Monday, June 25

Monday Dose of Cute: Anyone for Apple Cider?

Daphne -
Actually we donkeys prefer our apples whole, thanks, but you go right ahead.

Please see my long replies in the comment section below if you're wondering what these BlogHer review posts are and why I do them. Thanks.

One of my favorite movies is The Horse Whisperer, and one of my favorite lines in the movie is when Kristin Scott Thomas' character, a New York City magazine editor, says to Robert Redford after spending the day working a bunch of calves on Redford's Montana ranch, "Is it cocktail hour yet?"

Happy hour is an important part of life on our farm, even if, as is common this time of year, it doesn't start until after 8pm.

So when my publishing network, BlogHer, asked if I wanted to be part of a review program for Michelob's new ULTRA Light Cider, of course I said yes.

More below. . .

Confession: I'm a white wine spritzer kind of girl, especially during the summer. Go ahead and make fun (and don't worry, I'm not diluting any great vintages) but when the weather is warm, I want a refreshing happy hour drink, preferably with ice. Sometimes I even want a straw. If it's hot out, I don't even want champagne (gasp).

I fell in love with hard apple cider 20 years ago while driving around New England. It's a lightly fizzy, fermented alcoholic drink that's brewed like beer but made with apples. It was tasty and fun to drink but awfully sweet—which is exactly why Michelob says they created their all natural ULTRA Light Cider. It comes in six-packs of 12-ounce glass bottles, has 120 calories per bottle, is naturally sweetened with stevia, and is even naturally gluten-free.

So how does it taste? Almost too good. And exactly as advertised: crisp, light, and refreshing. I liked it best really cold straight from the bottle, but it was also very nice over ice. The straw is optional.

To learn more about Michelob ULTRA Light Cider or to find it near you, visit the Michelob ULTRA website. And find out what other bloggers thought of it, check out the Michelob ULTRA Light Cider page on

Donkeys heading in for happy hour -

So, is it cocktail hour yet?

©, home of seven wild and crazy (and sometimes hungover) donkeys, even if they don't drink cider.


  1. Oh I can't wait to try this. I love hard cider, but wasn't all too pleased to see it was 200 calories a bottle! Thanks for the info.

    1. Yikes - 200 calories a bottle? For that much I'd probably have cake instead. ;) The only thing about this Michelob cider is that it goes down really easy, so you might end up consuming more than 120 calories. :)

    2. It's still better at 120/bottle... considering I have been known to consume *cough* 4 *cough* bottles in one evening. :)

  2. I know these 'advertorials' are an income stream for you. I work in Marketing and I've crafted these commercial testimonials many times and pitched them to various entities. They're a very effective marketing tool...for the advertiser. But I can't tell you how sad seeing them on your blog makes me. Every time you write or pine 'for hire', you diminish your brand. You taint the trust your readers have in your wonderful perspective. It is selling out in its puret form.

    I so enjoy your blog. I hope these are worth it to you, but when I see them, I click right off. :(


    1. Hi Tracy,
      Thanks for your feedback; I appreciate your taking the time to write.

      These BlogHer review posts are a new venture for me, and I am taking them very seriously, just as I take my readers' trust very seriously. I do not endorse or recommend products - whether they are things I bought myself or have received for review - unless I think they are worth purchasing.

      Thanks to my publishing network, BlogHer, I am able to spend many hours a week blogging. This is because BlogHer provides quality advertising for my blog - and over 2,500 other blogs in our network.

      Because of the way online advertising is changing, just running static ads on sites is no longer enough to satisfy the advertisers - especially the big ones, like Anheuser Busch, who spend millions of dollars a year on advertising.

      So BlogHer has formed partnerships with advertisers that help both them and us. Their products are spotlighted, and we are compensated.

      And if nobody in the network is willing to participate in the product review programs, then there will be no advertising revenue - and many of us will no longer be able to spend so much time blogging and offer all of our blog content to readers around the world for FREE.

      As it is, I earn about minimum wage blogging - and I've been doing it for seven years. I love it, so I keep doing it, but I can't work this full time job for free. I already do that with farming. :)

      I think long and hard before agreeing to do each specific review program with BlogHer, because I do not want to promote a product I do not believe in. All of the opinions about a product are my own, and I am free to say whatever I like in these posts. If I don't like it, I will say so.

