Seattle’s newest — and maybe smallest — cidery ferments Washington-grown apples with a culinary slant. After spending many years in the restaurant scene, and removing himself to work for Boeing, owner and cidermaker Chris Brownrigg of Brownrigg Hard Cider returned to hospitality by planting 44 fruit trees on a test orchard adjacent to his home in Seattle. Nearly half of those trees hold apples, while the others tout cherries, figs and other tree fruit in addition to plantings of hops, basil and other culinary ingredients.
“I have access to amazing local ingredients at the hub of modern cidermaking here in Seattle,” Brownrigg says. “If I can make a splash here with talented large and small cidermakers I know the recipes can go far.”
One of his recipes is his popular Ginger — a semi-sweet cider base he infuses with fresh-pressed organic Hawaiian ginger root then ferments the pulp for even more spice — which he also sees fit in a culinary form.
“We use the yearling ginger in our cider — it’s from Pinner Creek Organics on the big island, Hilo,” Brownrigg details. “The rhizome changes in the second year becoming more woody, fibrous and oily hot. Light and healthful tasting, this more citrusy, dry ginger cider brings that same fresh exuberance [you see served with] poke, sushi and sashimi.”
This simple marinade using the Brownrigg Ginger cider is, naturally, a great accompaniment for fish, Brownrigg says. “Well-curated cider can elevate a dish by supporting the intention of the meal,” he adds. “The intersection of a flavorful food and cider allows each to benefit… Both items carrying weight and allowing each to complement the other. This is my goal for my ciders and food.”