Business, Living Wenatchee, Tourism

NCW Ciders

Cider is a relatively new up and coming industry in an area ripe for the picking. North Central Washington has been an agricultural center for apples for more than 100 years; add in the other fresh fruit the region offers – pears, cherries, etc. – and you’ve got the perfect place for a cider industry to take hold and expand.

Here are some of the cideries and cider makers to visit in the area. There’s plenty to choose from, with a wide variety of flavors and styles, many from third, fourth, fifth and sixth generation orcharding families. Many of these ciders are available at the Wenatchee Chamber of Commerce Tasting Room – stop in to try what’s on tap.

Archibald James

Archibald James Tasting Room

Archibald James is relatively new cidery with a tasting room in Leavenworth. They specialize in drier ciders with distinct flavorings, using primarily organic apples from Stemilt Growers, one of the area’s largest fruit packing houses. “We’re focusing on making small batch, locally sourced dry cider,” says Jason Schilling, one of the cidery’s three partners. “We want to make sure they have all of the flavor without too much sweetness.”

Ciders to Try: Thai’d Up – a dry cider featuring Thai-style herbs, including turmeric, lemongrass and ginger; Cyzer, a cider mead using buckwheat honey, elderberries and lavender

Tasting Room Hours and Locations: Archibald James’ tasting room at 925 Commercial Street in Leavenworth is open Thursday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. They also distribute to several dozen locations from Leavenworth to Wenatchee.

Website: archibaldjames.com

Phone number: (509) 255-3796

Bad Granny Hard Cider

Bad Granny

Made by Karma Vineyards in Chelan, Bad Granny Hard Cider was created using the French champagne method. Bad Granny is largely distributed and has several different options, including black currant, cherry, and a perry (a cider made with pear juice instead of apple).

Ciders to Try: The easy-to-drink Bad Granny original flagship cider uses Honeycrisp and Granny Smith apples; their Cider Maker’s Reserve is similar in style to a French champagne.

Tasting Room Hours and Locations: Taste Bad Granny at the Karma Vineyards Tasting Room, 1681 Lakeshore Rd. in Chelan. Winter hours are Thursday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Check their website for hours the rest of the year.

Website: badgrannycider.com

Phone number: (509) 682-5538

Chelan Craft

Chelan Craft

Chelan Craft opened in the summer of 2018. Their small tasting room and production facility are conveniently located at the edge of the town of Chelan heading toward Manson. Cider maker Cynthia Flynn and her husband Eric use local Chelan Valley Golden Delicious, Granny Smiths, Pink Ladies and Braeburns for their ciders’ base before adding fruit flavoring using Washington-made syrups.

“We try to go for ciders that aren’t really dry or really sweet – just in the middle,” says Eric.

Ciders to Try: Apple Lemon, or Cherry Vanilla with dessert

Tasting Room Hours and Locations: Their tasting room at 806 W. Manson Hwy in Chelan is open Fridays and Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., and other days when Cynthia is making wine. Stop by the coffee shop right next door for some caffeine or a homemade pastry – Cynthia’s sister and her family own it!

Website: www.chelancraftcider.com

Phone number: (509) 669-3000

Barns, etc. Hard Cider Shed

Hard Cider Barn

Artist Paula Frederick and her husband Gary began making cider 7 years ago, after Paula successfully established a gallery in what is now the Hard Cider Shed. “We started this to play, and as a fun thing to do,” says Paula. They use the English dry technique to create a European style cider. Their “Country Elegant, Heirloom Blend” ciders are all made with local fruit.

Ciders to Try: Their three apple cider blends of varying sweetness; the perry made with heirloom variety pears; or their cherry cider, made with tart pie cherries.

Tasting Room Hours and Locations: The tasting room at 5420 Woodring Canyon Rd. in Cashmere is closed during the winter, but you can find their cider at the Wenatchee Chamber of Commerce tasting room and at Broken Barrel in Leavenworth. Check their website for tasting room hours the rest of the year.

