID-19
So you’ve been seeing advertisements about Nine Pin’s 26er program recently and you’ve always wanted to do it but aren’t really sure what it is, right? As a cardholding silver member, let me explain.
This is the third year that Nine Pin is allowing us to join them on this 26er adventure. You’ve probably seen it advertised and wondered “What is that?” and “Do I want to be a 26er?” Let me explain.
Starting in January, every two weeks Nine Pin will have a new cider to try that you’ve never seen on their menu before. Every two weeks, you go, taste the cider, and get a stamp on your card. After 26 ciders (1 every two weeks for 52 weeks), you’re officially a 26er. You can choose between a small serving and a large of the cider. I usually go with the $3 small, until I find out if I like it or not.
This year, they’re offering a $5 journal so you can keep track of the ciders you loved and those you didn’t. There’s 26, there’s probably going to be a couple you’re not a huge fan of, but on the flip side, there are going to be some you’ll fall in love with.
What happens if I can’t get there within two weeks? Let’s say you’ve been diligent for 13 weeks and then, all of a sudden, for whatever reason, you can’t get there within two weeks for the next cider. Is all hope lost? No, not necessarily. Most of the time, the ciders hold over after those two weeks (and sometimes even longer) but you can’t count on it! Sometimes they bring back some in case you missed it, but, again, you can’t count on it!
What happens at the end? Well, the prizes for completing the 26er challenge have been different since this is only the third year. Last year, both levels got a t-shirt, a class, a very fancy exclusive 26er card, access to the party sometime in the early spring, entry into the private Facebook group with secret 26er announcements, and discounts at the store outside of happy hours. The silver members got an added mini growler with exclusive access to certain silver 26er only ciders. Who knows what gold will bring?
It’s pretty cool having early knowledge of these flavors. Some of the 26er flavors were later canned for purchase and as a 26er, you already knew some of your favorites. You have the chance to register now and hopefully, we’ll run into each other at some point tasting cider in 2020.