Earlier this week, I attended the Washington Cider Week Grand Tasting for industry and media at Capitol Cider. Washington Cider Week, brought to you by the Northwest Cider Association, kicked off on September 6th and ends on September 16th. Check the calendar for more events!
One of the most educational things for me at the tasting was learning about keeving cider. What the heck is keeving? I had no idea until I attended the event. As someone who focuses mainly on food, I can talk for hours about the process of pulling noodles, proper amounts of butter in kougin amann, or the right cut of fish for poke. While I know the types of cider that taste good to me, I loved the opportunity to learn about how cider is made.
Keeving is a traditional method of wild fermentation that is used to product naturally sweet sparkling semi-dry and sweet ciders. Some local cidermakers learned about this process in France last year and are using it in production. Emily Ritchie from the Northwest Cider Association was kind enough to give me a lesson about apples. The kinds of apples we typically eat are not the best for this process. Apples are pressed and pectin gel traps nitrogen and rises to the top, at which point, it is removed. The fermentation stops and the natural sugars from the apples sweeten the cider. The result is a naturally sweet sparkling cider!
The tasting featured 12 cidermakers including: Liberty Ciderworks, Finnriver Farm and Cidery, Tieton Cider Works, Bad Granny Hard Cider, Seattle Cider, Pear UP, Longdrop Cider, Chatter Creek, Dragon’s Head Cider, Swift Cider, 2 Towns Ciderhouse, and Cider Riot!. Check out a few of my favorites from the tasting!
Tieton Cider Works
I’m not a huge fan of dry cider. Sparkling Perry transported me to a summer day on the beach sipping out of a glass! The pears are grown in Tieton’s orchards and this drink reminds me of champagne.
I love pear! I was immediately drawn to Pear UP as soon as I got to the tasting. Watermelon pear is the top seller for this brand and I can see why. Refreshing, fruity, and just the right amount of bite. This is a drink I could enjoy all year round!
Pilot Project is a golden cider made primarily from culinary apples. It’s a winemaker’s take on cider. This is a semi-dry, well-balanced cider that I enjoyed.
Washington Cider Week continues through September 16th. Many thanks to the Northwest Cider Association for inviting me to this fun, educational, and tasty event! Capitol Cider provided a cozy and welcome atmosphere for the tasting!