With spring and warmer weather here in Vail, we start to see much more of an interest in hard ciders here at West Vail Liquor Mart. We of course love this because we love ciders. During the warmer months, a cider can often be a great refreshing option for outdoor activities or porch pounding. Hard cider sales nationwide in recent years have grown at a very quick pace along with the craft beer movement across the country. With this increase in sales and interest, selection has also grown exponentially. Today at the store we have some really cool large format options that push the boundaries of what a cider can be. Some are made traditionally with quality ingredients, while others use additional components to alter the norm in the cider world.
Snow Capped Cider is a Colorado Cider Company which we have really loved to support here at West Vail Liquor Mart. They are based in Cedaredge, CO and have been growing apples there for more than 100 years. They like to experiment with both new world and old world techniques to make their incredibly delicious specialty ciders. Currently we carry two different 22oz ciders representing both sides to Snow Capped Ciders’ philosophy. The first is called Sidra, a cider fermented with Brettanomyces giving rustic qualities to this delightful offering. Sidra is inspired by old world techniques and is just an incredibly well made cider. Mojo on the other hand is as nontraditional as a cider can be, utilizing Habanero peppers and lime peel and is then aged on tequila barrels for 6 months. It is unique and challenging to the palate, but at the same time has the same refreshment level of most ciders. On a side note, I marinated pork in this and it was delicious.
A newer hard cider company to the store is Portland Ciders, based out of Portland, Oregon. In addition to their incredibly solid 4pks of apple cider, we are also carrying the “Pearfect” pear cider (or Perry) in 22oz bombers. I would strongly suggest challenging yourself to try this one even if you do not like pears. It is so juicy and refreshing that you will find yourself drinking this one down quickly.
Also in the cider door right now are large format bottles of cider from Sea Cider, a Canadian based cider company that is pushing boundaries and making some really cool stuff. Finally, we carry JK’s Scrumpy out of Michigan who is always a reliable option for a great cider. Any of these options are really cool to sip on a hot day or even to bring to a dinner party as they compliment food very well. Give one or all of them a try soon! You will not be disappointed in your choice. I am often reminded when drinking a good hard cider that I should be doing so much, much more often.
– Dean LoRusso, Beer Buyer, West Vail Liquor Mart