February 10, 2014

Cider Summit Success

As I mentioned in my last post, this past weekend was the 2nd Annual Cider Summit in Chicago at Navy Pier.  The improvements they made this year were much appreciated; mainly splitting the event into two sessions to lessen the crowds and distributing tasting glasses that were made of glass not plastic (now my new favorite juice glass).

All grown up!

I headed out there with my girls, Alexandra, Tahnee, and Annie. Here's what we tasted and what we thought:

Black Star Farms - Sirius Maple Dessert - Betsy liked this one. Strong, smooth and boozy!

Farnum Hill Ciders - Farnum Hill Extra Dry: Alexandra said, "not sweet, dry, crisp"

California Cider Co. - Ace Apple-Honey: Betsy loved it! Not too sweet, but that touch of honey makes it work.

Ciderboys - Mad Bark - Our apple pie jam!! This apple cinnamon cider was so good Tahnee went back for seconds.
Ciderboys - Magic Apple - Tahnee gave this Strawberry Cider a whirl and liked it (but not as much as Mad Bark)

Citizen Cider - The Dirty Mayor: Betsy hated this ginger/lemon cider. (it tasted like lemon Pledge)
Citizen Cider - The Full Nelson: Alexandra didn't like (too hoppy)

Doc's Draft - Doc's Hard Raspberry: Betsy and Alexandra liked. Tahnee and Annie give it a so-so.

Orchard Gate JK's Organic Scrumpy - JK's Neighbour: Tahnee liked, Betsy gave it so-so (too floral tasting)
Orchard Gate Thistly Cross Whisky Cast: Annie says meh
Orchard Gate Thistly Cross Ginger: Alexandra says meh

Sietsema Cider - Red Label Bourbon Barrel - All liked this! (sweet cider)

Tandem Ciders - Cherry Oh Cherry Cider - Meh all around (more like a juice or a wine)

Tieton Cider Works - Apricot Cider: Everybody loved! (subtle apricot flavor, no aftertaste...delicious)
Tieton Cider Works - Cidermaker's Reserve Cider: Alexandra loved!

Two Rivers Cider Co. - Blood Orange Cider: All liked, but not loved. Sweet.

Virtue Cider - The Mitten: Betsy and Alexandra liked.

The winner of Cider Summit? Ciderboys Mad Bark, of course!

Binny's was a sponsor this year and they were passing out 10% off cider coupons. I may have been a bit overzealous when shopping, but I picked up my two favorites from the summit: Ciderboys Mad Bark and Tieton Apricot, as well as a favorite from last year: Julian Hard Cider Cherry Bomb, and one with a really cool lookin' bottle: Maeloc Blackberry Cider.

Are you a hard cider fan? What's your favorite maker or flavor? 

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