You’ve heard of Comic-Con, but did you know there’s a CiderCon? It’s an annual gathering in Portland, Oregon, that brings together cider makers and fans. If it sounds a bit too nerdy, that’s because it is—but this year’s gathering revealed some mindboggling news: Retail sales of cider topped the $1 billion mark for last year alone, and cider drinking in America has more than tripled in the past few years.
Near the corner of Pike and Broadway in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, a gluten-free sanctuary awaits passersby who duck into the European tavern-esque exterior. Once inside the dining room, sleek and swanky yet down-home vibes reign supreme — the ideal setting for filling up on comfort foods and warming up with a golden pint. When the time comes to select from the taps upon taps that line the back of the bar, guests may find themselves hard-pressed to choose just one. Where this prospect would usually indicate the end of the party for the beer-intolerant, gluten-free crowds are right at home at Capitol Cider. As a naturally gluten-free fermented beverage that forgoes beer’s wheat and barley, cider is the name of the game for those looking to get their drink on while avoiding these common culprits. Owner Julie Tall, herself a longtime gluten-free gourmand, knows this better than many.
Hard cider is having a moment. No longer relegated to the netherworld between beer and wine, it’s now considered a serious drink all its own, with prominent placement on wine lists at high-end restaurants across the United States. Serious cider bars have opened in recent years, too, including Wassail in New York, Capitol Cider in Seattle, and Bushwhacker Cider in Portland.
Give a listen to Executive Chef Erik Jackson’s interview on Christopher Chan’s Happy Hour Radio. Jackson talks about Capitol Cider’s offerings (fast forward to 15:00 to hear!) his love of cast iron, his favorite dish right now (hint, it features seasonal ingredients) and follow along as he pours cider to pair with Face Rock Creamery Founder Greg Drobot’s delectable, cheese bites.
Mon, July 18 Sirens and Cider
Capitol Cider is bringing back its lady-led dinner series, this time with six chefs, six courses, and six cider pairings. Dinner is, you guessed it, at 6. While the full menu isn’t set just yet, there is one dish to dream about: mackerel a la plancha with pickled scapes, duck egg, and currants bathed in ice cider from Vermont. Tickets are $90.
Capitol Cider’s Chef de Cuisine Sara Harvey shares this fabulous cider BBQ sauce recipe that’s perfect for summertime!
“This is a cider-based BBQ sauce that I tweaked slightly for home methods and amounts, but is very similar to what we use annually at the Seattle Cider Summit for our West-Coast Famous BBQ Chicken Thighs and Baked Beans. It’s a sticky sweet sauce that also goes well with pork chops and apricots and so much more,” Harvey says. “The sauce makes a great weekend recipe that you can start at lunch and have ready for dinner, and the yield is enough for a big BBQ party or for dinner and a good jar in the fridge.
As the craft beer boom matures, novelty-seeking connoisseurs are on the hunt for more esoteric libations.
Discerning drinkers and young adults put off by the bitter, hop-heavy flavor profiles popular among craft brewers today have rediscovered hard cider. And the trend bears all the trappings of the microbrewery culture: A focus on local ingredients, small-batch production and, in a growing number of American cities, bars where cider — not beer — is the star of the show.
As a proud son of this Evergreen State, apples are something I have always known. From pie to slices, from butter to cider, apples and I go way back. So when I got the chance to visit Capitol Cider’s Drink and Draw event last Thursday, I figured that while I wasn’t the most accomplished artist, at least I knew cider.
With its famous red neon sign, the bar and restaurant is tucked into Pike Street just west of Broadway. Entering Capitol Cider, customers first come into a wide floor of booths and tables. Serving up gnocchi, a Fisherwoman’s Stew, gluten free options and plenty of other plates, the restaurant is open from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. on weekends. But if you’re like me and have more liquid aspirations in mind, take the second right and head downstairs to the cellar bar, which holds the same hours.
I’ve been to Capitol Cider once or twice, but I have never seen it as packed as it was on Thursday night at the Drink and Draw.
CAPITOL HILL—Celebrate cider, seafood, and female chefs April 18 at Capitol Cider‘s latest edition ofSirens & Cider. Featuring Vancouver, BC’s SeaCider, this seven-course farm-to-table dinner will include food pairings from chef Amy Beaumier (Joli), chef Mac Jarvis (Corvus and Co, formerly Spirit and Animal, formerly Spirit Animal), chef de cuisine Emily Young (The Old Sage, Tavern Law), sous chef Rachel Hall (Bar Noroeste), chef de cuisine Sara Harvey (Capitol Cider), executive sous chef Euni Genardini (Revel), and chef/owner Lindsay Herschlip (LJ’s Bistro and Bar). See Jessica Keener Photography for photos of the last event in the series, and email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a ticket for $90 including beverages, not including tax and gratuity.
Avoiding gluten is easy when dining out in Seattle. From more upscale to casual dining, bars to bakeries to breweries, here are some fantastic options.
This bar and restaurant in Capitol Hill has an enormous cider selection (20 on tap plus a bottle shop) and a gluten-free, soy-free and peanut-free kitchen serving comfort food like burgers—with housemade brioche buns—fish and chips, gnocchi and a variety of small plates. There is also weekend brunch serving scrambles, biscuits and gravy, French toast and more.
Although coffee might be the first beverage that comes to mind when one thinks of Seattle — and greater Washington for that matter — Seattle’s brewing history goes back to the late 1800s. From Washington Brewery, founded in 1854 to the nearly 300 craft breweries the state boasts today, there is a Washington brew (and bar) for every kind of beer drinker out there. We’ve got craft beer snobs covered in West Seattle, pub crawlers satiated in Ballard and even cider lovers romanced in Capitol Hill. Read on to know where to go for a pint in Seattle.
Plan your hard cider vacation with these must-do cidery tours, festivals and cider pubs.
Washington is a prime apple-growing region, with more than 50 cider makers in the state, and a growing number of places in which to taste….Capitol Cider, the city’s first cider bar, boasts 20 ciders on tap and more than 150 bottles from both the region and the world.
Brunch is a sacred part of the Seattle weekend. It’s the hangover cure, the pick-me-up, the best way to kick off a busy day around town. The top brunch spots in the city offer memorable meals, with creative plays on classics like reimagined Bloody Marys or a Benedict with a twist.
Capitol Cider’s brunch includes such gluten-free wonders as banana bread french toast, shortrib hash, and doughnuts with fruit compote. Wash it all down with a cider mimosa or three. The gluten-full among you won’t miss the wheat. Served Saturday and Sunday 10 to 3.