Central Coast Cider Festival – 2019 Recap

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4th Annual

This year, the fourth annual Central Coast Cider Festival, held August 10-11, featured a variety of ciders from producers throughout California. With a broad range of styles and tastes, from super fruity to dry to even a coffee-infused cider, there truly was something for everyone. 

Like a new bottling of the current year’s cider, the 2019 Central Coast Cider Festival brought fresh changes and new flavors, held again at the peaceful lakefront Atascadero Pavilion.

“This year, we added a few new twists, inspired by the team at Big Red Marketing,” said Neil Collins, owner of Bristols Cider House in Atascadero and founding member of the Central Coast Cider Association.

“Instead of the English pig roast we’ve done the past couple years, we brought in several food trucks to give people more options. We also put the band -- the amazing Tipsy Gypsies -- outside near the food trucks to keep the cider-tasting area more conducive to conversations.”

The Central Coast Cider Festival is about spreading knowledge of cider and sharing the tastes of cider-making exploration. 

“This year, we offered the InCider Experience to give attendees the opportunity to step outside and talk one-on-one with cider makers about their craft and taste an exclusive cider they were pouring,” said Collins. 

Paired with specially selected cheeses from Le Vigne Cheese in Paso Robles, the ciders from Gopher Glen Cider Company, Bristols Cider, Two Broads Ciderworks, and Jean Marie Cidery gave attendees a good range of styles and approaches.

🍎Sunday Cider Brunch

On Sunday morning, cider lovers gathered inside the light-filled Atascadero City Hall Rotunda for the educational Cider Brunch Seminar. 

Sponsored by ETS Laboratories and moderated by Darlene Hayes with Cider Craft Magazine, the four-member panel shared thoughts and experiences of using single-varietal apples in cider making. 

Kicked off with breakfast catered by Hurricane Kitchen, attendees tasted four single-varietal comparisons:

  • 100% Arkansas Black cider from Two Broads Ciderworks vs. Gopher Glen Cider Company
  • 100% Gold Rush apple cider from Two Broads Ciderworks vs. 100% Gravenstein apple cider from Gopher Glen Cider Company
  • 100% Harry Masters Jersey apple cider, in still and carbonated ciders from Bristols Cider
  • 100% Granny Smith apple cider infused with tangelo juice and zest (the “Sunday Brunch” label) from Jean Marie Cidery

Tasting topics included the different flavor profiles of apple varietals, how a varietal affects the finished cider, characteristics of a good cider apple, and how cider making is as harvest-dependent as wine (but regulations prevent ciders from using vintage years on their labels). 

Hayes had a great way of asking questions and involving the panelists: Connor Meznarich with Jean Marie Cidery, Morgan Murphy with Two Broads Ciderworks, Neil Collins with Bristols Cider, and Jake Lukehart-Smith with Gopher Glen Cider Company. 

When it all wrapped up, the 2019 Central Coast Cider Festival brought together multiple elements of the craft cider world in one tasty weekend. Cheers to that!

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