5 Events for Summer Cider Fun

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As if you need a reason to celebrate cider, we’re giving you all the more reason to do so. Cider…

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In Canada, no one pours more cider than Her Father’s Cider Bar + Kitchen. The Toronto-based cider-centric bar and eatery opened last May with 60 seats for the cider-loving public. Upon entry, the restaurant reveals a massive cider cooler for retail purchases, but the magic happens behind the counter where Her Father’s serves up cider three ways: in the glass, from the shaker and on the plate.

Boy brews beer. Girl drinks cider. Boy meets girl, makes her cider and eventually wins her over. Now boy and girl make cider as Chicago’s first licensed cidery, Right Bee Cider. Tenured brewer Charlie Davis and cider enthusiast Katie Morgan launched their urban cidery in late 2014, providing the cider-happy city with its own apple tipple.

First things first: ^5 is pronounced “high five.” The nano cidery — based in Portland, Oregon — keeps it weird like its city is known for, with each limited production cider it makes donning an equally exclusive name. Such is the case with Your Princess is in Another Castle, a barrel-aged sour peach cider. In a proud feminist nod to the male dominant beverage industry (and also a Super Mario Bros.

Shoulder season weather calls for comfort food, and few dishes hit the mark like French onion soup. A favorite menu item at Sonoma Cider‘s recently opened taproom and restaurant in Healdsburg, California, Executive Chef Jordan Adorni uses the house’s apple brandy as the flavor base to the sumptuous soup.
“Apple brandy creates a depth of flavor that can’t be obtained by simply using beef stock and herbs,” Adorni explains.

Another seasonal makes the rounds for Bock Rock Hard Cider, just in time to blow the winter blues away. The Citrus Cider was released in the end of January, promising a sunny glow in its packaging, color and overall flavor.
Burgeoning from its rural roots to the United States’ largest independently owned craft cidery, this four-year-old maker brings Blue Ridge Mountains apples home to the Nellysford, Virginia, production facility for each of its ciders.

A fruit basket in the already agriculturally abundant Pacific Northwest, wild and domesticated trees dot the highways that saunter through Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula. It’s from these trees — the fruit trees of neighbors, forgotten orchards of owners past, feral arboreal along the lazy turnpikes — that Eaglemount Wine & Cider got its start.

Cider has been in the Beck family for generations. Whether its production was legal or not is another story, but the current generation, with Mike Beck at the helm, is playing by all the rules and bringing Michigan cider to the forefront of the industry. The original 1918 packing house was converted into a cider mill in the 1970s by Beck’s parents, and when the time came to pass the fifth-generation, 240-acre farm down, Beck decided to turn those apples into Uncle John’s Hard Cider.

I spend a lot of time researching, thinking, talking, tasting and drinking cider. As editor-in-chief of this magazine and two other publications we produce, I can’t say I am teeming with spare time but when I get a moment, I like to cook. My husband is the more adept knife wielder in the kitchen and risotto is certainly one of his honed specialties — so when I took over the helm for the evening, he was cautiously (and carefully) glancing over my shoulder.

Maine is home to over 15 makers of cider and all fall into the southern portion of the state. In the physical middle of the pack, Norumbega Cidery sits on a family farmstead — complete with pigs and crops — in New Gloucester, about 35 minutes north of Portland. The Fralich family got their first apple trees in the ground in 2014, following the growing orchard with a farm-style ciderhouse and the resulting ciders.

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