This week our ciders are being featured at Bushwacker Cider in Portland. All week long (or until the cider runs out), Cliffbreaks Blend, Orchard Select and Dry will be on tap. Thursday the 31st, come on down at 6:30 to taste through the whole lineup of our bottled ciders, including our méthode Champenoise perry!
We're very excited about a lot of things we've got cookin' around here, not least of which is being part of the Local Harvest Dinner at Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort this Sunday evening!
Chef Ken MacDonald is an amazing chef who is proud to produce delicious eats from local sources – organic fruit & veg from the valley and Sleeping Lady's own garden, meats from the best producers in our region, etc. etc. This Sunday we will be on the menu as well, as our cider is braising pork and will be paired with a delicious menu.
Don't miss this event, it'll be a wonderful evening with good company at an amazing location!
Mark you calendars for Washington Cider Week! As the cider industry booms in the northwest (and really around the world), cider makers, pubs, restaurants and chefs will be supporting the noble apple with new recipes, cider pairings, classes, flights and a whole host of other features. Events are starting to come together, so watch the event page or our own Facebook page to keep abreast of happenings in your area.
September is one of the most beautiful times of year all across Washington, so you could even organize your own event and do a rolling cidery tour through the state. Apple harvest should just be getting underway by then and the tops of the cascades are usually starting to show their gorgeous fall colors.
This spring we thought we'd submit our ciders to a competition in England, to see if we could get some feedback of judges from a different market, palate and history. We chose the Three Counties Show, where the Three Counties Cider & Perry Association puts on an international cider & perry competition each year, and exists for the purpose of improving the quality of cider & perry in England. Since shipping to England is expensive (we dropped $300) we picked just three of our products, Cidermaker's Reserve, Perry Reserve, and Cliffbreaks Blend, as they stood out to us as having the most distinctive characteristics of cider apples and perry pears.
Well, we ended up getting more than just feedback – we actually won medals … two golds and a silver at that! Cidermaker’s Reserve and Perry Reserve, both crafted in the méthode Champenoise, placed first in each of their categories (bottle-fermented cider and bottle-fermented perry, respectively), and Cliffbreaks Blend placed second in the medium-sweet cider category.
The champagne method is new territory for us this year, and so is perry for that matter, but we had some really outstanding flavors come out of the last couple harvests and we wanted to do something extra special to highlight their character. Méthode Champenoise takes a lot more work, but the in-bottle fermentation process helps retain some of the more delicate aromas as well as imparting a smooth, honey-like character. It’s really encouraging to see the extra work pay off with the English judges’ approval!
Charley Voorhis, who did our cider production video, has just released another incredible piece for Olympia Coffee Roasting Company. Captured during a 10-day trip to multiple sites within Central America, this video captures the process, places and faces involved in bringing incredible coffee from its origin to your cup.
Curious what happens after it's harvested, processed, dried, sorted, and shipped to Olympia? This video should satisfy that curiosity.
As farmers, producers of a full-flavored drink and, let's face it, flavor nerds, there are a multitude of similarities between the approach to making cider and roasting coffee. Both are subject to the forces of nature, climate and terroir. Both are affected by how the fruit is handled after picking. And both are capable of packing a whallop of complex and delicious flavors if handled with care and finesse.