Traditional perry is not the same as pear cider, which is often apple cider that has pear flavoring added to it, and may be what comes to mind for most people when they hear about perry. A true perry is made from pears alone and has a light, refreshing sweetness. Perry pears are smaller than culinary or dessert pears. As with apple cider, the fruit is picked, crushed and pressed to extract juice, which is then fermented. However, unlike apples, all pears contain a sugar alcohol called sorbitol that yeasts cannot metabolize. A completely fermented perry, therefore, has a residual sweetness missing from a dry apple cider. That’s all fine and dandy, but today marks Peaks & Pints’ last 2020 Washington Cider Week to-go cider flight, and, as might have guessed, it’s all about the pear. Enjoy Peaks and Pints 2020 Washington Cider Week: Pear.
Peaks and Pints 2020 Washington Cider Week: Pear
Montana State University friends Micah Roberson, Michael Partheymuller and Kramer Christensen opened Independent Cider in the upper Wenatchee Valley near Leavenworth and Cashmere. They produce handcrafter perry — a cider made completely with fermented pear juice as its base — playing up on the natural sweetness and pear flavor in their products. Their Lavender Perry is made with two varieties of lavender harvested down valley from their pear orchards. The blended buds from this mid-summer flower are dried and steeped to contribute subtle lavender notes and flavors.
Sno Gem Perry Dry was the original crate label used in the 1940s to market and promote Remley Orchards pears across the world. In homage to its heritage, Independent Cider named their flagship Sno Gem paying respects to their family’s heritage. It’s a perry built on Anjou pears grown in the Dryden orchard that’s refreshingly clean and dry with a slightly tangy flavor and a hint of citrus.
Finnriver Farm & Cidery‘s small batch Pear Cider features cider fermented on the farm using 100 percent organic apple juice pressed from Washington apples. Finnriver ferments the apple juice, and then sweetens it with organic pear for additional depth, sweetness and flavor, although apples rule the nose here. There’s a certain bitterness grounding the pear flavor, pulling it out of the realm of single-note sweetness.
Snowdrift Cider’s first perry release is crafted from old-world perry pear varieties grown in central Washington. It hits the nose with pear, white wine, light funk, and hints of acetone. The experience is rich, full-bodied and juicy with ripe pear flavors, honey smoothness balanced with crisp astringency and a touch of appealing subtle woody tones from the pear tannins.