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.
There are not too many new ideas out there so when someone breaks the mold and looks at a topic with a new perspective, you should take a look, and that is what Beth Demmon has done with her new book, The Beer Lovers Guide to Cider
Hopefully, you will see the review in the October issue of Beer Paper but I will tease that this book has some of the best food pairing suggestions that I have read.
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.
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 …..
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.
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.
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.