      I do get paid to be a part of these review programs, but I spend a lot of time on them and go out of my way to make them as entertaining as the rest of my blog content, with farm photos and personal anecdotes.

      I do hope you will continue to follow along with Farmgirl Fare. The nice thing about blogs is that it is very easy to simply scroll past any post that isn't of interest.

      I often go months without participating in any BlogHer review programs, but there just happens to be a flurry of them lately. I don't have any control over the publishing dates.

      So I guess the question is - would you rather have to scroll past a review post every once in a while, or not have any Farmgirl Fare at all?

      Again, thanks for your feedback.

    2. Susan- As the kids today say - "No Worries". Every review, thought you give is another incite into you. YOU are the reason many of us have been coming here for YEARS. Animal pictures are cute and make me feel good and make me laugh BUT, FG is a regular stop because there is a story and stories take time. I expect you to get paid for the vast amount of time you spend here. There's a handy scroll wheel on my mouse when I don't have the time or interest in the subject.
      As always- Cheers! Susan Gordon

  3. I like Bud Light with Lime on really hot days. Can't get Tequiza up here in Colorado.

    1. Hi Susie Q,
      Do you know I've never actually tried beer with lime? It does sound really refreshing!

    2. What a weird coincidence! As I am reading this I am drinking a Michelob ULTRA Lime Cactus with 5.5 g of carbs and 95 calories (not that what's in it in that regard makes a bit of difference to me - I simply don't care about carbs and calories, never have).

      I just found the stuff at the store this weekend because I didn't have time to go to the liquor store for my favorite beer, which is the Erdinger Dark Hefe-Weizen. That stuff is wonderful, and seeing as how it is called Dark, a lot of people steer away from it. But it's extremely mellow for a dark beer and tastes SOOOOOO much like beer used to taste before all this pilsner and designer beer came along. I do like the Lime Cactus as a change-out beer, but I'll go back to the Hefe-Weizen as soon as I can. I drink about 12 beers a year, so it's a very special treat!

      I remember when I was growing up my Dad and some of my Uncle's were sitting on the front porch on a hot day having a Hamm's beer and Dad gave me a taste (I was probably 7 or so). One taste was enough, but I know as a high schooler I drank Hamm's and Grain Belt, even though the other kids called it bunny piss. Oh well, count me odd I guess.

      BTW, I love your blog. Alas, I have the Kaspersky ISS so it blocks all ads (YAY!). I don't mind if people use the ads though, if it's their way of supporting their blog activity. It's just that I don't get much time on the computer so I don't want to have to compete with ads to do my reading.

  4. I found some of this in Tucson last Friday, the "big box" liquor store had a partial 6-pack of 4 bottles! LOL!!
    I'm glad you like it, I found it just a bit TOO light for me. I much prefer Hornsby's Crisp Apple cider. Michelob Ultra is my beer of choice too.
    Keep up the good work, it is nice to be able to read reviews from real people on new products! :)

    1. Hi Candy,
      Ha, it sounds like maybe somebody at the liquor store was doing a little product sampling. The Ultra cider is definitely light. As soon as I tasted it I thought it would be a great drink if you're out at the beach or at a bbq. I guess a lot of people associate hard cider with cold weather (I know I always do) so this puts a fun summer spin on it. I'm not familiar with Hornsby's - I'll have to check it out.

      So glad you're enjoying the reviews! :)

  5. Dear Susan, I totally understand Tracy B.'s feelings--I get a twinge of them myself--but I also completely understand that you need an income stream as well. Sigh. I would really hate to lose your blog and the enrichment it brings to my life every now and then when I check in!! I can take a few "endorsements" as long as you assure us as you have above that you aren't just selling out. And by the way, I am a Mike's Hard Lemonade (in all its varieties) girl myself! ;)

    1. Hi Michelle,
      Thanks for your feedback, but I'm not even sure what you (and Tracy B.) mean by 'selling out.' Here is how I see things:

      I have been working extremely hard creating TOTALLY FREE blog content for readers around the world for 7 years.

