Hi there! Thanks for stopping by.
My name is Kyle and I am The Cider Seeker. My partner in life and better half is Ashley. We live in Northeast Ohio, close enough to Cleveland to claim it as our city.
My cider journey started in 2011, when all I had access to was commercial concoctions made using apple juice concentrate and copious amounts of sugar. I liked the idea of cider, especially since I was never fond of beer (more on that later), but felt like cider should be better. After exhausting the limited options of that time and finding them all too sweet, I decided I would make my own. I read up on how to make cider, bought 5 gallons of grocery store apple juice (low investment / low risk) and...life got busy. It would be a few years before I would make cider, but the seed was planted. Pun intended.
During 2015, real cider options started appearing in bottle shops and higher-end bars. Griffin Cider House opened, Cleveland’s first cider bar, featuring Griffin Cider Works’ English-style ciders and guest ciders from craft producers near and far. For me, this meant cider was no longer limited to sweet, made from concentrate drinks that left one feeling sticky and sickly. I've been seeking out real cider at home and everywhere I go ever since.
Why all the fuss about cider though, when the craft beer industry is rife with options? Neither Ashley or I ever drank much beer. We tried some, and while it may have tasted good or even great, they all left us feeling sick. Gluten is funny, and as it turns out, something neither of us should have. Ashley gave it up after learning that what she thought was a dairy allergy was actually gluten intolerance. For ease of meal prep and support, I went gluten-free as well and some issues I had disappeared. After a few rounds of highly scientific testing (e.g. eating a piece of bread after being off gluten for a while) and the almost immediate return of heartburn, I determined it would be best for me to avoid gluten entirely.
As for spirits, I do quite enjoy a whiskey while Ashley prefers gin, but there are times when a Jameson and Ginger or a Gin and Tonic (a slice of lime in both, please) are not the answer. Calvados / Apple Brandy, Pommeau, and Cider Cocktails are in the mix (another intentional pun) as well.
On November 18th, 2016 I started my first batch of cider, and things have snowballed from there. This may seem unrelated to everything else, but I’m also a gearhead. I was memorizing specifications and information about cars years before I could drive. Once I started driving, I wouldn’t leave my cars alone. Modifying, going to racetracks, breaking something, and fixing them (read: further modifications). That was the cycle. November of 2018 was a big month for me. I sold my longest-running project car of 8 years to focus my efforts on learning about, tasting and making cider. I also took (and passed) the CCP Level 1 exam.
I hope to continue to find and taste new ciders, refine my own, and see where this all leads. My plan is to use this website to share the more interesting aspects of this journey. Cider reviews, information, and adventures will be the focus but I expect guest appearances by gluten-free and fermented foods (with cider pairings) as well. We’d love for you to follow along!