Cider is a relatively new up and coming industry in an arearipe for the picking. North Central Washington has been an agricultural centerfor apples for more than 100 years; add in the other fresh fruit the regionoffers – pears, cherries, etc. – and you’ve got the perfect place for a ciderindustry to take hold and expand.
Here are some of the cideries and cider makers to visit inthe area. There’s plenty to choose from, with a wide variety of flavors andstyles, many from third, fourth, fifth and sixth generation orchardingfamilies. Many of these ciders are available at the Wenatchee Chamber ofCommerce Tasting Room – stop in to try what’s on tap.
Archibald James is relatively new cidery with a tasting roomin Leavenworth. They specialize in drier ciders with distinct flavorings, usingprimarily organic apples from Stemilt Growers, one of the area’s largest fruitpacking houses. “We’re focusing on making small batch, locally sourced drycider,” says Jason Schilling, one of the cidery’s three partners. “We want tomake sure they have all of the flavor without too much sweetness.”
Ciders to Try: Thai’dUp – a dry cider featuring Thai-style herbs, including turmeric, lemongrass andginger; Cyzer, a cider mead using buckwheat honey, elderberries and lavender
Tasting Room Hoursand Locations: Archibald James’ tasting room at 925 Commercial Street inLeavenworth is open Thursday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 4 p.m. to 8p.m., Saturday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. They alsodistribute to several dozen locations from Leavenworth to Wenatchee.
Phone number: (509)255-3796
Bad Granny HardCider
Made by Karma Vineyards in Chelan, Bad Granny Hard Cider wascreated using the French champagne method. Bad Granny is largely distributedand has several different options, including black currant, cherry, and a perry(a cider made with pear juice instead of apple).
Ciders to Try: Theeasy-to-drink Bad Granny original flagship cider uses Honeycrisp and GrannySmith apples; their Cider Maker’s Reserve is similar in style to a Frenchchampagne.
Tasting Room Hoursand Locations: Taste Bad Granny at the Karma Vineyards Tasting Room, 1681Lakeshore Rd. in Chelan. Winter hours are Thursday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Check their website for hours the rest of theyear.
Phone number: (509)682-5538
Chelan Craft opened in the summer of 2018. Their smalltasting room and production facility are conveniently located at the edge ofthe town of Chelan heading toward Manson. Cider maker Cynthia Flynn and herhusband Eric use local Chelan Valley Golden Delicious, Granny Smiths, PinkLadies and Braeburns for their ciders’ base before adding fruit flavoring usingWashington-made syrups.
“We try to go for ciders that aren’t really dry or reallysweet – just in the middle,” says Eric.
Ciders to Try: AppleLemon, or Cherry Vanilla with dessert
Tasting Room Hoursand Locations: Their tasting room at 806 W. Manson Hwy in Chelan is openFridays and Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., and other days when Cynthia ismaking wine. Stop by the coffee shop right next door for some caffeine or ahomemade pastry – Cynthia’s sister and her family own it!
Phone number: (509)669-3000
Barns, etc. Hard Cider Shed
Artist Paula Frederick and her husband Gary began makingcider 7 years ago, after Paula successfully established a gallery in what isnow the Hard Cider Shed. “We started this to play, and as a fun thing to do,”says Paula. They use the English dry technique to create a European style cider.Their “Country Elegant, Heirloom Blend” ciders are all made with local fruit.
Ciders to Try: Theirthree apple cider blends of varying sweetness; the perry made with heirloomvariety pears; or their cherry cider, made with tart pie cherries.
Tasting Room Hoursand Locations: The tasting room at 5420 Woodring Canyon Rd. in Cashmere isclosed during the winter, but you can find their cider at the Wenatchee Chamberof Commerce tasting room and at Broken Barrel in Leavenworth. Check theirwebsite for tasting room hours the rest of the year.
Phone number:(509) 670-8029
Hard Row to Hoe
Hard Row to Hoe, a fun, well-established (and somewhat bawdythemed) winery in Manson began making hard cider in 2012. They now have twotypes they make in small batches when their wine tanks are empty: an Ice Cider,made by freezing the apple juice first, and the Other Cider the Lake, featuringa blend of the freshest local Washington apples they can find. Their ciders areBritish-style: dry, and low in alcohol content, with no additives or addedflavoring.
Their hard ciders are only available in their Manson andLeavenworth tasting rooms.
Ciders to Try: IceCider, similar to an ice wine but with more tannins and acid, making it a greatcombination with pate and cheese and crackers.
Tasting Room Hoursand Locations: Hard Row to Hoe has tasting rooms at Manson (300 Ivan MorseRd.) and in Leavenworth (837 Front St., Ste A). The Manson tasting room is openyear-round from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Leavenworth location is open 12 p.m. to 6p.m. Thursday to Monday.
Phone number: (509)687-3000
“What makes us different – aside from using pears – is we’reusing all our own fruit,” says Micah Roberson, one of three in the partnershipthat make up Independent Cider. Roberson, cider maker Michael Partheymuller andorchardist Kramer Christensen are using fruit from Christensen’s family’sorchards – and his knowledge as a 5thgeneration orchardist – to create a clean, crisp off-dry perry out of theirproduction facility in Dryden.
Ciders to Try: SnowGem Perry, their flagship perry, and Lavender Perry, with both a fragrant noseand amazingly light lavender flavor.
Tasting Room Hoursand Locations: Independent Cider doesn’t have a tasting room, but they’reavailable at McGlinn’s, Badger Mountain Brewing, Wenatchee Natural Foods,Martin’s Market in Cashmere, and YodelinRestaurant, Dan’s Market, and Blewett Brewing in Leavenworth.
Phone number: (509)860-2832
Longdrop Cider Co.
