Cideries burst with Flavor - The Olympian 10/21/2011

Editor's Note: This is an oldie for sure. I spoke with Craig way back as I was beginning my licensing process.  Seems like a million years ago and yesterday all at once.

- David White 

If your only experience with hard cider is that treacly beverage sold in the supermarket, it’s time to head north to Port Townsend to see why this cool beverage is suddenly very hot.  

Fall might be spreading its quiet blanket over the Northwest, but apple juice is just beginning to flow at three craft cideries.

The Port Townsend area has suddenly become a nucleus for alcoholic cider production. And cider itself has become popular with the same crowds who populate craft breweries and distilleries.

It comes in a range of flavors, nuances and sweetness levels that leave Strongbow, Hornsby and other mass producers in the apple bin.  

Olympia’s Dave White is a founding member of the Northwest Cider Association and runs the craft cider website, White said Washington has gone from two licensed cideries to 11 in just a few years. He’s going to up that number by one when he opens his own cidery in the spring.

White attributes the increase in popularity to several factors: the state’s apple culture, better education on cider-making methods, increased visibility on store shelves, the desire for an alternative to beer and the nature of cider itself.

“It’s a long drink like a beer, but with more of the complexities of wine,” White said.

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