This short video (about 2 minutes) from NWCN.com features Crystie and Keith Kisler of Finnriver Cidery and Trudy Davis of Eaglemount Cidery. Both cideries are located northwest of Seattle on the Olympic Peninsula, near the beautiful town of Port Townsend. Nearby Alpenfire is alluded to but is not mentioned by name in the video. Enjoy the transcript! (Hat tip to Dave at Old Time Cider and his OTC Facebook feed.)
ED MUIR, NWCN.com: When you think of Washington’s leading crop, Eastside apple orchards might come to mind. But in the shadow of the Olympic Mountains, the apple trade is also thriving…but in a different way.
CRYSTIE KISLER, FINNRIVER: And so we started experimenting, seeing what we could do with an apple.
MUIR: At Finnriver Farm, that lead to hard cider. Keith and Crystie Kisler raise animals and grow various crops on their 35-acre organic farm. But now, cider rules.
KEITH KISLER, FINNRIVER: [Disgorging a bottle in the méthode champenoise style] Take the sediment out…
MUIR: Thousand-gallon vats ferment the cider—this is, after all, alcohol. The Kislers have a tasting room where they sell up to 14 ciders and fruit wines. A staple of American diets in colonial times, cider is now making a comeback. Two years after the Kislers started selling their hard cider, they’ve ramped up production from 800 gallons a year to 15,000 gallons [from roughly 3,000 to 57,000 liters, nearly a twentyfold increase].
CRYSTIE KISLER: This revival respresents a resurgence of interest in that heritage…but also just something exciting and different for beverage drinkers.
MUIR: A few miles away on an 1883 homestead, century-old trees grow the apples that go into Jim and Trudy Davis’s hard cider. Eaglemount used to be strictly a winery, but several years ago the Davises found an outlet for all those apples. Their tasting room currently features six types of hard cider—including a rare quince cider—in addition to their wines.
TRUDY DAVIS, EAGLEMOUNT: We started selling at the farmer’s market in Port Townsend, and there were so many people that didn’t even know what hard cider was. So it was really kind of neat to be able to educate them.
MUIR: Now cider lovers are coming to them. The cideries around Port Townsend are tourist attractions in their own right…similar to wineries, but on a smaller scale.
DAVIS: With the two other cideries, people come out for cider tours.
MUIR: While hard cider may never be as big as Northwest wine or microbrews, more and more people are clearly thirsting for Washington’s top crop.