Delicious Orchards in Paonia hosted the Colorado Cider Festival on Saturday, Nov. 3. They offered a great brunch, musical entertainment and a chance to taste the hard ciders by Blossomwood Cidery, North Fork Cellars and Colorado Cider Company.
Colorado Cider Company is located in Denver and has been in the market for about 1-1/2 years. Owners Brad and Kathe Page plan to move to Delta County next year. They will plant their first trees on Powell Mesa.
They have five hard ciders on the market — Glider and a dry version of Glider, Grasshop-Ah, Ol' Stumpy and Pome Mel.
These are all their own recipes. Pome Mel is an apple honey cider with lavender and rosemary. Ol' Stumpy offers a premium blend of traditional cider apples from New England plus Granny Smith and Jonagold apples with cider aged in a chardonnay barrel. Grasshop-AH has hops and lemongrass. Glider is Colorado Cider Company's flagship dry cider.
Shawn Larson of North Fork Cellars at Delicious Orchards has been making cider as a hobby for six years and professionally for two years. He has a USDA certified organic Hard Apple Cider made with apple juice and yeast. It's alcoholic level is seven percent. It's a blend of Jonathan, Gala and a higher percentage of Winesap. Spiced Apple Cider is basically the same cider but with mulling spices added before it is filtered. His Pear Apple Hard Cider is 50 percent pear juice and 50 percent apple juice fermented together. It's the tartest and driest cider he makes. During the summer they had an apple cherry cider that was so popular they sold out early. Larson likes to ferment his cider three months and then it continues to ferment in the bottle. He ages his cider in stainless steel tanks. He is planning a cider which will be aged for one year in an ex-bourbon barrel. That barrel will impart some oak flavor to the cider.
Blossomwood Cidery is owned by Shawn Carney north of Cedaredge at 794 Northeast Indian Camp Avenue. For the festival he brought an heirloom blend with New England and New York cider apples and a cherry cider with Jonathan apples and pie cherries. He presses his apples in the fall and then the cideer is ready by the spring, which is the best time to purchase his ciders. His ciders age in wine, whiskey or rum barrels. The rum barrel gives the cider a sweeter flavor. The whiskey barrels have a stronger flavor and he uses an apple that can hold up to that flavor. The wine barrels are for a French-style cider that ferments slowly. His ciders range from 6 to 8 percent.
Carney has been making cider since 2006. "We sell a lot at farmers markets on the Western Slope," Carney said. He sells some on the Front Range.
"We grow a lot more of the heirloom cider apples and European cider apples than anyone else in the state," Carney said. "That's what our focus is on — using special apples."blog comments powered by Disqus