Grizzly Ciderworks The Bruin Dark & Dry Hopped

Review of Grizzly Ciderworks’ The Bruin, Dark & Dry Hopped.  It is my first time trying this one, but I have had Grizzly’s The RidgeWoodlander Wit, and Pomnivore.

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Cider:  The Bruin, Dark & Dry Hopped
Cidery:  Grizzly Ciderworks
Cidery Location:  WA and/or OR (it isn’t specific)
ABV:  6.7%
How Supplied:  22oz bottles
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples with Molasses & Willamette hops

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Availability:  year round in Washington, Idaho, and Montana

Cider Description:  THE BRUIN is crafted with a dry apple base, blended with dark sugars and steeped with light touch of Willamette hops.  The nose has a nice earthiness with a palate of ripe apple, rich sugars and earthy spice.  Excellent with pork, steak and other meat dishes or hearty flavors.

Cidery Description:  Over three years in the making, Grizzly Ciderworks is pleased to release our entire line of products to the public.  We’ve test-marketed over a dozen ciders  in kegs and bottles, with varying labels and names, produced in multiple facilities in two states, and worked with a vast network of local vendor partners for each and every ingredient to make our product.  From labels to fruit, caps to hops, cases to spices, everything piece of a Grizzly Cider bottle comes from within 150 miles of our cidery.  These ingredients are ALL-NATURAL and the ciders are all GLUTEN-FREE.

They started in Woodinville WA in 2013 but moved to the Walla Walla Valley of SE Washington / NE Oregon in 2015.  Many of their ciders are beer-inspired (their bottle even said their ciders are brewed?!).

Price:  $6.99
Where Bought:  The Cave in Kirkland WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing.  I’ve been more into hopped ciders lately, plus I’m a fan of Mollasses in cider, so this sounded good.

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First Impression:  Nearly still (very low carbonation).  Moderate orange amber hue.  Smells of bitter hops and sweet caramel.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Light to medium bodied.  Low tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Low bitterness.  Hints of tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of orange, hops, molasses, caramel, and wood.  Moderate to long hopped finish.  Low hops intensity.  Moderate flavor intensity, apple flavor, and complexity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I really enjoyed this.  It was surprisingly complex, and had a nice mix of earthy & sweet notes without being overly sweet.  It was missing the typical citrus/herbal/floral type flavor notes, likely due to the molasses being more dominant than the hops.

Most Similar to:  Spire Dark & Dry and Woodchuck 802 (except less sweet and with hops), and Grizzly’s The Ridge & Woodlander Wit.

Closing Notes:  Grizzly makes some solid ciders, but so far this is my favorite.  Its a nice price point too.  I could see this selling well in a multi pack (and for a beer-inspired mid-priced cider, I’m surprised they haven’t gone that route yet…maybe as a canning line costs much more than a bottling line to set up).

Have you tried Grizzly Ciderworks The Bruin?  What did you think?

Grizzly Ciderworks The Ridge

Review of The Ridge from Grizzly Ciderworks, their flagship cider.  Grizzly Ciderworks is interesting in that their ciders are very beer-inspired, and many have hops.  The Ridge however does not include hops.

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Cider:  The Ridge
Cidery:  Grizzly Ciderworks
Cidery Location:  Seattle WA
ABV:  6.7%
How Supplied:  22oz bottles and kegs

Availability:  at least WA, OR, & ID

Cider Description:  The Ridge is Grizzly’s flagship.  Crafted with a special blend of Northwest apples and dry fermented to perfection, The Ridge is rewardlingly tasty.  Simple and refreshing, The Ridge is a cider standard for any occasion.

Cidery Description:  Grizzly Ciderworks was started by Corey Haugen and Andy Petek (in 2013). With backgrounds in marketing, sales, and beverage distribution, these friends created a great fusion of passion and innovation. What started as a hobby in an apartment quickly grew to a garage, then a small warehouse…and then a big warehouse. The rest is history.  After a year of test market draft-only sales in the Puget Sound, Grizzly is now launching retail packages and broadening distribution throughout the Northwest. With a Founder’s Series of four ciders and a rotating Seasonal Series, Grizzly will be available in 22 oz bottles, 1/6 barrel and 1/2 barrel kegs.  In addition to Corey and Andy, the Grizzly family is made up of enthusiastic team members who love everything cider. The company is dedicated to fostering a fun and collaborative atmosphere everywhere from the cidery to your local store or restaurant.

Price:  $5.79 / pint on tap
(retails $7 or $8 / 22oz bottle)

Where Drank:  Diamond Knot Brewpub in Mountlake Terrace WA

How Found:  I called Diamond Knot Brewpub ahead of time to ask their cider selection, as I could only figure out online that they had one tap designated for cider, and didn’t want to be disappointed as I’m a bit picky about my cider!  They only said “Grizzly Cider”, but Untappd was able to tell me it was The Ridge (someone had checked in the night before).  Even the tap list and menu at Diamond Knot Brewpub only said Grizzly Ciderworks, not the variety.  However, I am definite it was The Ridge from the description and its lack of hops or other flavors.

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First Impression:  Light amber hue.  Light carbonation with a light foam ring.  Dry woody apple scent.

Opinion:  Dry to semi dry.  Clean, crisp, and refreshing.  I love the woody earthiness, which is unique for a plain flagship cider.  Moderate bitterness, moderate acidity, and mild tartness.  I was surprised how much I liked this cider considering the dryness and moderate bitterness, which usually put me off a cider, but I think the oaky aspects helped balance that.  This cider tastes barrel aged to me, but it isn’t.  It paired well with my fish & chips (actually tater tots…my favorite aspect of my meal at the Diamond Knot Brewpub).

Most Similar to:  The Ridge has some similar characteristics to Schilling Oak Aged, although The Ridge is more dry, more bitter, and less oaky.  I like the two ciders pretty equivalently.

Closing Notes:   Very solid cider.  I’d try other ciders from Grizzly Ciderworks, but most of their varieties don’t really appeal to me…hopped, ginger, spiced, orange peel & coriander, etc.  I’ll keep an eye on them though!  Currently Grizzly Ciderworks offers four “Founder’s Series” and two “Seasonal Series” ciders.  Here is a great article about their entry into the Seattle cider market in 2013.

Have you tried anything from Grizzly Ciderworks?  What did you think?