Friday, October 19, 2012

Colorado Cider Company


Colorado is a state that started off with one major brewery in Golden, and now there are more microbreweries than one could count, with the number continuously growing. Then along the Western Slope Colorado wineries started opening and we developed our own little wine country. Then throughout the state micro distilleries began to open and now finding high quality bourbon and vodka made in Colorado is as easy as it has ever been. But what is there for the person who is not a fan of beer and wine but enjoys local beverages? Well just outside of downtown Denver there is a company that sources local ingredients to produce high quality alcoholic beverages, and it is none other than the Colorado Cider Company.
Tucked in amongst a lot of warehouses this place is not easy to find but once you are there it is worth it. Inside the seating area is small, with a few tables and equally as small bar top. There were people standing enjoying their beverage or sitting on the stairs leading up to the entrance way. Above guests hung pallets from the ceiling, and views of the production area were visible but they take up the majority of this space. The d├ęcor is minimal but in an industry new and unique to the Denver beer scene the beverages speak for themselves, and with a wide variety there are plenty to choose from ranging from tart to sweet, and the very unique.
When it comes to making a cider it is best to stay true to the original and not be to experimental right away, and the result of that is the signature drink the Glider Cider. This is everything you would expect from a cider. It is light, crisp, and a little on the tart side. Not too sweet, but the apple flavor is very clean, and this is one beverage that almost any craft beer fan would enjoy. There is also a dry version of the Glider Cider which is the original just a little drier, and this is a result of the fermenting process. Still a very enjoyable beverage but should be tried side by side with the original so the differences are more noticeable.
Now this place wouldn’t be innovative and original if they didn’t experiment with their flavors, and one of the results of this experimentation is the Grasshop-Ah. A traditional cider that has a very common beer ingredient in it (hops) and an ingredient more commonly associated with Asian cuisine (lemongrass). The end result is a slightly bitter, but also slightly more tart without being too acidic, but a very enjoyable drink. Also available in limited batches throughout the year is Ol’ Stumpy, a cider that brings together both granny smith and jonagold apples, and then ages them in chardonnay barrels. The marriage of that creates a strong apple flavor with a subtle wine note, and a hint of grapes.
What would a cider company in Colorado be if they did not use the best ingredients from their home state? Use Colorado apples and wildflower honey also from Colorado and you have a Pome Mel, a honey cider. A strong apple flavor, a nice sweetness from the honey, plus the light flavor of lavender and rosemary from the honey adds a very faint but noticeable herbaceous flavor. This cider is the best of what Colorado has to offer and the end result shows what the result will be when high quality local ingredients are used.
A company that wanted to help revive that apple farming in Colorado turned to making a historically European drink in hard cider. The end result is a wide variety of enjoyable, and refreshing beverages that not only quench your thirst but support local farmers as well. This place will turn anybody into a cider fan, and will continue to keep their regulars coming back. When a company is so committed to supporting the local farmers the quality is reflected in the end product. With beverages that are so unique and fresh it is no wonder that the Colorado Cider Company has an increasing customer base, and beverages anybody would enjoy.
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