When Will Sullivan and Kyle Crosby bonded over cider on a fateful day in Washington, D.C., they were destined for bromance. But why stop there? The cider soul brothers agreed their mutual love of unfiltered, natural cider called for a partnership of its own: Supreme Core Cider. Since opening a taproom this year and claiming the position as D.C.’s second cidery after ANXO Cidery, Supreme Core has taken the license to get creative in a community that is just getting acquainted with the beverage, but always down for adventure. Speaking of adventure, Crosby became a new father this year (on the day of our interview — cheers!), so Sullivan took the lead to give us the scoop on the team’s experience as new business owners and what’s to come.
Cidercraft: So far, what’s been your favorite part of running a cidery and what’s been the biggest challenge?
Will Sullivan: It’s hard to say what my “favorite” part is. It’s sort of an integrated experience. Running your own company is such a fire hose of everything at once all the time — you either love it all or you’re miserable. I think Kyle and I are the rare weirdos who just kind of love it all. The most challenging part has been the timeline. If you want to build something quickly, a brick-and-mortar business in an old warehouse in a highly regulated industry in the middle of an urban center may not be for you. It’s not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure. But the biggest challenges can also yield the biggest rewards.
CC: On your website you say you want to meet people who think they don’t like cider. Has this happened yet, and did you turn them into a fan?
WS: This happens literally every single day. Here’s how the conversation typically goes:
Will or Kyle: Would you like to try some cider?
Person: No, sorry, I don’t like cider….
Will or Kyle: Can I ask why you don’t like cider?
Person: Yeah, it’s just too sweet.
Will or Kyle: Yeah, ours is done the right way, and has next to zero residual sugar.
Person: [Takes a sip.] You just changed my life! Marry me! #arresteddevelopment #maybebluth
OK, I took some artistic license there, but you get the idea.
CC: Any ciders you are especially looking forward to making?
WS: All of them, we’re looking especially forward to making all the ciders. We pride ourselves on doing things differently. Experimentation and creativity, applying fermentation and production techniques the right way to produce something awesome that’s never been done before. Those are hallmarks of our mission. It’s like all the great innovators in craft beer before us — we’re pretty open in our admiration of them. There are dozens of cool concepts we’re currently working on. Recently, we’ve been playing with some pretty out-there yeast strains. I can’t give too much away, but we’ve got some stuff coming up that sort of twists the Rubik’s Cube and showcases the yeast — versus the apple, production process, etc. — as the star of the show.
CC: What about the D.C. cider community stands out to you?
WS: Honestly, what stands out to me is how small it is. And that’s what makes this so exciting. Those of us who are in the industry now are analogs to craft beer guys 25 years ago. There’s this whole, big, awesome beverage category that has been woefully under-explored for decades, and here we are starting something that people are just now starting to love. It’s incredibly exciting. Like so many U.S. cities, D.C. is such a great place for true craft cider because you have a population of people who are adventurous and love to try new things. It’s a melting pot of early adapters from everywhere — particularly when it comes to food and beverage — and that just makes it such a rewarding place to be doing something new and innovative.