Our 5 Favorite Cider Experiences of 2019
2019 has been good to us, and we hope it's been good for you, too. Throughout the year, we were able to travel, taste, and share cider with many people in many places, and we're very thankful to those who made it possible. These are our 5 favorite cider-related experiences (or collections of experiences) of 2019!
1. CiderCon 2019
This year was my first CiderCon, and honestly, I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. I volunteered which allowed me to meet many of the people that make it happen - they're rockstars, by the way. It also gave me the opportunity to meet new friends and many of the people I had only talked to online. There's still time to register for CiderCon 2020, so avoid the FOMO and get out there!
2. Cider Sharing and Pairing – “World Tour of Ciders” edition
We invited friends and family over for a cider and food pairing featuring ciders from the US, Ireland, England, Spain, France, Germany, and Lithuania. We also shared US Perry and Ice Cider, Pommeau from France, and Apple Brandy from Ireland.
3. Cider travel in the US
We visited Chicago in March, where we met up with friends for lunch, flights, and a porron at The Northman and more cider at Eris. Then we spent a May weekend in the Finger Lakes where we visited Embark Craft Ciderworks, Rootstock Ciderworks, Blackduck Cidery, and the Finger Lakes Cider House. Southwest Airlines had inexpensive flights from Cleveland to Portland, Maine in November, so we jetted out to The Cider House, Boda, and Novare Res, who all offer great ciders. To top it all off, we concluded with a holiday trip to Washington DC and Virginia including visits to ANXO, Lost Boy Cider, and Albemarle Ciderworks.
4. Cider in Ireland
While in Ireland for the Rose of Tralee International Festival, we were able to connect with our friend Rubert from the lovely Longueville House estate where fine Irish cider and apple brandy are produced. We also met with Barry, the cidermaker for Killahora Orchards and Johnny Fall Down cider. Finally, we found cider and cider cocktails at Cask and The Bridge in Cork City. Though we eventually had to return to the states, our spirits were light and our suitcases heavy.
5. Cider Festivals
In our opinion, cider festivals are one of the best ways to spend a weekend. We were able to attend 3 cider fests this year – two in neighboring Pennsylvania and one in our home state of Ohio. The highlights for me come from PA Cider Fest in Gettysburg and A Few Bad Apples Cider Fest in Pittsburgh – both were fantastic events that I would encourage anyone to attend. We also made it to the Hawkes USA launch party and ciderfest in Columbus which featured many Ohio Ciders as well as ciders from across the US.
And that's a wrap for 2019! We wish you all a very happy and healthy new year. Cheers, friends!