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New Cider in Old Virginia

Orchardists all of the country are starting to get excited about cider apples part in due to last Fall's Good Fruit Magazine article and also due to articles like this one from Hard Cider Production in Virginia from Virginia Tech.

We are pleased to have our North American Cider Map and the blog linked. Thanks Virginia Tech!

Enjoy the cider reading!


Here is an excerpt...

In every major apple-growing region in the United States, there is an exponential expansion of commercial hard cider production. One source lists more than 100 licensed commercial cideries (wineries that specialize in hard cider production) across the country. The majority of these businesses are less than 10 years old, showing the growing popularity of hard cider among consumers. Virginia has at least seven licensed commercial cideries, and several more slated to open in the next few years. Additionally, individuals who are interested in starting or expanding their orchard, winery, or cidery business are increasingly approaching Virginia Tech, Virginia Cooperative Extension, and Virginia Department of Consumer Services personnel for technical support on growing hard cider apples and making hard cider. Possessing many parallels to the Virginia wine industry, hard cider production can positively impact rural economies by creating a new value-added agricultural opportunity, which promotes tourism, land preservation and Virginia's apple industry.

Continue the article here:


Hot Rum Cow Issue 2 - The Cider Issue

Good reads on cider aren't always easy to come by. While that fact may change one day it's still pretty hard to put together a great cider book collection. At first you it fairly easy to collect all the readily available gems. My very first cider books were Making the Best Apple Cider and Cider: Making, Using & Enjoying Sweet & Hard Cider both my Annie Proulx. Ben Watson's book Cider, Hard and Sweet: History, Traditions, and Making Your Own was a game changer for me. The moment I finished that book I knew I was hooked and I began to seek out and buy all the genuine cider reading I could find.

With a little internet search ingenuity and good old fashioned dilligence I've grown my cider library quite a bit over the years. Besides the aforementioned reads some of the other easy to find "must haves" on my list include Craft Cider Making by Andrew Lea, Ciderland by James Crowden, and if you find yourself craving a little bit of apple history I really enjoyed Apples by Frank Browning.

In 2011 I missed out (along with a couple of you) on a chance to buy Vinetum Britannicum: A Treatise of Cider on Ebay which ultimately sold for $1975. 

This morning I ran across a link to Hot Rum Cow's Issue 2 ~ The Cider Issue. Now I haven't read a lick of this magazine yet but the playful yet tastefully worked layout and illustrations are fantastic. At once I knew this would be a release that any cider afficianado would want in their library. To boot they are British and in my experience the English hardly ever do cider injustice.

Take a look and see for yourself...

How can you not want THAT on your shelf?

Well I did it. Sight unseen I pulled the trigger and bought an issue. At around $20, which includes shippng to the states, it may seem like a lot for a magazine. But I've seen even more photos from Hot Rum Cow's Flickr account and the magazine looks to be printed very nicely on terrific looking slightly "toothy" matte paper. I'm 99% sure it'll be a worthwhile purchase. If you want to save some money and indulge in a little instant gratificiation you can download it from iTunes for £2.49.

Hot Rum Cow also published a nice blog post on my buddy cider photographer Bill Bradshaw last week. They are a fairly new drink publication but they seem to know their stuff and have me intruiged so I did a little reading up.

Here is how they describe themselves on their website:

Hot Rum Cow is a labour of love, created by White Light Media. Its aim is to celebrate the wonderful world of drinks by exploring the stories and people behind them.

You can buy the print or downloaded versions of Hot Rum Cow Issue 2 - The Cider Issue here:

Find them on Facebook here:
Follow them on Twitter here:


A British Invasion Coming to the NW

I've got an exciting roadtrip ahead of me...

About a year and a half ago and just as we were really starting up the Northwest Cider Association I get this email out of the blue from this photographer guy in England. The guy is Bill Bradshaw of IAMCIDER. He explained to me the he likes cider a lot, he takes pitcures of the stuff and the culture, and was putting together a book project on world cider with this award winning beer writer guy Pete Brown. Well if you know me, and maybe even if you don't, you could guess how excited I was to hear about a project like that. 

