As summer winds down we start to think about the fall: harvests, pumpkins, fall leaves, misty mornings, apple harvests. Rather than mixing up a refreshing icy cocktail, one option is to pop the top on some of the delicious local ciders produced here in the Puget Sound region. If you get a chance to check out some of the fall events, take some time to try some of the ciders offered along with all of our delicious northwest beer.
Two of my favorites are Finnriver and Alpenfire cideries; both are located in the north Puget Sound near Port Townsend. Finnriver is located inland off Marrowstone Island near Chimacum and Alpenfire is on Discovery Bay just inland from the Beckett Point boat ramp. As trips go, this might be a fun side trip to add to your weekend events around Puget Sound.
The production of cider is an ancient process and a way to capture some of the harvest apple and pear. Cider and hard ciders are produced from the juicing of apples and pears and handled much the same way as wine grapes. The apple juice is what our kids enjoy; once the fermentation process takes place, the alcohol content is what we adults enjoy! The type of apples and the sugar levels drive the type of cider. Many ciders are barrel aged in stainless, whereas other ciders might be cask aged. Like the process of making wine, it is a complex process that requires quality fruit and intense care throughout the process. Europeans have been making cider for hundreds of years, and the ciders from Finnriver and Alpenfire are delicious and award-winning. They rival some of the European producers.
Both producers have many harvest events happening in the fall, and their ciders can be found in most grocery stores. I prefer the lighter, lightly sweeter ciders, similar to a lovely rosé, rather than the dry hopped ciders. Both produce delicious ciders that are fabulous with food and can easily replace beer or wine in a meal. Check out their websites (alpenfirecider.com and finnriver.com) for local tastings in your area, expand your repertoire and try something new. Sante!
This fall on Friday, September 20, 2019, the Hot Stove Society Cooking School will be having a fun class with Alpenfire and Chef Chris Schwarz of Tom Douglas Restaurants. The event will be a dinner and demonstration with five delicious food courses paired with the Alpenfire ciders. Chris will demo and banter with folks from Alpenfire and teach you the ins and outs of cider and food. For more information visit www.hotstovesociety.com/classes/Alpenfire-Cider-Dinner/.