Well I just got back last night from a most excellent cider adventure that took me around the Northwest with 3 other really terrific cider folks. Bill & Pete from England and fellow Northwest Cider folk Jennie Dorsey from Tieton Cider Works. Post to follow soon (I hope...) on Oldtimecider.com in between pressing cider of course.
Speaking of and the actual reason for this post:
Our 2012 cider pressing starts this weekend. We'll be pressing about 4000 pounds of locally sourced South Puget Sound heirloom apples for our boutique "drink local" experiment. From those apples we could get 250+ gallons. By design an extremely high percentage of this cider with either remain here and be enjoyed around Olympia in local homes and businesses by our friends and neighbors. Although new to Washington again, this is not at all a new idea. On the contrary in fact. This is how Americans used to drink their cider. Locally sourced, locally crafted, locally drunk.
I haven't decided exactly how much but my current though it to keep between 75-80% here in the South Sound. The 20-25% will likely be poured at a few festivals and I have a few shops outside the area in mind for a few special shipments. I suppose I should say we are not responsible for cider purchased here in Olympia and bootlegged outside the area by unscrupulous cider loving individuals. ;)
We are very optimistic about this blend and will keep you posted on the progress. All the apples have been delicious and beautiful and all so far seem to be potentially really terrific apples for cider. We are kind of picky, and usually prefer making cider from heirloom apples that are acidic and bitter.
My good friends at Finnriver Farm & Cidery announced that they are doing a similar project in their neck of the woods. They are gathering apples from around the upper peninsula around Chimacum and Port Townsend. If you live in the area they have 5 convenient drop off locations. Hoping to do a special tasting or 2 with both these ciders. Read more about it here.
Really big shouts out to my very first enthusiastic supporter of this project Jim at Friendly Grove Farm for the apples from the 5 acre homestead farm he is reviving, also to Fido's Farm for sharing their farm's orchard harvest. There are also a number of terrific households around South Puget Sound that shared some of their yard's bounty. The biggest shout out should go out to my brother Ryan who has gathered the lion share of these local apples over the past few weeks. Thanks bro!
If you have a bunch of apples lying around and would like to participate it in our little local experiment it ain't too late. Late season apple varieties more often make the very best cider apples and these little guys should still be hanging in the trees. Do let us know. We'll add as many pressings as we need to get'r done.
It's also not too late for the Cider CSA we recently announced. Depending on how things go this cider should be a good part of the subscription.