British Cider in Focus

CAMRA wants to educate us on British Cider through the years. Their books division is Kickstarter-ing a “book that will look at how cider has formed an integral part of the UK’s landscape, with a heritage dating back at least 2,000 years. Today, cider faces a new change in the drinking landscape of Britain — the rise of craft and modern, discerning drinkers with different needs, habits and spending opportunities.”  

Those choosing to crowdfund Cider “the book for £15 to demonstrate interest in the subject, which will also give them the opportunity to take part in a personal online tasting, and get limited edition T-shirts and signed editions of the new title.”

Lastly, CAMRA adds, “This is a unique opportunity for CAMRA books to gauge interest prior to a book’s publication, which can, in turn, allow us to offer a far wider selection of books in the future and potentially increase our publishing portfolio.”

Thacher Cider

There are quite few breweries in the cider space, but maybe it is time to let a winemaker in. I have had a few Thacher wines and their spread in Paso Robles is so calming. And if we get back on track by June next year, maybe I will be buying wine and cider.


San Gabriel based Ogopogo Brewing is branching out, so to speak, into Dry Apple Cider. And try as I might, I cannot see any mythical monsters on the label. Perhaps I am not seeing the orchard for the trees. Hopefully this will be available for pick-up at the brewery soon so I can investigate the art more.

Book Review – Uncultivated by Andy Brennan

Been on a bit of a kick of books by food people with pretty uncompromising views and Uncultivated is the tip of that particular spear.

Author Brennan walks his path and when it comes to apples and cider, it is a specific path. He grudgingly accepts that others have their way but as you read his book about his journey from NYC to a Cidery named after Aaron Burr, well you have to just go with it. Part philosophy, part natural agriculture, and all learning, this book really takes you into the mind and that explains why Brennan does what he does and why he does it in his own way.

I can sense that many readers of this book are either of this group or not but I would recommend setting aside what you know and add this information to your brain. I did not like Brennan early in this book, but as I turned the pages, I found a lot of practical information. And by the end, I really wanted to taste his cider.

1st Visit – Ficklewood Cider

I decided to chaffeur my wife into her job on a recent Saturday and used the time to hit a couple spots in Long Beach. One was Beachwood Blendery and the other is the new (a couple months old) Ficklewood Ciderworks. I will write more in depth about it for Food GPS next month but suffice it to say that they had two hopped ciders that actually were both hoppy and apple-y at the same time. So, I recommend heading out there. Bonus points is that it is next to a Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles.

Cider Doughnuts

The last time that I was in Portland, I had a spirit-ed doughnut from Blue Star, the Portland chain that also has locations right here in Los Angeles.

Maybe Portland Cider will sell this “inspired by” cider down here to combine forces in SoCal too.


The United States Association of Cider Makers aka The USACM  now has its own certification, the Certified Pommelier™.

Per the press release, “The study guide covers six sections: Apples, the Orchard & History; Cider Making; Flavor & Evaluation; Cider Styles (US and Europe); Keeping & Serving; and Food & Cider. These are the same topics covered in the level one exam, but there are noticeable differences in the suggested study concepts for the two tests. To start, the list of apples to know is greatly expanded for the new exam. Test takers are told they should be able to assign to the apples to region, style and class: bittersharp, bittersweet, sweet or sharp. These classes are determined by acid and tannin levels, and are laid out in the stydy guide. The second key difference is the inclusion of traditional European cider styles for the UK, Spain, France and Germany. Lastly, there are many more concepts listed in the Certified Pommelier™ study guide than in the Level 1 study guide.”