Featured Cider Review – Crimson Bliss from 2 Towns Ciderhouse

Got some C’s for you today. Cranberries and currants from 2 Towns Ciderhouse.

Bliss pours the requisite red, would have been weird otherwise. I like that the aroma is still primarily apple. It needs to be cider with flavors, not just flavors. There is a really nice tartness here. I get the currants more than cranberry but I have a feeling that each drinker will perceive the two in different amounts. Very zippy with a nice hit of carbonation. I can see this paired with a salad with blue cheese very easily.

In the Tap Lines for January 2024

We are back around the calendar horn. A whole beer year stretches before us. All sorts of new brews and new news are waiting for us craft beer fans. Starting with…..

~ e-visits to (3) breweries from Craft Beer & Brewing’s Best of 2023 Canadian picks.

~ special featured reviews of beers of ciders from 2 Towns Ciderhouse

~Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events

~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark

~ A Book & A Beer Roughhouse Friday by Jaed Coffin

~ A Podcast & A Beer listens to The Food Programme from the BBC

~ Sports & A Beer returns with Streaming Sports

~ New Beer Releases and Best Beers of the Month

~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.

SB 788

Mention government to me and it is like letting the air out of those balloony whirlygig things at used car lots.  But the Golden State has made a good stride in being brewery friendly with the new Senate Bill 788 that was signed into law by Governor Newsom.

The law states that breweries that produce less than 60,000 barrels of beer annually, in paperwork speak also known as Type 23 licensees will not habe to obtain (and pay for) a separate winegrower’s license to produce ciders. And Perrys too.

Per the press release from the California Craft Brewers Association, “Previously, only large brewers with a Type 01 license and annual production of over 60,00 barrels were permitted to manufacture beer, cider, and perry under the same roof.”

That is one of those pesky rules that bedevil state brewery guilds and was obviously written for either A) giving big donating, big industrial brewers a leg up and / or B) making life hard on smaller competition.

Kudos to the CCBA and board chair Laurie Porter from SoCal’s Smog City Brewing for making brewery business life a bit easier.

Fruit and Staves

Not all cider is apple centered and not all cider is just light and sparkling. Tieton Cider has a pair of bourbon barrel ciders that focus on other fruits to pair with that note of bourbon, they have a peach version as well as …..

Beer Palate / Cider Palate

Beer is my main beverage but I dabble in gin and bourbon and also cider. Coming this fall is a new book that reaches over the gap between beer and cider from Beth Demmon.

Demmon should be on your list of beer scribes to follow. You can get a taster of her cider writing style HERE.

Burbank In-Cider

I used to be in Burbank five days a a week.  But now I am WFH so I totally missed that Story Tavern now has The Ciderworks next door.

They have some interesting combos such as cherry/blueberry, pineapple, ginger/lemongrass, strawberry/orange that use fruit fruit from the owner’s home as well. 

If you need a cider break, might be a place to check.

Featured Portland Cider Review – Prickly Punch

The next cider up from Portland Cider is their Prickly Punch that uses the desert prickly pear.

And not just prickly pear but orange, guava and strawberry. Which flavor will lord over the others? Or will it be a democracy of fruit?

The orange and guava have ceded ground to at first strawberry and then the prickly pear before the cider itself steps in. Thankfully it is not as sweet as I feared it would be. Has a nice bracing mouthfeel to it.

1st Visit – Alma’s Cider and Beer

Finally, I made my way to trendy Virgil Village to Alma’s Cider & Beer.

This is a proper dark bar. Takes time to adjust to the lack of light. Secondly, probably should be called Alma’s Cider and wine and two beers, Granted the two drafts were good (love to seea side pull) but the ciders were way more dramatic an interesting by far.

While waiting fir the mulled cider to warm up, I started with the Winter Mash from Balcom which promised Cranberry and spruce tips. The cranberry made it but the tree did not but it was a tasty and tart and vivid cider.

Beer buddy Rich wowed about the Paloma cider from Stem and also liked the funky Basque Sagardo too. I really like the atmosphere and my only complaint is that they are only open starting at 5pm. Would like to have an afternoon cider and explore the menu further.

Featured Portland Cider Review – Lemon Drop

The next cider up from Portland Cider is Lemon Drop made with not just regular lemons but the extra fancy Meyer variety.

I was really hoping to get a big ol’ punch of Meyer lemon in this one. I really like lemon flavor but I just did not find it in this cider named after a cocktail. That is not to say that this wasn’t a good tasting cider, just that the name led me to a destination that it just could not arrive at.