Whitewood Cider Co. is looking for local apples...

What’s happening with the apples falling in your yard or property? 1000’s of pounds of apples go unused and laid waste every year all around South Puget Sound. This is your opportunity to help local apples (and pears) serve a higher purpose and not go to waste.

Whitewood Cider Co. puts our community’s unused apples to good use making handcrafted local ciders. The apples we collect will be crushed, pressed, and blended with many other varieties from around the South Sound and crafted into a hyper-local traditional style craft cidervblend aptly named South Sounder showing off our unique region’s terroir. South Sounder is an exciting project and will no doubt vary from season to season based on the growing conditions and the varieties collected.

What makes for good cider apples?
South Puget Sound is one of Washington’s oldest settled communities and home to a good number of older heritage and heirloom apple and pear varieties, most of are capable of making some terrific ciders and perries. We’ll take all comers but more often than not the best cider apples tend to ripen later in the season and are bitter, astringent with mouth drying tannins and sharp acidity. Often folks consider these types of apples good “cooking” apples or can even be crab apples.

Who contributes to our local craft cider project?
Among the countless friends and neighbors around Olympia the following contributors deserve special recognition; Friendly Grove Farm, Fido’s Farm, The Kelly Ranch. This year we are also in negotiation with others including Helsing Junction in Rochester!


2013 South Sound Apples Contact Form

If you have unwanted apples and pears and think that you would would like to contribute please contact us or if you know someone you know has an abundance of unwanted pome fruit we urge you let them know about our project.

Name *

Pressing for real now & The South Sound Blend

Well last week's announcement was a little premature. The apples could have been pressed but I decided to sweat them out for another week. Now it appears we'll be pressing apples every weekend for 3 consecutive weeks.

This weekend we'll be pressing almost 4000 pounds of Oly's finest locally sourced/scavenged/found heirloom apples. Thanks to much help from my brother we may have exceeded our 200 gallon goal. Looks to be closer to 300 gallons now which should fit into one of those tall white tanks behind the apples there. We'll keep you posted on our progress.

We are looking for a name for this local cider blend and maybe you guys can help us. If you have any suggestions please submit your comments at the bottom of this post. The names we like we'll add to the potential list.

Our stack of locally picked fruit waiting for the press this weekend.

Our stack of locally picked fruit waiting for the press this weekend.

In the following weeks we'll be pressing organic heirloom Macintosh and Jonathan apples from Eastern Washington near Leavenworth. After those are done we'll be diving straight into our cider varieties for about 4 days of pressing. Wish us luck! We'll be busy in our little upstart cider house.

Let's start pressing 2012's apples!

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.

The "Big Pick" @ Friendly Grove Farm in Olympia, Washington. October 2012.

The "Big Pick" @ Friendly Grove Farm in Olympia, Washington. October 2012.

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.