Monday, May 13th, 2024

Peaks and Pints Monday Cider Flight: Alpenfire


After making cider as hobbyists for many years, in 2001 Nancy and Steve “Bear” Bishop took a trip to the cider making regions of Spain, France, and England to observe commercial operations. When they returned home, Steve and Nancy took a class at WSU from an English cider master, ordered 800 French, English, and early American cider trees, clear cut the forest, burned the stumps, spread the ash for fertilizer, shaped the land to drain, plated the trees, and launched their commercial cidery Wildfire Cider in 2203, which they later renamed Alpenfire Cider. Located in Port Townsend, the Bishops, including their son and sales director, Philippe, recently redesigned their trellis system modeled after versions they studied Down Under, Canada, and Europe. Today, the certified organic cidery is open Saturday afternoons. In the meantime, Peaks & Pints offers an in-house flight of Alpenfire Cider — a flight we’re calling Peaks and Pints Monday Cider Flight: Alpenfire.

Peaks and Pints Monday Cider Flight: Alpenfire

Alpenfire 2022 Perry Burnt Branch Reserve #10

6.6% ABV

Alpenfire’s Burnt Branch Reserve series is reserved for their smallest batch ciders — no more than 30 gallons total production. Reserved for our cider club members and tasting room visitors, each Burnt Branch Reserve cider is unique and may never be made again. Their 2022 Perry Burnt Branch Reserve #10 is delicately flavored and entirely sessionable. It is a combination of true European perry pears, Asian pears, and heirloom pears with about 2 percent bitter sharp apple juice added to round out the flavors. The haze is a product of pectin and tannins and creates a soft mouthfeel.

Alpenfire 2024 Pet-Nat Harrison Burnt Branch Reserve #13

6.5% ABV

This is Alpenfire’s first foray into the world of naturally Petillant cider, or pet nat, a method creating carbonation in alcoholic beverages without the addition of extra yeast and sugar. This style of cider making is familiar to Alpenfire from their years of producing bottle conditioned ciders, but Pet-Nat Harrison Burnt Branch Reserve #13 takes it to another level. Instead of fully conditioned and aged cider being treated to a small dose of sugar to feed the yeast and build carbonation this approach stops the natural fermentation before completion by bottling, preserving the fruit sugar. While it seems like the very simplest way to make cider it comes with its own set of challenges. The wonderful fruit aroma and delicious freshness of this batch makes it worthwhile.

Alpenfire Glow Rosé Hard Cider

6.8% ABV

Alpenfire created this a single varietal rosé cider with Hidden Rose apples, a rare, dessert apple variety. The aroma is composed primarily of a really luscious, ripe apple character. Amazing! On the palate expect a robustly built cider, sporting rich tannin, notes of caramel and a rich weightiness that is tamed by the sparkle. Not atypical cider by any means.

Aplenfire T.H.C. Blend #48

6.8% ABV

Alpenfire’s Traditional Heirloom Cider blends, aka T.H.C, consist of different blends of apples for each release. You can find these ciders throughout the Puget Sound region. Each blend is different and once they are gone, they are gone for good so get them while you can. Alpenfire has released T.H.C. Blend #48, a blend of famous apples from the 2022 and 2023 harvests. The Golden Russet contributes a nutty honeyed sweetness paired with the Harrison’s orange blossom and honeydew melon. Alpenfire discovered this blend to be full bodied with a touch of tannins but wanted a bit more aromatics so added their house Heirloom Blend bumping the acidity as well.

LINK: Peaks & Pints beer and cider cooler inventory