Summer Cider Day 2016 in Port Townsend WA – The Event

Last weekend I attended the 6th annual Summer Cider Day in Port Townsend Washington.  It was my first time at this event and my second time in Port Townsend (Northwest of Seattle; see my previous 4 posts here on the Olympic Peninsula Cider Route with Alpenfire, Eaglemount, and Finnriver).  I’ll have two posts; this first one covers the event and a second will cover tasting notes on the ciders I tried (post 2/2 now up – see HERE).  Check out my previous post here, which was a preview of the Summer Cider Day event.

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<the event program cover>

I took the Edmonds-Kingston ferry fairly early (note there is a Port Townsend ferry, but the route is from Coupville) to ensure I got there before 11am, when the VIP tasting started (an hour earlier than the noon-5pm event).  VIP is definitely the way to go by the way (for an extra $10 per ticket) as I got a chance to try a number of ciders, chat up the cidermakers pouring them, and take photos of the venue and lovely table setups before it got too busy.  I actually did nearly all my cider tasting in that hour.  By arriving early I also had a chance to get a great parking spot, walk around town, grab some coffee, etc.

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The Northwest Maritime Center was a great venue for this small ish cider festival.  It was primarily indoors (which is rare for a summer tasting event, but I appreciated it as sun + cider isn’t the best combo), except for food and seating on the deck (with an amazing waterfront view).

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It was also a unique event in that it was family-friendly (although there wasn’t really anything for kids to do, just a corner set up with some coloring books).

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Admission included a tasting glass and 8 drink tickets.

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The venue on the second floor of the building was beautiful, with high ceilings.  Each cidery had a booth to pour their ciders (a mix of draft and bottle pours).  Many had the actual cidermakers pouring the cider, but if not, it was someone very familiar with it (vs. some events which have volunteers pour cider).

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They had catering on the deck from Siren’s Pub, a restaurant down the street.  The menu was cider-themed and had suggested cider pairings.  I had a shrimp skewer with rice and mango salsa that was pretty good, although I imagine it would have better if it didn’t get cold right away since it was a bit cool & windy outside.  The outdoor seating was nice though (especially as there was no indoor seating, only stand up tables).

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They also had a bottle shop, where many of the ciders were available for purchase.

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The attending cideries were announced in advance, but not the ciders they were pouring.  Here is the final lineup:

2 Towns Ciderhouse (Corvallis OR) Outcider, Bade Apple, Made Marion
Alpenfire Cider (Port Townsend WA) Pirate’s Plank, Spark!, ApoCalypso
Bull Run Cider (Forest Grove OR) Dry Hop, Pear Wine, Bramble Berry
Eaglemount Wine & Cider (Port Townsend WA) Ginger, Rhubarb, Cyser
Finnriver Farm & Cidery (Chimmacum WA) Chimacum Kriek, Sidra, Oak & Apple
Liberty Ciderworks (Spokane WA) Heirloom Series Gravenstein, Turncoat Dry Hopped New World, Stonewall Barrel-Aged
Locust Cider (Woodinville WA) Thai Ginger, Apricot, Wabi Sabi
Nashi Orchards (Vashon WA) Chojuro Perry, Island Harvest Perry, Barrel Fermented Cider
New West Cider (Portland OR) Black & Blue, Señor Cider
Schilling Cider (Auburn WA) Ascender Ginger, Grapefruit & Chill, Bailout Lemongrass Cider
added: Seattle Cider (Seattle WA) Berry, Semi Sweet, Dry
Snowdrift Cider Co. (East Wenatchee WA)
Spire Mountain Ciders (Olympia WA) Crisp & Dry, Dark & Dry, Dry Hopped Apple
Pear UP , formerly NV Cider (Wenatchee WA) Watermelon Pear, Pear Essentials, and Ginger Pear
Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider (Portland OR) The Passion, ¡Tepache!, Revival
Tieton Cider Works (Yakima WA) Rambling Route Pear, Apricot, Tieton
Wandering Aengus Ciderworks (Salem OR) Anthem Cherry, Golden Russet, Wanderlust
Whitewood Cider (Olympia WA) Gibb’s Darm, Newtown Pippin, Old Fangled Heirloom
Woodbox Cider (Portland OR)

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<a neat banner they had on the Cider Making Process>

Next up in the Seattle area is Washington Cider Week (Sept 8-18), including the epic Cider Summit (Sept 9 & 10).

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