Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, get ready for “the greatest cider show on earth” as the Colorado Cider & Beer Circus returns for another year at Copper Mountain Resort in Frisco, Colorado. Sporting a bill of over 30 producers pouring with tickets officially on-sale today, event director Stephanie Carson chats about what to look forward to at this year’s festival, held August 25-26. Since CIDERCRAFT will also be in attendance touting the “Tasting Cider” book, we sat down with Carson — who is also co-owner of Tennessee’s Gypsy Circus Cider (do you see a theme here?) — to talk about why this cider affair needs to be on your calendar.
CIDERCRAFT: What makes the Cider Circus unique?
Stephanie Carson: The Colorado Cider & Beer Circus aims to offer folks a broader understanding of cider, and specifically the quality ciders available in the Rocky Mountain region. We focus on education and ask the cideries to bring their special batches, along with a representative or cidermaker who can answer questions. Beyond that, we love to bring a “show” as part of our events. There are aerial artists, jugglers, face painters, a DJ and a performance by the Delta Saints.
In addition we add unique aspects to the event, such as the Big Top Cheese pairing taking place on Friday night that features CIDERCRAFT editor-in-chief Erin James of and certified cheese professional Michael Landis. Saturday, we have the mobile infusions taking place, where we infuse cider with fresh ingredients to bring that extra layer of flavor.
CC: What is new and exciting this year?
SC: The Big Top Cheese pairing is going to be amazing because of Michael and Erin’s contributions. The Delta Saints have an awesome sound and Copper provides a perfect backdrop. I love this festival because you can park you car on Friday and not move it until Sunday. Copper has great lodging, the village has everything you could want, and there is plenty of activities. There are even several events for the kids, with their ziplining, bumper boats and the new obstacle course, the Wrecktangle.
CC: What is your personal favorite part?
SC: My favorite part is two-fold. One is I love to watch the camaraderie that takes place between the cidermakers. People are so supportive of each other and it’s really cool to see. Secondly, I love to witness the reactions from the attendees. My favorite person is someone who came for the beer offerings, claiming they don’t like cider. More often than not they leave understanding they love craft cider. That’s a win in my book.