As a continuation of my trip report on the Port Townsend cider route, here is post 4/4, on Finnriver Cider. Check out here for overview post 1, here for post 2 on Alpenfire, and here for post 3 on Eaglemount. It was our third and last cidery visit of the day. Finnriver is unique in that they were a farm prior to becoming a cidery (and still are, growing produce and raising chickens for eggs). They are on 80 acres in the Chimacum Valley, south of Port Townsend. Finnriver Cidery was founded in 2008 by husband & wife Crystie & Keith Kisler and their business partner Eric Jorgensen. I learned that in May they plan to move the tasting room about 2.5 miles down the road, to their orchard location.
They also recently became a B corporation, the first winery/cidery in WA to do so. This means they promise to meet higher standards of transparency, accountability, and performance, and are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their employees, suppliers, community, the environment, etc. They believe that “all business ought to be conducted as if people and place mattered.” B Corp status can be compared to Fair Trade, LEED, or Organic certification, but is more comprehensive, a commitment to harness the power of their business to solve social, environmental, and economic problems.
Unfortunately they had the most restrictive tasting options of the three cideries due to the Red Wine & Chocolate & Cider event, but also the most chocolate pairings. I look forward to visiting them (and the other cideries) again soon. There is also a Port Townsend cider tasting event in August, Summer Cider Day, featuring the three Port Townsend cideries and many others, which I want to attend.
We started outside in the pavilion, with a sample of their Crew Selection Black Currant cider. It is similar to their regular Black Currant cider (which I reviewed here), but made with local black currants from Tahlequah Farm in Agnew, and aged 8 weeks in oak barrels. I found it light bodied, with moderate carbonation, semi-dry to semi-sweet, a touch of oak flavor, mild to moderate tartness, and moderate acidity. It was slightly richer and less tart than their regular Black Currant cider. They also offer a Lavender Black Currant cider (which I reviewed here) and a Black Currant Brandywine (which I reviewed here), so I think they like Black Currant!
Next we were served a beverage mixing their Cacao & Pear Brandywine with Theo sipping chocolate. It tasted like a very thick & rich hot chocolate with a boozy finish. It was paired with a Raspberry Brandywine and Cacao chocolate handpie from Crust Bakery, served warm out of their pizza oven, a buttery pastry crust with rich chocolate.
Then we moved inside and sampled Love & Bubbles, a mix of their Artisan Sparkling Cider (which I reviewed here) with their Raspberry Brandywine. I found the raspberry wine to tone down the acidity of the sparkling cider. Overall it was semi-dry, so I assume more cider was used than brandywine. Tasty!
Next up was their brand new Liberry Brandywine, made with red currants from Tahlequah Farm in Agnew, as a fundraiser for the Jefferson County library system. Sweet. Moderate acidity and tartness. Long boozy finish. I found it to have more tartness and zing than their Black Currant Brandywine.
Last was the Spirited Blackberry Wine. Its made from apple brandy and blackberries, and aged with oak spirals. Semi-dry. Medium bodied. Moderate acidity and tartness. Long finish. It was a bit too alcohol-forward for my tastes; I prefer their brandywines so far.
I learned that their tall clear bottles of brandywines are cordial style and their shorter dark bottles of spirited wines are port style. The brandywines have more apple brandy and less fruit wine (at a lower ABV).
They also had truffles from Elevated Chocolate, which were tasty.
I bought bottles of their Pommeau (which I reviewed here, when a friend let me sample some), Farmstead cider, & Fresh Hopped (for my husband), some cute apple earrings, and a t-shirt.
My favorite ciders overall from Finnriver so far are their Pommeau, Fire Barrel, Lavender Black Currant, and Honey Meadow, and I’ve tried quite a few from them (19 per my Ciders I’ve Tried list).
This concludes my four part series on the Port Townsend cider route–thanks for reading!