Perry of Peaks and Pints’ eye
Poor pears. They’re never quite number one in the English language, are they? You never hear: “pear of my eye,” “visiting the Big Pear,” and “a pear a day keeps the doctor away.” Pears are also a bit unfairly overlooked when it comes to pear-based alcohol: did you know that what we label as “pear cider” has an official, long-standing name? Perry is the drink’s rightful moniker, and while it is a cider, we’d all do well to remember that perry is different from apple cider (and trying to compare the two is like apples to… pears).
Perry is made using a method like that for making cider, by crushing the pears and fermenting the juice with yeast. But the key to the flavor comes mainly from the pears themselves, specifically any of the many varieties known as perry pears — bitter, hard, gnarled siblings of traditional dessert pears that undergo a fairy-tale-like transformation to become this delicate drink.
The brainchild of three college friends from Montana State University — Micah Roberson, Michael Partheymuller and Kramer Christensen — Independent Cider is one of very few cider makers in North Central Washington focusing exclusively on making perry. Our favorite is the Leavenworth cidery’s first botanical perry, Lavender Perry (5.8%), made with two varieties of lavender. Floral aromatics of rose and honey are followed by a clean herbaceous pallet of eucalyptus and pear. Yum.