Starting with the idea of being “good to the core,” Krystenand Keegan Furfaro were looking for a way to take apples to a new level after30 years in the agricultural business. Longdrop Cider features a wide varietyof cider options. Some are on the sweeter side but most lean toward a drier,European style. “Our ciders are clean and classic,” says Rachel Strand, Longdrop’sbrand manager. “We’re working to stay true to the roots of the apple.”
Longdrop donates 1lb. of fruit and vegetables to localschools for each case of cider sold.
Ciders to Try: TheWoodsman Hefeweizen, made with Hefeweizen yeast and bitter orange peel; theNorthwest Apple for a classic European style cider; and Vanilla Honey, theirmost popular, made with Madagascar vanilla and Culver honey.
Tasting Room Hours and Locations: Longdrop opened a new tasting room in Leavenworth (894 Hwy 2, Suite B) in January 2019. They’re open Fridays and Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays, Sundays and Mondays.
Phone number: (509)888-9106
Manchester Road Cider Co.
Manchester Road is a true British-style cider, made by an Englishmanwho grew up on Manchester Road. Andrew Fielding and his wife Erin craft theircider in Chelan, combining the best apples available with Andrew’s 30 years ofcider making experience using traditional cider-making methods.
Ciders to Try: 42,their flagship cider with its light and refreshing apple flavors, or the RedSox Red, brewed especially for the Wenatchee Applesox Baseball team andavailable at several locations throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Tasting Room Hoursand Locations: Manchester Road does not have a tasting room, but isdistributed widely. Check their website for a retailer near you.
Phone number: (509)393-8375
Pear UP is a family-owned craft cidery owned by brothersKevin and Mark Van Reenen. The brothers were pioneers in the local perry-makingbusiness, producing a hard cider completely from pears. The family businessruns on the brothers’ great-grandfather’s land, using the native pear varietieson the property to create a light and flavorful cider finish.
Ciders to Try: Hoppin’Pear, infused with hops, and Raspeary, featuring raspberries to compliment thethe pear base.
Tasting Room Hoursand Locations: Pear UP’s East Wenatchee Tasting Room at 221 11thSt. NE is open by appointment only. Pear Up also distributes widely. You canfind their perry in stores in Washington and beyond.
Phone number: (509)993-4948
Phillippi Fruit Company
These sixth-generation orchardists use local North CentralWashington fruit to create their own distinct hard alcohols, including a pommeau de normandie French-style hardcider with 19% alcohol, an apple jack – basically an apple “whiskey” – pluspear and cherry brandies.
Ciders to Try: Applejack,their signature apple whiskey, and Snow Cider, a new winter warmer combiningpartially fermented apple cider and double distilled apple brandy.
Tasting Room Hoursand Locations: Phillippi’s Tasting Room is located at 1921 Fifth Street inWenatchee. They’re open Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and evenings andweekends by appointment.
Phone number: (509)662-8522
This family-run cidery in Manson brings together theknow-how of 5 generations of farming, first in Wenatchee in the 1910’s beforeestablishing in Manson in the 1920’s. Jim and Cheryl Koenig, their threedaughters and their daughters’ husbands are all involved to some extent in creatingmodern-style cider using fruit from their 50+ acres of orchard.
“Generally, our ciders are quite clean and crisp, in thesemi-dry category,” says Kate Koenig Howard, one of Rootwood’s cider makers. Althoughmany of their blends use dessert apples, the Koenigs recently grafted someheritage style cider varieties into one of their blocks. Their new heritagestyle cider will be out the spring of 2019.
Ciders to Try: Harvest103, celebrating the 103rd year of apple harvests within theextended family; Hops Infused, Rootwood’s most popular cider, featuring PinkLady apples and Citra hops
Tasting Room Hoursand Locations: Rootwood has a tasting room in downtown Manson at 45 WapatoWay, open 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdaysduring the winter. They have a second tasting room at their production facilitythat is open on Saturdays during the summer. Check their website for currenthours after March.
Phone number:(509) 888-7215
Snowdrift Cider Co
Snowdrift Cider makes their dry and off-dry ciders usingtrue English and French cider apples. “It’s more like a white wine,” says PeterRingsrud, owner and cider maker. Ringsrud and his wife Mary Ann make theircider primarily from their own fruit, with only some additions from growers nofurther away than Quincy. The Ringsrud family has had orchards in the WenatcheeValley since the 1940’s.
Ciders to Try: TheCliffbreaks Blend (Snowdrift’s most popular cider) and their Red Cider, madewith rosy red apples that lend their coloring to the drink.
Tasting Room Hoursand Locations: Snowdrift’s East Wenatchee tasting room (227 S. Ward Ave.) isclosed January to March except byappointment. They’re open Friday and Saturday from 12-5 the rest of the year.
Phone number: (509)630-3507
Steelhead Cider’s cider maker Ben Barnes is the thirdgeneration of an agricultural family from Manson. Barnes uses a combination ofhis family’s fruit and fruit from the Chelan Valley to create his diverselineup of ciders.
“Our ciders are easy going for introductory cider drinkers,”says Barnes. “They’re very diverse. There’s bound to be something that appealsto everyone.”
Barnes uses a base of Fujis, Braeburns, Galas, GoldenDelicious and Granny Smith apples for the base of his ciders before addingaddition flavoring or fruit.
Ciders to Try: BackroadBoysenberry for its fruit forward flavor and strawberry undertones; FuriousGeorge Ginger for a cider similar to a ginger beer
Tasting Room Hoursand Locations: Steelhead Cider’s Tasting Room at 114 E. Woodin Ave. inChelan is open Thursday to Monday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 1p.m. to 12 a.m.
Phone number: (509)670-2354