Cider News: November 2013

November 29, 2013

Other news:

Cider News: October 2013

November 4, 2013

Well, I’m a little late with October’s news, but here it is:

Other news:

Initiative 522

November 2, 2013

For those about to vote in Washington regarding Initiative 522 and the labeling of products that contain genetically modified foods, you should watch the last half hour of Botany of Desire. I wrote about this PBS documentary a year ago. I want to draw your attention to the potato and history of genetically modified foods in this case.

The film is neither for nor against genetically modifying plants, so it makes for an interesting watch. At the heart, it really criticizes how the public demands the same quality of food with every eating experience, and so farmers plant only one variety to meet that demand. Now this variety, after time, will begin to grow week, as we are not allowing it to evolve into a new variety, yet the pests and diseases are. The plants begin to have no resistance. For traditional farms to compensate, the film argues, we either have to spray or make genetic modifications. The film does offer a third solution, which does require a little bit more education on the consumer’s end.

Further reading: The Columbian, Local farmers come down on both sides of I-522. Oct 20, 2013


Cider News: September 2013

September 27, 2013

If you remember at all, last year the East Coast had a horrible apple crop while Washington State had a larger than normal crop. Well, apple trees tend to be a little bi-annual, so last year’s crop failure has lead to this year’s bumper. I’m predicting next year to be a hard year again as a result.

Meanwhile, there is legislation here in the US to lower taxes on craft cider, and I’ve thrown in some other stories from around the world as cautionary tales.

Cider News: August 2013

August 30, 2013

August saw signs of the growing US cider industry taking its next steps in challenging the archaic tax code laws they are subjected to.

Cider News: July 2013

July 26, 2013

Last Friday of the July, and the cider news that is coming out is about how businesses have grown and industry figures around the world. I don’t often report world cider news, but I’m curious about what they are doing and if the US might trend like that.

Other Local News:

This past weekend, I went to Bend, OR, a place known for its up and coming beer scene with its Ale Trail. Thing is, this year there have been two new cider companies that have opened there: Atlas Cider Co and Red Tank Cider Company.

We went to Atlas Cider Co first.  They have a large industrial facility that will allow them to grow and better hours to allow you to come visit. Right now, they have two ciders: standard apple and then the same cider flavored with cherry. They are also getting ready to release an apricot version.

Maybe a quarter mile away in a different industrial complex is Red Tank Cider Company. They have tricky hours to visit, but we managed it. Their space is much smaller, but it looks like they are still trying to upgrade before they can go. They probably had a smaller start up than Atlas. I did not see a red tank. They have two ciders made from the same juice that they just have different degrees of dryness on. They also have a cider in which they flavored it with ginger and pineapple, which was unique.

Both cideries had kind of the same business model. Since Bend is a desert and you don’t even really see homestead apple trees, both companies worked with Hood River to obtain juice and then ferment it. One was picky about the apples that went into their juice, while the other seemed to care more about the acidity and sugar. One also used some berries to create some tannin. Both of them work on a beer schedule, producing nice semi-sweet/sweet refreshing ciders that probably the core cider drinking market likes. I drink them, too, but I’ve kind of gotten used to higher acid crispness of a dry cider that has been allowed to age a year.

The experience was very pleasant and a good break from all the beer, and actually better in the high temperatures than beer. Of course, I’m biased, but even Burtle is coming around to the idea that cider is more refreshing on hot days than beer is.