My column this week talks about local cider and why the hell there isn't more of it. I just want to give a little more information about some of our local cider makers. All of these places could easily be part of a lovely Saturday drive or weekend getaway.
Thanks to Ron Irvine for painting a lot of the picture for me. Irvine was the O.G. of Pike & Western Wine Shop and was head of the Northwest Cider Society for many years. Now he owns Vashon Winery. When he has cider available, you can by it there or a few select merchants around town. (hint: It's worth searching out.) Or keep looking here because I'll be bugging him about it.
I also talked to Rich Anderson of Westcott Bay Cider from the bay of the same name on San Juan Island--a stunningly serene place to visit. It is 15 minutes NW of Friday Harbor. I apologize for the goof in the article where I place it in Friday Harbor. Does it help that I was planning a trip to there at the time? If you're used to seeing the Westcott Bay Cider in a 22 oz. dark beer bottle, know that it's now changed to 750mL format and expanded into three flavors. They still make their English-style extra dry cider that I enjoy so much, but the new bottle may have some retailers relocating it nearer the wines and farther from the beers.
I didn't have room to include Red Barn Cider of Mt. Vernon. I haven't had many of their ciders. Word is they are expanding production, and I'm interested to see what happens. They are open for tastings; please contact them for hours.