The music industry has long-term ties to the beverage trade, often times for better or for worse. For better, musicians have found passions in drink and committed to the cause by starting their own production — both Dave Matthews of the Dave Matthews Band and Maynard James Keenan of Tool own successful wine labels. Now it is cider’s turn with Herb’s Cider out of Bellingham, Washington. Drummer Tim “Herb” Alexander – best known for Primus, A Perfect Circle and even time with the Blue Man Group — has released bottles of his nicknamesake cider, with a taproom to come later this summer.
Harking back on a family history in Kentucky moonshining, Alexander and his wife fermented a blend of apples and Japanese pears leftover from their garden in the fall of 2016. For the inaugural release of the semi-dry Single Stroke, they used 100 percent organic Washington apples. The musician was praised for his polyrhythmic drumming — the simultaneous use of two or more conflicting rhythms, a tempo also measured in this cider. Rich, ripe golden fruit aromas build into flavors of pear, earth and sharp green apple tartness. The polyrhythm comes into play in the balance between off-dry and tart, full-bodied and crisp. The cider finishes apple-forward, juicy and easy. Written while listening to “Jerry Was A Race Car Driver.”