      I spend 30 to 40 hours a week blogging - and pretty much the rest of the time thinking about blogging.

      In a good month, I'm lucky to earn minimum wage.

      And just like everyone else, I have lots of bills to pay.

      The bulk of my blogging income is derived from advertising income, just like millions of other businesses.

      The bulk of the advertising on my blog (and 2,500+ other mostly women bloggers' blogs) is provided by my publishing network, BlogHer, the leading cross-platform media network created by, for and with women social media leaders.

      Online advertising rates have plummeted over the last several years. That means I work harder and harder and earn less money.

      Advertisers also demand more.

      So when BlogHer says to me, Hey, we have a huge advertising campaign we're going to run for Michelob ULTRA Light Cider, and we're looking for 150 of our bloggers to try the cider out and write an honest, personal blog post about what they think about it, and if we can't find those bloggers, then the cider campaign won't run, and we'll pay you for your time, then YES, I am going to do it.

      And then, as always, I put 110% into my job, creating a unique, entertaining review blog post - that no one is required to read - including original farm photos that talks about a product I think some of my readers might like.

      And that, to me, is not in the least bit 'selling out.'

  6. I so appreciate your honesty and openness with the commenters here, Farmgirl. I've actually sorta enjoyed the reviews you've been doing. Especially because I know that it serves such a definite purpose in your world.

    And then you review hard cider? I'll be ok :)

    My two cents: Hornsby's is delicious, but summertime is a perfect moment to try Woodchuck Green Apple. soooo good :)

    1. Hi Kstroess,
      I"m so glad you've been enjoying the reviews. Yeah, this cider campaign is definitely a fun one. :)

      I haven't had Woodchuck in years. I'll have to check out the green apple. Thanks for the tip!

  7. Farmgirl Susan, you are way too nice. I would have had very different words for Tracy B. I'll keep my comment to a minimum here to avoid saying something I'll regret, so just know that you could include an advertorial or whatever the hell it's called every day and I would still follow you religiously. Like it or hate it, advertising is what it is, and I'll take this form over any other any day of the week.

  8. i would rather hear about products from people i trust than from celebrities and actors. that review was very informative and i'm going to try the product. i would have never known about such a thing as i dont watch tv commercials or read magazines where that kind of advertising usually is. so thanks susan and all i have to say to blogher is SEND HER MORE PRODUCTS TO REVIEW!!!!!

    1. Ha, thanks so much. I'm glad you're enjoying the reviews. I'm like you - I never would have heard of this cider either. And after about the third sip I was thinking, wow, this stuff is probably going to be a really big hit. And then I blinked and the bottle was empty. ;)

  9. Am I seeing double or does that donkey really have two bodies. I swear... I only had one bud lime tonight (my drink of choice). Don't mind you blogging about Miller's cider.. probably won't try it because I am only an "apple" cider fan that is made fresh in the fall. I will take another look at the donkey(s) when that one beer has "left the building"

    1. Ha! I hadn't noticed that, but you're right. Fresh pressed apple cider? YUM. :)

  10. Did anyone else notice the one head, two bodies effect in the first picture? Love those donkeys!

    1. You never know what you're going to see in Donkeyland! ;)

  11. I'm thrilled that you did this review! I gave up hard cider years ago due to its calorie and sugar content, and I'm super happy to hear that Michelob's new cider is sweetened with stevia. I will go to the store and buy this TODAY because of your review! The people who click away due to a review are sure missing out. I start every morning by coming to your blog, even if it's only to reread the previous day's post, because it just makes me so happy. Our whole family gathers around in the mornings to see what the donkeys are up to and be entertained by your hilarious wit :) Thanks for bringing a smile to our faces every time we visit.

  12. I love your blog, and appreciate all the time and effort you put into showing us all glimpses of your life each day. Seems to me if Tracy B is truly in the business of marketing, you wouldn't have to explain the necessity of the occasional review. For the record, the reviews don't bother me - hey, blogs are all about learning about new things, people and places, so if you decide to review a hard cider - girl, I'm with ya! Never hurts to try a new cocktail now and then either...

