For aspiring cidermakers, Branden Welshons and Connor Meznarich of California-based Jean Marie Cidery were given a golden opportunity: complete access to a small orchard in exchange for the maintenance and care of the trees. While taking on this tedious task, weekends for the two were nonexistent, but pulling weeds, pruning and fixing drip lines was worth it to get the foundation of their cider business built.
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.
From West to East and everywhere in between, the craft cider industry is continuing to expand with each sip. As our palates develop, so do the cidermakers and signatures cider that bring us back for more. According to recent Nielsen data released at CiderCon, local and regional cider was up nearly 40 percent in 2016, with each state seeing cideries pop up nearby. Expand your cider reach with these four new cideries in different regions of the South.
The mere mention of Salem, Massachusetts, calls to mind an array of related images: Pointy hats, black cats, the hocus pocus we’ve seen in movies and television, and the etchings in history books chronicling the witch trials of 1692.
From its world-famous Halloween celebrations to the museums and magic shops lining the historic downtown, it can be a challenge to escape the witchcraft that brought a majority of visitors to Salem in the first place.
In this Valentine’s Day cocktail built for two, Stem Cider‘s L’Acier is the perfect partner. The Denver cidery’s bright, clean and dry cider also shoots out tannin for structure and dry fruit notes, working as a broad and crisp cider topping to this approachable cocktail.
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.
An apple a day is coming easier and easier with new cideries opening up across North America. From the East to West Coasts, north to south and everywhere in between, cidermakers are thriving in the industry and everyone wants in. Taste what’s available near you with these five new West Coast cideries.
Western Cider Co. | Missoula, MT
With plans to open in March, Western Cider Co. will be the first ever cidery to come to Missoula.
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.