Within downtown Denver, in the River North neighborhood, the past year has seen a renaissance of sorts in this once run down area. First, the craft breweries came in and opened in masses. Shortly after, the Colorado wine scene expanded into this part of Denver with two wineries complete with tasting rooms. But in January 2014, a new business opened up in this booming part of Denver now making the options for refreshing beverages complete. Located right behind a small winery in a great warehouse, is one of Denver’s newest tasting rooms featuring none other than hard ciders, and the place is Stem Cider’s.
Walking up to this tasting room you know you’re there from the stenciled logo on a brick wall, a hanging metal sign, and a patio that will have picnic tables during warm weather. Walk inside and you are greeted with both a production facility and a comfortable tasting room. A small bar surrounded by growlers and glassware looks out on to the bar stools and long communal tables for guests to sit. Dividing the tasting room from the production is a wall of barrels all storing great cider waiting to be served. During their soft opening they offered a Farmhouse Cider, but once the doors open permanently there will be more offerings for the masses sure to come in.
The cider has a light golden color with a light carbonation with an aroma one would expect from a cider. But, it is in the flavor where you realize that this is a unique glass of cider with a talented brewer crafting each batch. While most ciders out on the market are very sweet, the ones at Stem are the total opposite and are dry. Not only does this add a great mouth feel but it also adds complexities that help to enhance the other flavors in this cider. To compliment the dryness of this cider there is a light body that makes this very crisp, and effervescent. But of course a cider wouldn’t be a cider without its most important ingredient, the apple. Grown locally in Colorado the pureness of the apples is very prominent adding a tartness and brightness that adds a refreshing quality. There is a subtle sweetness to this cider, but it does not overpower the drink. Instead, it creates balance and makes it well rounded with layers of flavor that keep evolving with each sip. The finish is extremely clean and pallet cleansing making it very refreshing, and easy to enjoy any time of year.
Once the grand opening happens the tap list is going to increase, and there will be a total of four ciders available; all of which are going to be unique in flavor profile and the way they were treated. The Malice will be dry fermented and stainless steel aged which should lead to create a different mouth feel. The Banjo has been aging in bourbon barrels which can only lead to a great blend of oak, vanilla notes, and a lot of complexities to compliment apples. The options of ciders are endless and what guests can look forward to are a wide variety of bold, full flavored ciders.
With a great selection of ciders, a relaxing and comfortable tasting room, and a group of very friendly owners, Stem Ciders has already created a great atmosphere to visit. As the tap list expands and the year goes on this will quickly become a place full of great regular customers, and newcomers looking to introduce themselves to cider. In an area of Denver that continues to grow at a rapid rate Stem Ciders is cemented right in the center of this growth with their unique take on a beverage not commonly seen on a craft market. So when in Denver and craving something refreshing to drink pass on the breweries and wineries, and make a trip to Stem Ciders to not only taste the quality, but to experience one of the great new businesses in RiNo for yourself.
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