British expat Jeffrey House got his start in the American drinks industry in 1977. At the time, he was importing British beverage brands to southern California and exporting California wines back to England. To satiate his thirst for cider of scrumpys back home, he launched The California Cider Co. and ACE Cider in 1993. Serving as the West Coast’s first commercial cidery, ACE also made the United States’ first perry and opened the nation’s first cider brewpub. After 22 years, business is still booming, with 30 percent growth in 2015, nearly $12 million in annual sales and distribution in 46 states, according to House. A true family operation, House runs the cidery with his three sons and wife, Angela.
Outside of the family biz, Angela House has her own legacy—she was in the original Star Wars movie. From the famous “cantina scene” in “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope,” she played Brea Tonnika, one of the sultry twin con artists under the New World, the political program adopted by the Galactic Empire after the Clone Wars. Star Wars fanatics can now relish in a cider of their own, labeled with the face of Brea Tonnika (or Angela House) on the neck of the bottle. This commemorative, limited-edition cider is also out in time for the new episode of this eternal space saga, “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens,” opening December 18.
A crowdsourced flavor concept, blood orange was the popular vote of ACE Facebook followers when polled about the flavor they were craving. The fan-demanded spACE Bloody Orange is luminous and vibrant in color, seeping with blood orange in shades of tangy, tart and sweet citrus fruit. Juicy apple builds a foundation on the palate while the bold blood orange, carbonation and acid move sprightly across the mid, finishing with an off-dry zest and nod to Star Wars nerdom.
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