Cider Conversations: Looking to the Past, Present and Future with Two Broads Ciderworks

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🍏 Past, Present and Future with Two Broads Ciderworks

Maggie and Morgan of Two Broads Ciderworks in San Luis Obispo have been making cider for a few years, and we’ve been fans since they started.

We recently toured their facility, tucked into a commercial area on the south side of San Luis Obispo near Beda’s Biergarten, and sat down with the founders to learn more about their journey into the cider world. And taste their latest creations.

Here’s what they had to say about travel, exploration, and how cider can connect the community.

What past experiences have influenced your cider making?

“Travel!” said Maggie. “On trips to Spain in 2003 and France in 2004, we discovered they have strong cultures and traditions of making cider as much as they do wine.”

“When we travel, we enjoy connecting with the food and drink of the place,” said Morgan. 

“Discovering the ciders of these countries started our curiosity about cider – there are so many different ways to ferment and so many different apples. In many ways, cider is very similar to wine.”

Maggie with Flavor Team member Kara at last year's Central Coast Cider Festival's tap takeover.

Closer to home, fall trips up to See Canyon to buy and eat fresh apples forged their love for all things apple. Before long, they made their first cider pressed from the juice of fresh See Canyon apples. It was dry, tart, and fruity.

Since then, they’ve continued to learn and explore the nuances of hard cider production, as well as bringing home more ideas from their travels through Europe, Spain, France, and England.

Morgan is an engineer and had been a beer home brewer since 2000, and with Maggie’s experience as a biologist and avid gardener, they brought their combined knowledge to their burgeoning cider-making business.

Morgan and Maggie are the two women behind Two Broads Ciderworks. Along with their trusty forklift, they do all their own production in-house.

What are the current projects that excite you the most?

Two Broads currently has several ciders in production, including:

  • Arkansas Black
  • Bearded Queen
  • Komquat May
  • Frost Cider
  • Blend - 100% bittersweet apples – very tannic and earthy

“We’re doing a 100% Arkansas Black cider,” said Morgan, “and it’s the first cider we’ve barrel fermented.” Arkansas Black is considered by many cider makers to be one of the premier apples for making hard cider.

Using neutral red wine barrels gives the cider slight toasted notes.

“We’re exploring a juniper wood cider for next year,” said Maggie. 

Two Broads has a “Frost Cider” in barrel and awaiting bottling. Based on the “Ice Cider,” invented in Quebec using frozen apples, the process leads to higher alcohol and higher acid but also a residual sweetness to keep the cider balanced. “We’re pretty excited about this – it’s a first around here,” said Maggie.

Not being locked in to a certain production of core products allows the team to explore and be creative. 

“One of the fun things about our size and scale is that we and play with new varieties and different styles of cider and outcomes,” said Maggie.

Also on their list to explore is creating French- and Spanish-style ciders.

Two Broads Ciderworks often picks their own fruit in local orchards. Back at the cidery, they crush, press, ferment, age, and bottle their ciders in-house.
Producing drier, more tart ciders is their hallmark. And names like Crabby McCrabface (made from crab apples), Kumquat May (made with kumquats) and Bearded Lady (made with hops), underscore the creative exploration this team enjoys

What about the future?

In two words: tasting room.

One of the biggest projects on their drawing board, literally, is creating the new tasting room at their facility. Their goal is to have it built by the end of 2019.

“We’re working through the process of permitting with the city,” said Maggie. Two Broads may consider doing a crowdsourcing campaign to help raise some funds for the project.

Designed to be situated at the edge of the building, it will have a patio area as well as indoor seating.

“It’s a pretty setting, said Morgan. “In the spring, you can hear the creek and the frogs.”

“We envision it being open evenings and weekends,” said Maggie. “And we want to have good simple food – maybe sandwiches.”

Their plan for the feel of the place is comfort, above all else. “We’ll have comfortable seating, and nooks and areas to sit and have conversations.”

Stay tuned for developments on the Two Broads Ciderworks tasting room. This will be a great addition to SLO’s cider experience.

What are you excited most about this year’s Central Coast Cider Festival?

“The Sunday Cider Festival Brunch Seminar after the main event on Saturday,” said Maggie. 

“It’s a great opportunity to learn more about single apple varieties and the characteristics they contribute to ciders.” Darlene Hayes, editor of Cider Craft Magazine, will emcee the discussion.

Central Coast Cider Festival

The main festival on Saturday is held at the Atascadero Pavilion on the Lake. “New this year is the InCider Experience, which gives cider fans the chance to talk with cider makers in a quieter setting – and try some ciders they’re pouring only for the InCider attendees,” said Morgan.

Screenshot taken during the live interview with Two Broads during the Krush live show (2018).

What’s Ahead for Two Broads Ciderworks

Two Broads Ciderworks is making a name for itself as a quality craft hard cider producer. With their creative ideas, commitment to quality, and innovation, we suggest keeping an eye on this brand. Good things ahead.

Where can people find your cider?

In SLO County: Big Sky, 7Sisters Brewing, 927 Beer Company, Central Coast Brewing (Higuera St), Lincoln Market & Deli, Old San Luis BBQ, Petit Soleil Bed and Breakfast (for guests only), The Station.

In the Bay Area: Cornerstone Craft Beer & Live Music and The Cider Junction. 

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