    Keep up the good work :)

  13. Dear Susan,
    As a seven year blogger myself, and one who cannot afford to work full-time for minimum wage and therefore does not even try, my hat is off to you for doing what needs to be done to keep bringing Farmgirl Fare to your large and ever-expanding audience of readers. Your true voice is always there and that is what your readers want - except for Tracy, evidently. Besides, you're very effective; I found myself wanting to go buy myself a Michelob light cider, and I don't even drink cider, being more of a white wine spritzer gal myself. : )
    I know that I will always be able to trust that you will bring honesty and integrity to whatever you need to do to keep your wonderful farm life posts going out into the world, and that's enough for me. Cheers!

  14. Some of these comments remind me of the complaints seen on other sites about nutrition info not being included. Waaaa Waaa Waa, A job is a job, and if it lets you do what you enjoy most- ignore the whining. We as a society need to know to read for content and ignore the unimportant or unnecessary details included. I personally enjoy the animal stories less than the photos and the RECIPES. If I need to read through the stories to get the recipes I am happy to do so. Please keep up the GREAT work.

  15. Oh, Susan! I think the bulk of your readers must be some of the most intelligent readers out there!! Today, I enjoyed reading (most of) THEIR comments as much as I enjoyed reading the blog! I'm not a hard cider girl, either, but it doesn't matter! Others in my house DO enjoy it so it was interesting to me anyway! The latest "find" I want to add is from Fox Barrel...hard PEAR cider! It's out of Minnesota and not available everywhere...yet! One of my boys found it in Michigan and I found it in Wisconsin...but it might be near you soon! Keep watching! And.....we like you just the way you are! Don't ever change!!! (Chris in Indiana)

  16. If you like the Horse Whisperer, you'll really like the movie Buck, if you haven't seen it already. It's a documentary about the real life Whisperer---amazing to watch him work with the horses and learn his life story.

  17. I agree with Mitsy. Just please keep the photos coming.


  18. i tried it. it was good. i sent emails about it (and your lovely blog full of sheep and donkeys) to some friends and family and my daughter, who is with her girlfriends from high school this weekend for a baby shower, went out and tried it and liked it so much they bought a whole bunch for the party. so whatever they paid you, they made it back a few times over i am sure. now all we need are COUPONS!!!!

    and as i said earlier....hey blogher...send susan more products to try and to review. she is worth her weight in gold!!!

  19. "Is it cocktail hour yet? Just for that, God, I can hear them thinking, you can write about anything. This is SOOO you, Farmgirl Susan. advertizing or not, money or not, keep it comimg... Zaza

  20. I understand the need to make a living, especially when one is trying to farm. I'm reminded of the joke of the farmer who won the lottery and when he was asked what he was going to do with the money, he replied, "I'm going to farm until it's all gone." ; ). I'm curious, do you guys just support yourselves by blogging and farming or does one of you have a job off the farm?

    1. Ha, that sounds like the old saying about the restaurant business (which I used to be in). How do you make a million dollars? Start with two million and buy a restaurant! :)

      Unfortunately farming and blogging do not fully support us, though they do take up most of our time. We've done all sorts of other work over the years to get by and help pay the bills, but right now the blogging revenue is a vital part of our income.

  21. Hi Everybody,
    Thanks so much for your wonderful comments. Your kind words and support mean more than I can say. Thank you.


December 2015 update: Hi! For some reason I can't figure out, Blogger hasn't been letting me leave comments on my own blog (!) for the last several months, so I've been unable to respond to your comments and questions. My apologies for any inconvenience! You're always welcome to email me: farmgirlfare AT gmail DOT com.

Hi! Thanks for visiting Farmgirl Fare and taking the time to write. While I'm not always able to reply to every comment, I receive and enjoy reading them all.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated, and I especially love hearing about your experiences with my recipes. Comments on older posts are always welcome!

Please note that I moderate comments, so if I'm away from the computer it may be a while before yours appears.

I try my best to answer all questions, though sometimes it takes me a few days. And sometimes, I'm sorry to say, they fall through the cracks, and for that I sincerely apologize.

I look forward to hearing from you and hope you enjoy your e-visits to our farm!