Website: www.hardcidershed.com

Phone number: (509) 670-8029

Hard Row to Hoe

Hard Row to Hoe

Hard Row to Hoe, a fun, well-established (and somewhat bawdy themed) winery in Manson began making hard cider in 2012. They now have two types they make in small batches when their wine tanks are empty: an Ice Cider, made by freezing the apple juice first, and the Other Cider the Lake, featuring a blend of the freshest local Washington apples they can find. Their ciders are British-style: dry, and low in alcohol content, with no additives or added flavoring.

Their hard ciders are only available in their Manson and Leavenworth tasting rooms.

Ciders to Try: Ice Cider, similar to an ice wine but with more tannins and acid, making it a great combination with pate and cheese and crackers.

Tasting Room Hours and Locations: Hard Row to Hoe has tasting rooms at Manson (300 Ivan Morse Rd.) and in Leavenworth (837 Front St., Ste A). The Manson tasting room is open year-round from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Leavenworth location is open 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday to Monday.

Website: www.hardrow.com

Phone number: (509) 687-3000

Independent Cider

Independent Cider

“What makes us different – aside from using pears – is we’re using all our own fruit,” says Micah Roberson, one of three in the partnership that make up Independent Cider. Roberson, cider maker Michael Partheymuller and orchardist Kramer Christensen are using fruit from Christensen’s family’s orchards  – and his knowledge as a 5th generation orchardist – to create a clean, crisp off-dry perry out of their production facility in Dryden.

Ciders to Try: Snow Gem Perry, their flagship perry, and Lavender Perry, with both a fragrant nose and amazingly light lavender flavor.

Tasting Room Hours and Locations: Independent Cider doesn’t have a tasting room, but they’re available at McGlinn’s, Badger Mountain Brewing, Wenatchee Natural Foods, Martin’s Market  in Cashmere, and Yodelin Restaurant, Dan’s Market, and Blewett Brewing in Leavenworth.

Website: www.indcider.com

Phone number: (509) 860-2832

Longdrop Cider Co.

Longdrop Cidery

Starting with the idea of being “good to the core,” Krysten and Keegan Furfaro were looking for a way to take apples to a new level after 30 years in the agricultural business. Longdrop Cider features a wide variety of cider options. Some are on the sweeter side but most lean toward a drier, European style. “Our ciders are clean and classic,” says Rachel Strand, Longdrop’s brand manager. “We’re working to stay true to the roots of the apple.”

Longdrop donates 1lb. of fruit and vegetables to local schools for each case of cider sold.

Ciders to Try: The Woodsman Hefeweizen, made with Hefeweizen yeast and bitter orange peel; the Northwest Apple for a classic European style cider; and Vanilla Honey, their most popular, made with Madagascar vanilla and Culver honey.

Tasting Room Hours and Locations: Longdrop opened a new tasting room in Leavenworth (894 Hwy 2, Suite B) in January 2019. They’re open Fridays and Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays, Sundays and Mondays.

Website: www.longdropcider.com

Phone number: (509) 888-9106

Manchester Road Cider Co.

Manchester Road is a true British-style cider, made by an Englishman who grew up on Manchester Road. Andrew Fielding and his wife Erin craft their cider in Chelan, combining the best apples available with Andrew’s 30 years of cider making experience using traditional cider-making methods.

Ciders to Try: 42, their flagship cider with its light and refreshing apple flavors, or the Red Sox Red, brewed especially for the Wenatchee Applesox Baseball team and available at several locations throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Tasting Room Hours and Locations: Manchester Road does not have a tasting room, but is distributed widely. Check their website for a retailer near you.

Website: www.manroadcider.com

Phone number: (509) 393-8375

Pear UP

Pear Up

Pear UP is a family-owned craft cidery owned by brothers Kevin and Mark Van Reenen. The brothers were pioneers in the local perry-making business, producing a hard cider completely from pears. The family business runs on the brothers’ great-grandfather’s land, using the native pear varieties on the property to create a light and flavorful cider finish. 

Ciders to Try: Hoppin’ Pear, infused with hops, and Raspeary, featuring raspberries to compliment the the pear base.

Tasting Room Hours and Locations: Pear UP’s East Wenatchee Tasting Room at 221 11th St. NE is open by appointment only. Pear Up also distributes widely. You can find their perry in stores in Washington and beyond.