A sample of Bill's handy work. started to help Bill get connected with a few folks like Mike Beck from Uncle John's Fruit House Winery who almost immediately made arrangements for a visit to the Great Lakes area and Michigan with a short layover in the Northeast for a few stops. I knew we needed to bring these guys out to the Pacific Northwest too. I brought the idea to NWCA President Sharon Campbell of Tieton Cider Works and she was equally enthused about the idea and after approval from the board she immediately spearheaded the planning of their visit.

We really wanted to bring them to the Northwest during harvest time and during pressing to make the best of the opportunity and give them the best possible experience. Because Eastern Oregon and Washington have such a different growing season than Western Oregon and Washington pinpointing exact dates that showed the best of both sides was difficult too. We decided on early to mid October of 2012.

Bill and Pete arrive soon and I get to be one of our Northwest cider ambassadors and help escort these two gentlemen around our beautiful little corner of the world during what I think is the best time to visit the Northwest. It's gonna be a blast I'm sure. Stay tuned as I'm sure we'll document a pretty good road trip with this guys on NW Cider's website.


Hang with Bill Bradshaw and Pete Brown and your local Cidermakers.

Sharon planned a couple special evenings one in Portland and another in Seattle where Bill and Pete and the Northwest Cider Association members will meet and great and drink some cider. I hear Bill and Pete put on an entertaining performance where they discuss their project and their booze filled globe trotting adventures.

Are you interested in attending one of these events?



If you are in or near Portland come to Spirit of 77 Saturday October 13th at 6pm where you will find our esteemed guests hanging out with Oregon cidermakers and drinking their wares. No cover fee, and cider, eats, and cocktails are all available for purchase.



On Wednesday October 17th the boys arrive in Seattle and will head on over to Central Cinema at 6PM for a repeat performance and Q&A session with Washington cidermakers. Tickets are $20 per person, cider tastes and eats provided.

Visit the Northwest Cider Association's events pages to find out more.


Cider Summit NW returns to Seattle for our 3rd annual festival ~ September 8th, 2012.

Join us at South Lake Union Discovery Center Lawn (near Westlake & Denny) in the heart of SLU on Saturday, September 8 from 11a-7p.

We are expecting a range of 60+ ciders from Northwest favorites and global selections from England, France, Scotland and Spain.  Food available from Whole Foods & Brave Horse Tavern.  Also featuring live music and a bottles-to-go store.

Admission includes a logo tasting glass and 10 drink tickets. 21 & over
only. For more information visit:


Washington Cider Week ~ September 8th - 16th, 2012 

Washington Cider Week is fast approaching and this year's edition is set to be bigger than our innaugural year by far.

Area Cidermakers are currently scurrying about helping gather details and make arrangments with each Washington Cider Week event host. I will tell you that I've seen the growing list of events, and there are a mess of them on there. Not only are there LOTS of events but event quality and creativity has been elevated too. There are events on both sides of the mountains. From Spokane to Seattle, to the Yakima Valley on over to Wenatchee, "Apple Capital of the World", and even in our state capital Olympia. Cider pride is finally starting to take off in Washington.

Cider Summit NW will once again be kicking off Washington Cider Week in a big way. They expect record numbers of attendees this year and the amount of cidermakers and ciders isn't getting any smaller either. Check it out. If you buy early and by early I mean before August 9th, 2012 you might find you are still eligible for one the 2 for 1 groupon specials floating around the internet. Find those here & here.

Details will start to break in the next week or so. You can check in at the Washington Cider Week page over at the Northwest Cider Association's website or follow along on twitter at @nwcider or follow them Facebook at I'll be posting updates as well so you are welcome to check back here too or find me on Facebook and Twitter.