Louis Raison French Cidre Arrives In The US

Even though I’m a big fan of craft beers, I do enjoy the occasional craft cider as well.  I sometimes head to one of my local watering holes fully intending to sample some ciders, but then I look at the tap list and I’m like, “Oh look! Three new craft beers I haven’t tried yet!”  As a result, I’m far less experienced and knowledgeable about craft ciders than I am craft beers.

Despite this inherent bias I have towards beer over cider, however, I definitely still appreciate a well made craft cider and usually do manage to try a few when I see something new and interesting.  So I’m a intrigued by the arrival of Louis Raison French Cidre, France’s #1 selling cider, which is set to make their U.S. debut this week.  There are five events happening around Seattle between August 15th and August 26th, where you’ll be able to sample their ciders and see what you think.

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Discover The New Growler USA In Redmond

What happens when you take the basic concept of a growler refill station and decide to take it National?  Well, what happens is, you get something like Growler USA.  Founded in 2013 by Dan White (CEO), Dave Shaw (President), and Vern Whittaker (Retired CFO), Growler USA now has 10 locations across the U.S. and are slated to open 50 more throughout 2017-2018.

Each location boasts up to 100 taps of beer (including microbrewed craft beers), hard cider, draft wine & kombucha, plus an extensive food menu. Their tap list varies by location, of course, in order to offer locally-sourced options for their patrons, and their “True to the Brew” system ensures that each brewer’s vision for their product is honored.  Things are kept tightly controlled all the way from keg delivery and storage (using ‘gentle’ keg handling systems to avoid sloshing), to a meticulously maintained tap system and the proper glassware for each pour. Yesterday afternoon I took a trek out to their Redmond location, courtesy $30 in credit from Growler USA, to see what they had to offer first hand.

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Discover New Tastes At The Cheese And Meat Festival

Meat and cheese.  Cheese and meat.  They go together like bread and butter, like rhythm and blues, like Kayne West and being a douche.  If you agree, then you’ll definitely want to check out the Cheese And Meat Festival, coming to McCaw Hall (321 Mercer St.), this coming Saturday, April 29 from 7 – 9 pm.  

This celebration of charcuterie and artisan cheeses paired with local wines, ciders and beers features several local artisans, including Salumi, Jellyfish Brewing, Mollusk, FinnRiver Cidery and many, many more.

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Basil Mint Cider Returns For Spring From Seattle Cider Co.

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Many of the commercial ciders on the market today tend to be too sweet for my palate.  Measured on a scale called Brix, many of those ciders come in at a Brix rating of 4, 5 or even higher.  I think that’s why I enjoy so many of the ciders from Seattle Cider Company.  They keep their ciders low on the Brix scale, which means they aren’t as cloyingly sweet.  Their Dry cider, for example, is 0 (zero) Brix and their Semi-Sweet cider clocks in at just 2.6 Brix.

If you’re also a fan of ciders that stay a bit more on the dry side, then you’ll be excited to learn that Seattle Cider Company is ready to bring back their Spring Seasonal: Basil Mint Cider.  Coming in at 6.9 ABV and just 1.8 Brix, this Spring Seasonal starts off with a base of 100 percent fresh pressed Washington apples, accompanied by 100 pounds of fresh basil and 100 pounds of fresh mint.  Muddled on site, the basil and mint are then added directly to the cider during fermentation, providing savory and floral characteristics and a clean finish.

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Teku Tavern Set To Open On October 18th – UPDATED

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We’re blessed here in the Northwest to live in an area where there are so many great breweries.  Having easy access to so many great beers is great for craft beer fans like us, but it’s also part of what allows Seattle to have some of the best tap and bottle shops around.  Some of the most popular and well known ones include The Beer Junction, Bottleworks and Chuck’s Hop Shop.

Now, joining those establishments is Seattle’s newest tap and bottle shop: Teku Tavern.  Named for the Teku style of glassware that has been called the “World’s best beer glass”, Teku Tavern is looking to, as they put it, elevate the beer scene in Seattle.  They’ll have 50 taps, 3 cask stations and 29 refrigerators of beer and cider to go.

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Two Beers & Seattle Cider Partner With Agrial Cooperative

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We’ve seen our share of ‘buyouts’ in the craft beer World.  You know the feeling – that heartbreaking moment when you realize that one of your favorite craft breweries has ‘sold out’ to the big boys: InBev or SABMiller.  This is NOT one of those moments.

Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) and Seattle Cider Company, the first cidery in Seattle since the days of prohibition, are pleased to announce that they have formed a partnership with French, farmer-run cooperative Agrial.  They’ve struck a great deal that allows for additional expansion of both Two Beers Brewing and Seattle Cider, without giving up any control.  Both brands will continue to operate completely independently, right here in Seattle.

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Seattle Cider Prepares For Their 3rd Anniversary

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It seems like only yesterday I was telling you about the launch of Seattle Cider Company, sister company to Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) and the first cidery in Seattle since prohibition.  In reality, that was almost three years ago.  Since then, Seattle Cider has come out with several new ciders, ramped up production multiple times and increased distribution to over 12 states (including Washington), with more states being added all the time.

Now, nearly three years later and bigger than they ever thought they’d be at this point, Seattle Cider Company is preparing to celebrate their 3rd Anniversary next Saturday, August 27th at The Woods taproom.

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The Beer Junction Celebrates Their 6th Anniversary

 

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Finding a good tap and bottle shop around Seattle isn’t all that difficult.  We’re fortunate to have several options for where to go beer shopping while enjoying a few pints on tap at the same time.  One of those places that stands out for me in particular, however, is The Beer Junction in West Seattle.  Offering Seattle’s largest selection of more than 1,300+ different beers (plus cider and mead) and an incredible 70 taps of beer, cider, mead and wine, The Beer Junction has become my favorite after-work destination to enjoy a few cold ones from their always excellent and diverse tap selection and check out what’s new in bottles and cans.

Each year, as their anniversary approaches, The Beer Junction teams up with a local brewery to create a special anniversary beer to help them celebrate.  Last year it was Cinq Houblon, a Saison brewed by Sound Brewing out on the Kitsap peninsula.  The year before that it was Black Sands Coconut Cream Imperial Stout, from Fort George Brewing in Astoria, Oregon.  I’m still aging a bottle of that one in my cellar at home.

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The Pacific Northwest Cider Awards Return To Seattle Cider Co. This Month – UPDATED

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Back in 2014, I told you about the first annual Pacific Northwest Cider Awards (PNWCA), hosted at Seattle Cider Company‘s taproom: The Woods.  It was a great success and returned for its 2nd year in June 2015.  Now, here we are in June of 2016 and the PNWCA is returning for it’s third and biggest year yet.

“Growing every year, the Pacific Northwest Cider Awards has received more than 180 cider entries in 15 categories from 44 cideries found in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and British Columbia. PNWCA raises awareness for the unique ciders being produced throughout the region while offering an easy way for the public to explore the world of cider.”

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BrewDad’s Of Bonney Lake Opens In July

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The craft beer scene in the Puget Sound is rather large, so there are a number of different writers out there covering it.  Beyond Craft Beer Monger, of course, we have the Washington Beer Blog, Northwest Beer Guide, Northwest Brewing News, Two Brew Review, BrewDad and many more.

Each of these writers, including myself, have a passion for great craft beer.  Now, BrewDad writer Mike Besser is taking his passion for great craft beer beyond writing and opening up his own tap and bottle shop.  Next month, Northwest Caps & Taps in Bonney Lake will become BrewDad’s of Bonney Lake.

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