Happy August. Hot enough for ya? Can I get you a drink to help cool you off? Yes, we all love beer, but when the weather gets this hot I often find that my mind wanders away from big hearty ales and thinks about cool, crisp, delicious apple cider.
While the brands of cider that most of us recognize come from distant lands, the Pacific Northwest produces some world class ciders of its own. Still, I often wonder why cider isn’t a bigger deal around here. Washington produces approximately 60% of the apples in the United States and ships Honey Crisp, Gala, Fuji, Braeburn, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Granny Smith, and Cripps Pink apples to more than 30 countries around the globe. Combine that fact with Washington’s pension for fresh, local, artisan products, shouldn’t we be the cider capitol of the world?
Northwest Cider Association
Could it be that we’re on the verge of a cider revolution akin to the craft beer revolution that Washington helped ignite back in the 1980s? If the formation of a Northwest Cider Association is an indication, then perhaps so.
That’s right, there is now a Northwest Cider Association. Information is a bit scarce because the website is still under construction, but they do have a Facebook page and all of the regional cider producers that Mr. and Mrs. Beerblog love seem to be involved.
Because I know that many beer lovers also enjoy cider, and because this sweltering weather is obviously making me think about crisp, refreshing adult cider, I want to mention a couple of things.
This Saturday, 99 Bottles in Federal Way will be doing a cider tasting. They’ll be sampling four ciders. If you haven’t been to 99 Bottles, here’s your chance. If you’re not sure about this whole cider thing, then you don’t have to make it about cider completely. You can just sample some ciders while you stock up on those tasty brews you can only get at a world class bottle shop like 99 Bottles.
On Saturday, September 11th, there will be a Cider Summit in Seattle. The event will take place in at the South Lake Union Discovery Center. In addition to notable world ciders, the newly formed Northwest Cider Association will be there serving up great local product. We will have more details about the event soon.
In Washington we tend to serve cider like beer. We pour it into a regular tapered pint glass. That’s fine, I suppose. Up in Canada they often serve hard cider on ice. When the mercury reaches record levels in Seattle, I often find myself remembering a hot, sunny day I spent on a patio in Vancouver’s Stanley Park, sipping on a large dimpled mug packed with ice and filled with crisp, dry 7.5% ABV apple cider. Tell me that doesn’t sound good right about now. They’ll be plenty of time for ales when the sun goes down.