|Tickle the Tastebuds - Wines & Wineries|
The multiple personalities of Virginia cidermakers come as no surprise. As producers of the commonwealth’s early alcoholic beverage, they have much history to celebrate, while as participants in the contemporary culinary and local craft movements, they draw inspiration from novelty and innovation.
Virginia provides a natural home for craft cideries, with climate and geography that support healthy orchards. As a major apple-producing state, we rank sixth in the country in apple production. Governor Terry McAuliffe’s office reports that more than 416,750 cases of Virginia cider were sold during fiscal year 2016, up approximately 52 percent from 2015. Some of our cideries grow their own apples, beginning with existing orchards and/or planting new trees, while others have apples or juice shipped to their facilities.
If early experiences with hard cider left a bad taste in your mouth, consider that contemporary craft ciders come in a range of styles to suit almost every palate.
You can read more about Virginia cider in the October-November issue of Boomer Magazine and on the Boomer website. You can also sample the fruits of the state's creative cider makers Nov. 11-20, 2016. Special events throughout Virginia Cider Week 2016 showcase this budding industry in a variety of events – fun, educational and delicious.
Cider and chef’s specialty pairing dinners
Saturday, Nov. 12 at Courthouse Creek Cider. A five course dinner prepared by guest Chef Michael D'Aquanni paired with the creations of this Goochland cidery.
Sunday, Nov. 13, 3-7 p.m. at Blue Bee Cider’s new Summit Stables location in Scotts Addition, featuring a roving menu inspired by classic “working” fare and prepared by top Richmond chefs: Dutch & Co., Stroops, Stock Provisions and Twenty Paces cheeses. Besides ciders from Blue Bee, guests can also enjoy ciders from Albemarle CiderWorks, Potter’s Craft Cider and Foggy Ridge Cider. Also featuring blacksmith and forging demos and product sales (from Blanc Creatives) and products from Paisley & Jade and Gather Home and Garden as well as music by the Mikrowaves. $35 includes food. Cider sold separately.
Monday, Nov. 14, 6 p.m. – Buskey’s first cider dinner pairs five courses created specifically for five Buskey ciders. $55 + tax & gratuity.
Potter’s Cider dinner at Southbound
Tuesday, Nov. 15, 7 p.m. – five-course dinner with five ciders includes a cask-conditioned pin of Oak Barrel Reserve with cinnamon and vanilla for dessert. $50. Call (804) 918-5431 for reservations $50.
Potter’s Cider and Ham Flights at Comfort
Three Potter’s Craft ciders paired with three varieties of country ham, hand-selected by chef Jason Alley at Comfort. Monday–Thursday: 5-10; Friday–Saturday: 5-11; Sunday brunch: 11-4.
Foggy Ridge Cider aperitif pairing at Heritage
A sparkling cider cocktail and a small bite from Chef Joe Sparatta to kick off a phenomenal meal at Heritage.
Other special events include
Tuesday, Nov. 15, 6-7:30 p.m. – Blue Bee Cider and Original Gravity Homebrew Supplies host a home cider making workshop, led by Blue Bee’s cellar team. Learn about evaluating juice, making additions before fermentation, monitoring progress during fermentation and options for customizing your cider before bottling. Workshop fee of $30 includes one gallon of juice, carboy with airlock, yeast, yeast nutrient, lab flask, and funnel.
- Buskey cocktails at Fat Dragon
- Sugar Shack gluten-free donuts made with Buskey Cider paired with Buskey ciders. At Buskey Cider.
- Cider brunch at Lucy’s Restaurant
- Steal the Glass and Blue Bee cider / dessert pairings at Shyndigz
- Meet The Cidermaker with Diane Flynt of Foggy Ridge at Shagbark
- Thai Ginger and Honey Cider pin infused with kaffir lime, galangal, lemongrass and Thai chili peppers. Other ciders on tap and a cider cocktail. At Sabai
- Three-course dinner available by the table with Potter’s Craft ciders and cheese from 20 Paces. At Acadia Midtown
- A cask-conditioned pin of Potter’s Craft Cider Blackberry Brett cider, a keg of Farmhouse Saison and pouring bottles of Ryesap. At The Cask Café
- Foggy Ridge cider flights at Richmond’s new Shagbark restaurant.
For more information and statewide events, visit the Cider Week website.