Don’t say Congress never did anything for you—at least if you’re a cider fan, or somebody who’s thinking about joining the industry. In December, Congress passed what’s known as the CIDER Act, offering several key benefits to producers which, in turn, will surely prove beneficial to folks who simply enjoy drinking the stuff.
For those uninitiated to the world of cider (and wondering, Well, who actually cares?) this is pretty substantial. According to market research firm IRI, cider is the fastest growing segment in the beverage industry. From 2013 to 2014, cider sales grew 75.4 percent and, overall in the past three years, sales have quintupled for the category.
Escape from the Boys’ Club: An Evening with Sirens and Ciders
On Monday night, six women met up in a basement on Capitol Hill. It was decorated with art on the walls, booths marked with place cards and a long table that was set for a party. Upstairs, the small waiting area of Capitol Cider got fuller and fuller, anticipation and hunger building in waves as time ticked toward the 6 o’clock start, then past it. Finally, the thick of people plodded down the stairs to where plates were being wiped, shined and dotted with carefully portioned flourishes. The Sirens & Cider event began.
2015 was a whirlwind year for Seattle bloody marys. Ranging from infused liquors to pho broth to cheesy slider garnishes, Seattle’s best bloody marys not only impressed us with creativity but also with freshness and outstanding quality. Check out our best of list below!
The orchard is infiltrating cocktail hour, with apple-based booze, stand-alone cider bars, and produce-driven cocktails that won’t cause appletini flashbacks.
Here, three ways to up your intake:
1. Hit a Cider Bar
Hard cider is having its craft beer moment—think nuanced bottles that are worlds apart from the saccharine stuff that once gave the drink a bad rap—right down to a surge in bars that specialize in it. Seattle’s Capitol Cider has 20 cider taps and more than 100 bottles on its list. San Francisco gastropub Upcider stocks a deep selection of California bottles. New York’s Wassail rounds out the cider (and fresh apple juice) on tap with apple-based cocktails.
Eat and drink your way through the city’s many gastronomic gems.
Lively, literate and liberal-minded Seattle is also a great eating city: You may come for the coffee, but you’ll stay for the biscuits and brandade de morue. Consider Pike Place Market, as much an emblem as the Space Needle and emphatically not a tourist trap. Locals shop here for a wide array of fruit, flowers and, of course, fresh fish. Take a moment to admire the arrangements of glistening seafood, luminescent on their beds of crushed ice, and don’t miss the famous salmon-tossing shtick—it’s hokey, but it’s fun. Be sure to pick up some fresh fruit to bring back to your hotel and avoid mini-bar temptation; the local apples are exceptional.
For some, ham is the chosen protein when it comes to the piece de résistance at the holiday dining table. In week two of this collaborative holiday pairing effort, we pull suggestions from beverage directors, brewers, chefs and restaurant managers about what to sip when ham takes the table.
Sara Harvey || Chef de Cuisine || Capitol Cider
One of the chefs behind the Seattle cider bar loves cider, of course, during the holidays, especially AlpenfirePirate Plank Bone Dry due to its high, warming tannins and bright, dry acid notes. Another favorite is theLiberty Ciderworks Manchurian Apple Single Varietal. “This cider sits well as it brings tart apple flavors to the tip of your tongue without getting sour,” Harvey says. “The sweet and smokey flavor of ham, along with the salty nature of cured meats make the cold refreshing flavors of apple cider a wonder pair.”
Cider cocktails offer a sparkly alternative for fall quaffing
Hard cider consumption is on the rise in the U.S. as thirsty bar and restaurant (and ballgame and liquor store) patrons increasingly order the crisply sweet alternative to beer and wine. No surprise, then, that mixologists are crafting cocktails from the fruit-based beverage.
“Cider gives cocktails that beautiful fruity backbone,” says Ambrosia Borowski, a bartender at Chicago’s Fountainhead who is developing a hard cider cocktail program for the Northman, a “ciderpub” opening this fall in Lincoln Square. Ciders also provide bubbles, plus “a more boozy experience” as a mixer than soda and many beers due to their higher alcohol level.
The three major types of cider offer their different qualities to a cocktail for the bartender’s consideration. British-style ciders (which most American ciders are based on) lean toward a dry and tannic style, while French tend to be more funk- and fruit-forward. Spanish sidras, which are still, possess a high acidity and a slight salinity that brightens the cocktails they are mixed into.
Classic examples of cider cocktails include the Snakebite (a 50-50 mix of beer and hard cider) and the colonial Stone Fence (2 ounces bourbon or rum plus 12 ounces hard cider over ice, topped with a dash of Angostura bitters). Bartenders are not only mixing up their versions of these classics, but also subbing cider in new takes on old bar favorites.
The bar (on Orchard Street, appropriately enough) is the bricks-and-mortar affirmation of a fermented-cider revival that has fueled a rapid growth in producers, drinkers and other cider bars, including Bushwhacker Cider in Portland, Ore.; Upcider in San Francisco; and Capitol Cider in Seattle. Even big brewers like MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch have begun turning out ciders.
This week is the fifth annual Washington Cider Week. In the past five years the production of hard cider has tripled, marking the comeback of the beverage of choice during colonial times. Bill Bradshaw is the co-author of several cider books, including the award-winning “World’s Best Cider”. Bill’s visit provides insight on the renewed popularity of craft cider and introduces the audience to a few of the best.
From September 10-20, 2015, visitors to Seattle looking to expand their palates should check out the fifth annual Washington Cider Week. Sherrye Wyatt, executive director of the Northwest Cider Association (NWCA) cited the significance of this event. “As awareness and interest in cider increase both nationally and around the world, our Northwest cidermakers continue to be recognized for premium products and innovative styles. Washington Cider Week is the time to celebrate them and spread awareness of our growing craft cider culture.”
Right now, Jello Mold Farm in Mt. Vernon is awash in the bright colors of late summer. Zinnias. Dahlias. Coral peonies and white lilies. Sunflowers and roses as far as the eye can see. The sustainable flower farm, which shares its seven acres with bald eagles and trumpeter swans, is quite possibly the ultimate venue for an end-of-summer al fresco dinner party.
Every week, Eater offers three picks for places to eat and drink over the weekend.
Welcome back to Eater Seattle’s Something for the Weekend column. Every Friday, you probably think the same question: Where should I eat and drink this weekend? Covering brunch, dinner, and everything in between, here now, three places to try this weekend.
Seattle takes its biscuits and pizzas seriously. But our chefs are also very keen on satisfying the palates of celiacs and the gluten intolerant with equally yummy bready delights. Here are three fantastic new-ish eats for those with gluten allergies. (more…)
I don’t do gluten free. In fact, I actively seek out so much gluten that I have an Amazon subscription to deliver 5 lb packs of the stuff. Personally, unless you’re actually Celiac, I just don’t get it. But I do respect each person’s personal choice, and, as a vegetarian, I do understand the challenges of having dietary restrictions. Also, my dog is gluten-free. So, there’s that.
Capitol Cider is a super hip Seattle restaurant that caters to the gluten-free through the peddling of grain-free apps, entrees and hooch. As the name suggests, you can sample from a ridiculously long list of boozy ciders. But I know you’re not here for apples, so you, my friend, have two choices.
A bright, acidic white wine and a rich triple cream cheese. A good brew and a beefy patty on a pretzel bun with all of the fixings. Some foods have already found life-long partners in their liquid libation counterpart. But with cider still being so new to the North American restaurant scene, it can be tricky to pair it with just the right indulgence. From the East coast to the West, take a look at some of these cider-dinner pairings that are sure to provide for a scrumptious evening, and maybe you will find cider’s soulmate.