We spend a lot of time talking about craft beer, new craft breweries, and all of the great aging methods used in the brewing industry. However, we also want to note that there are great craft ciderworks out there too! For example, we’ve featured Accomplice Brewery and Ciderworks before. Those guys really know how to make some amazing cider! Today we want to focus on other ciderworks though, as there are actually more than a few across the United States that are bringing out the popularity of craft cider.
Craft cider is probably something you imagine your grandfather making during the winter. Well, you’re partially correct, as this is certainly the traditional time of year for cider to be made. However, those were hot ciders and were made in the “spirit” of keeping warm on a cold winter’s day. The cider we’re talking about is not much different overall unless you’re counting the difference in temperature, ABV, and the variety of flavors out there. Ok, so it’s quite a bit different, but it’s still much like the cider grandpa used to make.
There is a growing community of cider works out there. With over 4,000 craft breweries in the United States, it is only reasonable to expect that some of them were going to offer cider as well. After all, there is quite a population of people who want gluten-free products, and cider is one of those! This, coupled with the fact that these new ciders taste amazing, make two great reasons to have a ciderworks and we’re proud of those who have taken that step.
While we would love to list every single ciderworks in the United States, we realize that is not possible today. We do, however, plan to feature some of them over time as we work towards the opening of our craft brewery and wine vault in West Palm Beach, Florida, this April. That said, we want to tell you about a few of the great craft cider works we’ve discovered so far.
We’ll start with Embark Craft Ciderworks in Williamson, New York. These folks are serious about cider and they put in a lot of hours to prove it. Their American Heirloom cider shows precisely how dedicated they are to their craft, as well as to the history of cider itself. They’ve brought together seven of the historical varieties traditionally used to make craft cider in the Colonial era in order to bring you a taste of history.
These folks have a variety of ciders for you to try and their taproom is a great place to try them. Make sure to stop in and check out all of the great ciders they create. They source apples from their own farm and believe us when we say they use only the best apples for their cider.
Next, we have WildCraft Ciderworks in Eugene, Oregon. This was a stop that we decided to make while visiting some vineyards throughout the Northwest and we’re certainly glad we did! These guys are proud to display their community commitment and the results of that community effort are delicious! Using only the best natural ingredients to create what are literally community created ciders, they have proven themselves to be huge proponents of a community being a family that works together.
Check out their ciders and especially their craft cider called Community Apple Drive, which is the proof of their community aware natures. All of their ciders are unpasteurized, meaning you are getting true, old-fashioned cider that is fermented the old-fashioned way as well. We love the art on their bottles too because art brings people together as much as the cider inside the bottle.
Back across the country, we come to Black Bird Ciderworks and wow these guys are outstanding. They feature raffles and other events that really bring the community together and offer an on-site tasting room where you can try several of their hard ciders. While you might think “Ok, another New York ciderworks, what’s so special about them?” you’ll be pleased to note that these folks even offer ciders that are able to be properly certified Organic. Yep, they have a specific grove of certified organic apples just for this cider line!
They offer a wide range of cider collections for you to choose from, including oak-aged ciders. Their collections include a Signature Collection that rivals the others, though all of their ciders are pretty amazing. If you would prefer to taste some ciders from a specific flavor profile, just let them know and they’ll arrange it!
Next up on the trip is Tieton Ciderworks in Yakima, Washington. Yes, we’re hopscotching across the country. While you may think we’re out to make you dizzy, we swear we’re not. We just like dropping things in a random order to keep it interesting. That said, these folks are all about great cider. Their cider bar is a testament to that fact, as it is clearly all about the tasting. Their knowledgeable staff are more than happy to answer questions and give suggestions if you happen to be looking for a specific style of cider during your visit. Prefer a dry cider? Just let them know.
While you’re there, make sure to try their Dry Hopped cider. If you like a bit of a craft brew style to your cider, or just wish you’d tried one like it, that is a good time to do so. We also grabbed a six-cider flight for $10.00 and it was certainly worth it. We got to try a variety of their ciders and Dry Hopped was our favorite of the bunch.
We wouldn’t be us if we didn’t hop back across the country one last time and tell you about North Carolina’s best little ciderworks in the country. Red Clay Ciderworks in Charlotte boasts about the fact that they source North Carolina apples, so we just had to try them out. As it turns out, these folks are awesome! Their gluten-free ciders are delicious and the crew is both personable and fun.
We suggest going with a four cider flight for $9 to help you choose which cider style suits you best, then move on to the big glasses. Don’t be afraid to talk to the staff and ask their opinions because they certainly aren’t afraid of giving them. We personally loved the Hoppin’ Good Thyme and can’t wait to go back to get some more. After all, what fun is trying new things if you can’t do it again right?
We hope you get a chance to visit a few of these outstanding ciderworks during your travels. We’ll be featuring more in the future and hope to see all of you at our opening at West Palm Beach Brewery and Wine Vault in April. Check back for more ciderworks later on to read about some more of these great people!