Happy National Apple Day! That’s right; Oct. 21 is National Apple Day. Apple pie. Apple sauce. Apple crisp. National Apple Day celebrates the apple in all its various forms and reminds us that apples are shiny, tasty, and healthy. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” “Apple of my eye,” and “as American as apple pie” are all very common phrases in our language. Be it good health, familiarity or love, all are used to denote something we hold to be very important to our concept of culture in America. They also call attention to a humble fruit that not only shaped our language, but has also found its way into our landscape, built our economy, our taste in food and drink, our cultural heritage, our mythology and even our religious beliefs. Did you know there are more varieties of apples than any other fruit? Peaks and Pints celebrates National Apple Day in the only way we know — an apple cider flight. Drop by our bottle shop, taproom and restaurant in Tacoma’s Proctor District and enjoy Craft Cider Crosscut 10.21.18: A Flight of Apple.
Craft Cider Crosscut 10.21.18: A Flight of Apple
In late 2010, Corvallis homebrewers Aaron Sarnoff-Wood and Lee Larsen filled a gap in the college town’s drinking scene — cider. The duo opened 2 Towns Ciderhouse crafting unique ciders brewed with the traditional English and French-style’s tannic apples, Oregon grown, of course. Discovered on Long Island in 1759, the Pippin Newtown is one of the oldest original US varieties of apples. Thomas Jefferson grew it and Benjamin Franklin took samples to the English royal court, causing it to become one of the first US apple exports to the UK. 2 Towns Ciderhouse takes advantage of the apple’s sweet, rich flavor in its BrightCider, which shines a spotlight on Newtown Pippin with a little help from other Northwest Varieties. The BrightCider is fermented cold to slow the fermentation process, retaining the aromatics of this heirloom fruit. The result is balanced flavor — partly sweet and partly dry.
Made primarily from culinary/table apples modern ciders are generally lower in tannin and higher in acidity. Seattle Cider Company, the city’s first post-Prohibition cider producer, delivers delicious modern ciders. With zero percent residual sugar, its Dry is a very dry cider in a classical style. The dryness doesn’t equate to a lack of flavor, however, as it still has a refined apple nature underlined by notes of stone fruits and a light tickle of lilac on the nose. It’s a cider that can stand alongside one of our roast beef sandwiches without losing the flavor battle.
Tieton Cider Works has been growing apples in the Yakima Valley for three generations. Craig Campbell’s grandfather planted apple trees in the 1920s, but it was until 2008 when he and his wife, Sharon, began growing cider apples on their Harmony Orchards in Tieton, Washington. They launched Tieton Cider Works in 2009, with the intent to maintain their practices of being good stewards of the land. In 2014, their Tieton farmhouse couldn’t handle the growth so the Campbells opened a larger facility in Yakima, yet maintained their mission of producing cider without shortcuts. Tieton Cider Works’ decision to make organic cider was driven by the Campbells’ love for nature — first and foremost they believed in looking after the countryside and working in harmony with nature; environmental consideration was placed firmly at the heart of the business, not just in being organic but also creating a business in tune with the countryside, its seasons, ways and principles. The cider is dry and crisp, with a bit of tartness and some fruitiness on the nose.
Gordon Rawson began making wine in the early 1980s as a home winemaker. Some of his first wine came from fresh apple juice purchased from the local grocery. Fun, but he desired to be a serious winemaker. After working for Columbia Winery as cellarmaster for nearly a decade, Gordon Rawson opened Chatter Creek Winery in 1996 to produce top-quality sparkling wines in Woodinville, Washington. In 1998, he broadened the focus of Chatter Creek to include still wines. Early in 2000, he departed Columbia Winery to focus solely on Chatter Creek. After a bad day making wine, he bought some apples to clear his mind. Next thing he knew, he added ciders to his label. Pilot Project is golden in color with moderate apple flavor. The acid and sweetness are in balance and present a natural apple flavor with some light tannin, notes of honey, stone fruit and pineapple medium carbonation.
Let’s face it. Baird & Dewar sounds more delicious than Trevor & Zeb. Trevor Baird is a highly regarded second generation farmer and fruit grower, whose peaches, cherries, and apples are used by many of Portland’s finest restaurants and breweries. Zeb Dewar has made cider for more than 17 years, working for more than 10 years as a cellar hand, assistant winemaker, and harvest manager at premium Willamette Valley and Columbia Gorge wineries. He has been making cider from the apples grown at Baird Family Orchard for more than eight years. Baird & Dewar Farmhouse Cider was started slowly and quietly in the fall of 2011 as an extension of Zeb Dewar’s home cidermaking. Silvestra is a dry, unfiltered cider aged for a year in oak casks for a Brett-y nose followed by crisp and effervescent, mild green apple tartness.