By Aaron Swaney Herald Writer
The burgeoning cider industry’s tentacles have been especially felt in the Northwest and nowhere more so than at Seattle Cider Company. Opened last year by the guys at Two Beers Brewing, Seattle Cider has tripled its capacity in just one year and is on the front wave of the new cider boom.
Seattle Cider is celebrating its one-year anniversary on Saturday at The Woods tasting room in the SoDo neighbordhood at 4700 Ohio Ave. S., Seattle. There will be a number of limited edition ciders on tap and food trucks. The party is scheduled to run from 1-7 p.m.
I chatted with Seattle Cider founder Joel VandenBrink on Tuesday for a story I’m putting together on the cider boom. He credits the discerning taste of the younger generation for the growth of the cider industry, equating it to the craft beer boom in the 1970s.
“You have a generation of young professionals who are spending more time out and they want better choices when it comes to drinking something,” said VandenBrink, who opened Two Beers Brewing five years ago after moving to Seattle from Michigan for graduate school. “If they’re going to spend money, they want to do it on something they enjoy.”
VandenBrink said he’s going to miss the upcoming Cider Summit Seattle because he’s taking a three-week vacation. “It’s the first vacation I’ve had in my life,” VandenBrink said, laughing.
It’s well deserved.
Here’s a press release for the upcoming Seattle Cider celebration:
Booming cidery triples capacity and expands to seven markets in just one year; anniversary party with limited edition ciders, food truck &more on August 23!
In just one year, Seattle Cider Company — Seattle’s first and only cidery since Prohibition — has grown larger than its team could have ever expected. Launching with a mission to bring dry, flavorful ciders to the Pacific Northwest, bridging the gap between wine and beer, Seattle Cider now nears its one-year anniversary with an expansion set to make them the second largest cidery in the state. Selling through more than 83,000 cases of cider in just one year, the growing cidery is expanding both its capacity and market availability, now reaching four states and three countries. To celebrate, Seattle Cider Company will be marking the milestone with its biggest party yet on Saturday, August 23.
“We’ve had an incredible and unexpected year,” said Joel VandenBrink, founder of Seattle Cider Company. “We knew there was demand for a new type of cider, but couldn’t have anticipated the overwhelming positive response our products have received. Needless to say, we’re thrilled and can’t wait to continue our expansion.”
Adding an additional five 60bbl tanks and quadrupling its staff, Seattle Cider Company is now able to produce more than 235,000 cases of cider per year. The increased capacity comes just in time for Seattle Cider Company’s expansion to Chicago, Vancouver, BC and Japan – joining Washington, Oregon and Alaska — with plans for expansion on the East Coast, California and throughout the Midwest in the works. With increased demand for products that break the mold of overly sweet cider, Seattle Cider Company plans to continue to produce unique flavorful ciders, bringing the true and natural flavors of Washington apples to the forefront.
To celebrate, on Saturday, August 23 from 1-7 p.m., Seattle Cider Company will open its doors for a party unlike any other with more than 15 of its own ciders on tap. In addition to its usual (but still unique) lineup, on tap will be an array of limited edition ciders pouring only at the party. The current anniversary cider lineup includes: Dry, Semi-Sweet, Three Pepper, PNW Berry, Pumpkin Spice, 2013 Washington Heirloom, Honey, Maple, Blueberry, Six Pepper, Red wine barrel-aged PNW Berry, Batch 206 gin barrel-aged Gin Botanical, Westland Single Malt barrel-aged double-fermented Wild Ferment, Westland Single Malt barrel-aged New England Style, Cyser.
Ciders will be available for purchase between $4-6 per 12-ounce glass. Packaged product will be available to go. In addition, the first 500 people to arrive will receive a free Seattle Cider Company poster. Additional t-shirts, growlers, posters and glassware will be available for purchase. Popular free food truck NaanSense will be onsite throughout the day serving up a delicious gluten-free menu.