Always Drink Responsibly

08 September 2013

Drinking Your Apple a Day - Review of Cider Summit Seattle 2013

The first Friday of September 2013 welcomed the 4th annual Cider Summit Seattle presented by Whole Foods. Cider makers from across the Northwest poured their concoctions of fermented apples. And fermented apples are delicious. If you don't think so then I'll gladly argue you have not tasted local ciders. (Note: we are counting B.C., Oregon & Montana as "local" for the purposes of this piece as the cider summit represented the greater Pac NW)

Tasting cup with 2Towns' Pommeau
A huge plus was that unlike many of the larger scale fests and tastings, it was actually nearly feasible to sample every cider on hand (so long as someone else was driving). Many familiar names were on hand pouring; it was good to see tried & true Washington favorites Finnriver & Tieton as well as less local Woodchuck (Vermont) & Samuel Smith (UK). Even Ace (California) made an appearance. One of our preexisting favorites, Sea Cider from B.C. was on hand- try their "Prohibition"!

Not to knock the ones we know & love well, but our goal was to taste the ciders we had not heard of or hadn't had a chance to try previously. And we were wowed!

"O Sweet Hatchetation!"

 The Oregon ciders we tasted impressed us more than the previous night's epic lightning storm. In particular, Portland Cider is hitting the off-dry nail on the head with their "Sorta Sweet" and likewise with their "Kinda Dry"- truth in advertising and thirst quenching. Carlton Cyderworks got us hooked on their "Carry Nation" - a dangerously delicious semi-sweet and who can resist their colorful labels reverent to cider's history in America? (Read up on the real Carrie Nation here)
When it came to the fruit ciders I have to award my favorite pick to Blue Mountain Cider for their cherry infused cider. I could really taste the cherry come through without an overpowering tartness. If you want to knock someone's socks off with flavor and fool them into thinking they are drinking a liquor, serve up some 2Towns' "Pommeau", a port-like blend of cider and apple brandy. At 20% ABV, it isn't for the faint of heart!

All that being said, we return to our state of Washington for our favorite cider overall- Methow Valley Ciderhouse's "Honey Bear". A balanced sweet cider infused with honey that is lip smacking good. We were told to pair it with spicy Thai food for a yin-yang experience on the taste buds. If you're feeling hoppy, we recommend Eaglemount's Raspberry Hopped Cider - a best of both worlds, when cider met hops.

There is still a way to try these ciders and many, many others! Your local bottle shops as well as Whole Foods Market has all Pac NW ciders on sale through September 15th in celebration of Washington cider week! And if you're a commitment phobe, head to Capitol Cider for a bite to eat and more ciders on tap than anywhere else in town.

Drink an apple a day- after all, cider is gluten free so already it's better for you! ;)