As part of our cider maker series, we highlight some of the smaller or more unique US cider makers.
For spring break last month we took a very quick trip to Colorado to visit our cider friends. Since we had the boys in tow, we rented a car and headed outside of Denver to check out some new (to us) cideries. The first on our stop was St. Vrain Cidery in Longmont – about 40 minutes north of Denver. The husband and wife team of Dean and Cindy Landi, and cidermaker, Dan Daugherty opened the doors of St. Vrain, the first cidery in Boulder County (which was named after a CO apple last seen in 1891), in late 2016. The cidery, housed in the former home of the Longmont Times-Call, really embodies the Colorado friendliness we have come to know and love. In addition to having their ciders on tap, they also carry almost 20 other draft ciders from around Colorado. St. Vrain is also committed to community collaboration and local philanthropy.
During our visit, we got a chance to chat with Dean and Cindy and sample their ciders.
Dry Apple – serves as the base for all of St. Vrain’s ciders. The dry cider has balanced sweet-tart flavor and the use of Winesap add characteristics that are reminiscent of an off-dry wine.
Dry Ginger – This is a unique ginger cider as it is not as spicy as most ginger ciders typically are. The use of Fiji ginger results in a more fruity and tropical cider but still allows the apple and some spice to come through.
Dry Chokeberry – This was one of my favorites. Chokeberries have an astringent taste but are not as tart as cranberries. The chokeberries also add a bit of tannin and black tea notes to the cider.
Dry Hopped Ginger – The dry ginger cider is infused with Mosaic hops which enhances the tropical flavors with notes of mango and citrus.
Key Lime – This cider came highly recommended and did not disappoint. Whole, shredded key limes are added to the dry apple which adds a juicy, citrusy flavor. The apple and lime balance each other nicely and add a bit of complexity.