Cider is the perfect boozy option for celebrating the High Holidays on a less formal note — here are six local picks (plus food and music pairings) that will complement any festive get-together.
Finnriver Farm & Cidery Forest Ginger
The resinous, hand-foraged fir tips from the Olympic Peninsula cidery’s backyard, balanced with bright, juicy apples and spiked by fresh-pressed organic ginger root.
Maple syrup-roasted delicata squash, goat cheese and arugula salad.
Cidermaker and production manager Andrew Byers is drawn to “Milkman of Human Kindness” by Billy Bragg. “Because fall is a time of harvest bounty and coming together to finish the year’s work,” he adds. “A time to support each other. In this way, as the song goes, ‘I will leave an extra pint.’”
Dragon’s Head Columbia Crabapple
Sunshine, white flowers, and Meyer lemon rind. Flavors of fleshy stone fruits are complemented by a tart, medium-bodied finish.
Baked halibut with a lemon-butter sauce. The rich and buttery fish is edged by the lemon in the sauce and the tart acid of the cider.
Co-owner Wes Cherry recommends Woody Guthrie’s “Roll on Columbia” with his similarly named cider. The apples featured came from the Columbia Basin, which the song is about.
Seattle Cider Co. City Fruit
Earth, golden raisins, and yellow apples — sourced from Seattle trees in collaboration with local urban foraging nonprofit City Fruit.
Cheesy quiche. The soft acidity and tannic structure complement the lavish cheese and egg combination.
“Helplessness Blues” by the Fleet Foxes, which references the hard work of an orchard, for head cidermaker Scott Katsma. “Working in an orchard has always been a romantic notion for me, and drinking this cider feels just as dreamy,” he says.
Tieton Cider Works Dry-Hopped
Citrus-forward and savory apple, with drool-inducing acid and plenty of fruit.
Skirt steak with a chimichurri sauce. This herby, spiced sauce matches the citrus qualities of the hops, while the fleshy apple brings it all together.
Cidermaker and co-owner Marcus Robert hums Jack Johnson when he tips back this glass. “Albeit a little cheesy, [it’s] ‘Better Together,’” he says of the surfer pop song. “Hops just seem to be better in cider.”
Rootwood Cider Co. Bin Series 15
Apple skin, mineral and bold golden fruits, enhanced by a combo of tannin and acid that can only come from using traditional cider fruit.
Lamb burger with a harissa aioli. The savory, juicy meat and piquant-sweet spice bind with the sharp tannin and dry, mineral fruit profile.
Any Dire Straits will do it for cidermaker James Caddey, but “Walk of Life” really does the trick for this cider. “Just like you never know what life is going to throw at you, so is the case with each year’s release of Bin Series,” he says of the vintage-based cider.
Snowdrift Cider Red Pommeau
Bright red berry and watermelon. This port-style cider blends fruit flavors with the vanilla, spice and caramel from aging in oak.
Your classic apple pie. This Northwest spin on an apple-juice-and-apple-brandy tipple is the ideal libation to seal a meal.
Owner/cidermaker Tim Larsen studied Judaism in college, and the song “Shalom Chaverim” stuck with him. “It is a kids’ song, but it means ‘peace, my friend, until we meet again.’ It seemed a fitting message for a drink usually consumed at the end of an evening.”
Seattle has a wide variety of bottle shops to wet your cider whistle.
Full Throttle Bottles
5909 Airport Way S
818 E Pike St.
Schilling Cider House
708 N 34th St.
The Beer Junction
4511 California Ave. SW
Chuck’s Hop Shop
656 NW 85th St. (Greenwood)
2001 E Union St.