Cider on the Move


Summer ain’t over yet. Here are a few goodies to get in your bag for the ultimate summer of cider…


By Erin James
The straight-forward, no-nonsense, GYO (grow-your-own) experts at Oregon’s multi-beverage producer Rogue recently launched a cider division of their eventual drink industry takeover. The brewery-distillery-farm dipped their toe into the cider business with a dry-hopped cider and shortly after released a few other one-offs, with the Fruit Salad sticking.

By Erin James

Apple orchards are some of the few agricultural endeavors in North America that can count multiple generations in their tenured histories. Washington Depot, Connecticut-based Averill Farm is one of the oldest, continuously functioning family owned-and-operated farms in the country, since the Averills first purchased it from Chief Waramaug of the Potatuck tribe in 1746.

By Erin James
Farming is in Paul Kolling’s genes and results of said farming is on his jeans. As the fourth generation in his line of family farmers, Kolling was a geoscientist by trade but was brought back to the land his roots were sowed into in 1983 and began to farm his Sonoma County organic apple orchard full time. Shortly after, he and his wife launched Nana Mae’s Organics, the acclaimed fruit produce supplier inspired by and named for Kolling’s late grandmother.

By Erin James
For most cideries, the story begins in the orchard. However, for most cideries, that orchard is not an estate property. With Doc’s Draft Hard Cider, they decided to buy the farm first in 1989 and attempt to live the dream. After an abundant apple crop was harvested, the idea of hard cider was formulated and five years later, the cidery opened.

By Erin James
Home to 1,500 cider apple trees, production facility, family farm and home, Dragon’s Head Cider is a microculture of its own. Owned-and-operated by Wes and Laura Cherry, the Vashon, Washington, cidery was named for the dragon who guards the apples of immortality in Greek Mythology’s Garden of Hesperides—the beast also shields the cidery’s bottles as the label.

After spending half a year at a vineyard in southern France, Jason MacArthur fell smitten with cider. Fifteen years later, he and his wife, Lauren, matured that infatuation and opened their own cidery in Marlboro, Vermont and named it for the brook that ran alongside their property. Using exclusively local apples (although this year they reached out to Poverty Lane Orchards in Lebanon, New Hampshire) and fruit from their own modest orchard, Whetstone CiderWorks‘ bottle labels sport Mr.

This story originally ran on our sister publication’s website, Sip Northwest.
By Erin James
Business is good for Liberty Ciderworks, the young Spokane, Washington urban cidery that quickly moved from a hobby to a booming profession. Since launching in July 2013 then introducing Spokane (and much of Washington State) to a cidery tap room, Liberty is continuing to expand and doing so with its first full-time hire outside of owner Rick Hastings and his partner Austin Dickey.

Story has it that fictional protagonist and beloved narcoleptic wilderness-man Rip Van Winkle (in the namesake story by author Washington Irving) wandered through New York’s Catskills Mountains, following a man dressed in dated Dutch clothing. The man led him toward the sound of rolling thunder, which ended up being a game of nine-pins (bowling with—you guessed it—nine pins). RPW joined in, drank some moonshine with his new Dutch friends and passed out for 20 years.

By Erin James
The most promising piece I pulled away from the United States Association of Cider Makers fourth annual conference held in Chicago last week wasn’t the impressive statistics. According to Boston Beer Co. and Angry Orchard’s Robert Vail, the number of cider drinkers grew more than six times in the last two years and my hometown of Seattle is the No. 2 market in the country. It wasn’t the 353 cideries, 35 states and 650+ people represented at the conference either.

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