A Naughty Penguin Invade Morrisville in the Hard Cider World

Naughty Penguin Ciders.jpg

Matt Galiani is the owner of Morrisville's The Naughty Penguin. The Naughty Penguin is new to the world of hard ciders here in the Triangle. Based in Morrisville, Matt Galiani runs this small batch nano cidery. The name Naughty Penguin comes from a nickname Galiani was given in high school. "When I went to open the business, and was thinking of names, all my friends agreed I needed to call it penguin something," he says. Naughty comes when people drink, says Galiani – hence, The Naughty Penguin was born.

For part of our efforts to spread the word of hard cider here in North Carolina during NC Cider Week, we decided to reach out to Matt and ask him a few questions about this wonderful beverage that has come back into the spotlight over the past couple of years.

How did you get into making cider? 

I found it was my favorite thing in the brewery world to make. I also loved how you could make it so simply, but still have a complex taste. The fact that apples are so different from one another, and then the age of the apple can change the taste was awesome to me.

There are so many different types of ingredients one can put into cider. Tell us a little bit about your favorite ingredients – and where do you get your inspiration from?

I love apples as the main ingredient. There are so many different kinds and each tastes different. As a business, I do need to add in other things as well, but for myself, I love making different batches of cider with different apples. 

What's your favorite type of apple used to make cider?

Pink Lady apples. Not sure why. I just love them. 

Hard cider has been gaining a lot of traction again here in the U.S. Can you explain why so many people are reaching for a cider today who might not have picked one up a couple years back. 

Cider is coming out because people have finally realized that it doesn't need to be an overly sugary or carbonated drink. Most of the new ciders or craft ciders are not soda ciders. I am hoping that the traction for taps will allow us more than 1 per location, as people realized there are many different kinds and just as unique as craft beer.

What do you love the most about making ciders?

I love the fact that I can just take some cider and let the yeast go to town. 

What can we expect from The Naughty Penguin as the end of the year draws to a close?

I am so new that I'm just trying to continue to come out with new ciders. I have a bunch of different ideas, but we will see which ones come out. I am excited to finally have a working taproom. We will continue to try and prepare for the new year and with any luck and skill, get some bigger things going as we continue to grow.