Published on September 4th, 2013 | by Katy Evans1
Washington Celebrates Cider (its Almost Signature Booze)
Hard cider is most definitely on the popularity uptick thanks in part to the growing national aversion to gluten. But let’s not make this about whether or not we find this trend tiresome and not-so-great for our friends dealing with Celiac. No, now is a time for celebration.
Autumn is approaching, apples are ripening, and harvest is impending; gluten avoiders and gluten embracers, now we join together and toast with CIDER!
All that to say, it’s Washington Cider Week (and cider is gluten free).
Washington celebrates this most delectable alcoholic beverage September 5th-15th with an extended week of events (maybe next year it will be Washington Cider Fortnight) presented by the Northwest Cider Association.
When I first surveyed the site, it looked like Tacoma, despite our undeniable commitment to the drink, was woefully underrepresented. Thankfully it turns out our discerning friends at Pint Defiance and The Red Hot are there to tantalize our cider palates.
Between the two, you have eight cider events to fit in over 12 days so get ready. It’s time to mark calendars for some very special, very quaffable Cider Week events right here in town.
Events at Pint Defiance & Red Hot
From Pint Defiance’s Facebook page:
“Started in 2007, Two Beers hold a strong belief in supporting the local economy, taking pride in using Washington ingredients to create all of its handcrafted beers.
Seattle Cider Co. is a new venture from the Two Beers crew, launching this month. Committed to local and quality craft cider like Two Beers is to brew, they are the first cidery in Seattle since prohibition.
The Two Beers/Seattle Cider crews will be on hand to talk shop about your favorite fermented beverage and to give away some schwag. We’ll have draft offerings from both on tap; From Two Beers—Pumpkin Spice Ale, a fresh hop IPA, a very rare keg of bourbon-barrel aged Heart of Darkness CDA, and we’ll have an extremely fresh keg of Seattle Cider to pour for you.”
Red Hot: South Sound debut of Seattle Cider Co.: Seattle’s first post-Prohibition cidery, 5 pm:
Seattle Cider Co. is representing in two locations in Tacoma with their largest presence at Red Hot. Six different ciders will be tapped:
1. Dry (dry & tart, notes of green apple & spicy/estery notes)
2. Semi Sweet (touch of sweetness, honey in color, hints of citrus)
3. New England (fortified w/raisins & brown sugar)
4. Pumpkin (fermented w/pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, clove)
5. Gin Botanical (fermented & aged on gin botanicals: juniper berries, cucumbers, verbena, lavender, orange peel, lemon peel)
6. Pacific Northwest Berry
Pint Defiance: Daily Tastes
Throughout Washington Cider Week, Pint Defiance will offer “taste” sized 6 oz pours of bottle conditioned ciders so customers can try the many ciders in the cider cooler. “Taste” details will be shared on their Facebook page.
Pint Defiance: Sunday Sampler, 11:30 am – 4 pm
Pint Defiance will feature Washington ciders exclusively and representatives from Tieton Cider Works will be on hand to talk about their ciders. The sampler will include a chance to taste the Tieton Smoked Pumpkin Cider as well as ciders from Seattle Cider Co. and Schilling.
Red Hot: Whitewood Cider Co. Night, 5 pm
Whitewood is a “nano” cidery in Olympia, Washington, crafting ciders from local apples in the traditional way: apples are picked and pressed each Autumn, aged through the Winter, then racked and blended in the spring.
1. Old Fangled Heirloom Blend (100% WA grown blend of Jonathan, McIntosh, Gravenstein, & winesap. Dry & crisp w/clean citrus flavors)
2. South Sounder (100% South Sound community grown apples, flavors of apricot & green grape, tannic bite)
Red Hot: Schilling Cider Night, 5 pm
Another Seattle-based hard cider crafter, stop in to check out their inventive ciders:
1. Schilling Original (blend of 100% Washington apples w/light dry hopping of NW whole leaf hops)
2. Radler Session Cider (w/grapefruit & lemon)
Red Hot: Tieton Cider Night, 5 pm
Produced from Yakima Valley apples and other local fruits, Tieton Cider Works makes hyperlocal ciders they consider to be the “expression of the harvest and reflective of the fruit and the place that is is grown,” and who are we to argue.
1. Apricot (crisp, tartness of apricot, notes of fresh and dried apricot)
2. Cherry (A well balanced apple cider blended with Cherry w/big mouth feel & long finish)
3. Wild WA Apple (w/pineapple aroma & pronounced mineral quality that gives the cider a lively mouth feel. Notes of green apple & preserved lemon)
4. Yakima Valley Dry Hop (aroma of fruit-forward nuttyness followed by a citrusy palate)
5. Special Surprise Randallized Cider (in the past we have done Cherry cider thru cocao nibs, wild WA apple thru our home grown hops, Dry Hop thru oak chips, etc)
Pint Defiance: Sunday Cider Sampler, 11:30 am – 4 pm
The Sunday sampler will feature ciders from around the country. More information will be forthcoming on the Pint Defiance facebook page.
And remember, September 7th is Tacoma Craft Beer Festival where many of these and other ciders will also be featured. Cheers, Tacoma!