Website: www.pearupcider.com

Phone number: (509) 993-4948

Phillippi Fruit Company

These sixth-generation orchardists use local North Central Washington fruit to create their own distinct hard alcohols, including a pommeau de normandie French-style hard cider with 19% alcohol, an apple jack – basically an apple “whiskey” – plus pear and cherry brandies. 

Ciders to Try: Applejack, their signature apple whiskey, and Snow Cider, a new winter warmer combining partially fermented apple cider and double distilled apple brandy.

Tasting Room Hours and Locations: Phillippi’s Tasting Room is located at 1921 Fifth Street in Wenatchee. They’re open Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and evenings and weekends by appointment.

Website: www.phillippifruit.com

Phone number: (509) 662-8522

Rootwood Cider

Rootwood Tasting Room

This family-run cidery in Manson brings together the know-how of 5 generations of farming, first in Wenatchee in the 1910’s before establishing in Manson in the 1920’s. Jim and Cheryl Koenig, their three daughters and their daughters’ husbands are all involved to some extent in creating modern-style cider using fruit from their 50+ acres of orchard.

“Generally, our ciders are quite clean and crisp, in the semi-dry category,” says Kate Koenig Howard, one of Rootwood’s cider makers. Although many of their blends use dessert apples, the Koenigs recently grafted some heritage style cider varieties into one of their blocks. Their new heritage style cider will be out the spring of 2019.

Ciders to Try: Harvest 103, celebrating the 103rd year of apple harvests within the extended family; Hops Infused, Rootwood’s most popular cider, featuring Pink Lady apples and Citra hops

Tasting Room Hours and Locations: Rootwood has a tasting room in downtown Manson at 45 Wapato Way, open 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays during the winter. They have a second tasting room at their production facility that is open on Saturdays during the summer. Check their website for current hours after March.

Website: www.rootwoodcider.com

Phone number: (509) 888-7215

Snowdrift Cider Co

Snowdrift Tasting Room

Snowdrift Cider makes their dry and off-dry ciders using true English and French cider apples. “It’s more like a white wine,” says Peter Ringsrud, owner and cider maker. Ringsrud and his wife Mary Ann make their cider primarily from their own fruit, with only some additions from growers no further away than Quincy. The Ringsrud family has had orchards in the Wenatchee Valley since the 1940’s.

Ciders to Try: The Cliffbreaks Blend (Snowdrift’s most popular cider) and their Red Cider, made with rosy red apples that lend their coloring to the drink.

Tasting Room Hours and Locations: Snowdrift’s East Wenatchee tasting room (227 S. Ward Ave.) isclosed January to March except by appointment. They’re open Friday and Saturday from 12-5 the rest of the year.

Website: www.snowdriftcider.com

Phone number: (509) 630-3507

Steelhead Cider

Steelhead Tasting Room

Steelhead Cider’s cider maker Ben Barnes is the third generation of an agricultural family from Manson. Barnes uses a combination of his family’s fruit and fruit from the Chelan Valley to create his diverse lineup of ciders.

“Our ciders are easy going for introductory cider drinkers,” says Barnes. “They’re very diverse. There’s bound to be something that appeals to everyone.”

Barnes uses a base of Fujis, Braeburns, Galas, Golden Delicious and Granny Smith apples for the base of his ciders before adding addition flavoring or fruit.

Ciders to Try: Backroad Boysenberry for its fruit forward flavor and strawberry undertones; Furious George Ginger for a cider similar to a ginger beer

Tasting Room Hours and Locations: Steelhead Cider’s Tasting Room at 114 E. Woodin Ave. in Chelan is open Thursday to Monday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 1 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Website: www.steelheadcider.com

Phone number: (509) 670-2354

Morgan Fraser

Morgan Fraser is a North Central Washington native with a penchant for travel, interesting stories and fresh local food. After traveling the globe and living in several different countries, Morgan found the community, fresh water swimming and laid back mountain lifestyle in Leavenworth too enticing to resist. She teachers Spanish and is the author of two regional wine-pairing cookbooks and a travel memoir.

Favorite quote: "If I could tell the world just one thing it would be: we are all ok. And not to worry, because worry is wasteful and useless in times like these." -- Jewel
Favorite color: the clear blue of a glacier-fed lake or river
Favorite apple: galas, fresh off the tree first thing in the morning