Hard Core Apples on the Cider Scene

Monday, November 30, 2015 | 9:23 pm

If you thought apples were just for teachers, think again. The Hard Core Cider Tour visited Pasadena to show the darker side of this forbidden fruit. Over 20 cider vendors from Suffolk, England to Los Angeles, (California) gathered in recently Brookside Park by the Rose Bowl for an afternoon of cider sipping and live music.

The Hard Core Cider Tour is a cider enthusiast’s dream but this niche market does not seem to have found its way to Pasadena bars and restaurants yet. Most ciders on display can be found in Whole Food and BevMo! but not in many local restaurants or bars.

“Pasadena is a bit late to the cider charge… it’s a whole category most people have forgotten about,” said Mark McTavish, the president of Half Pint Ciders.

He explained that before the Great Depression cider was the drink of choice but after 1929, it became less profitable. Most people turned to beer because it requires less space to brew and is cheaper to produce.

One of the ciders McTavish was sampling was 101 Cider House’s Cactus Red. This dry, distinctive cider combines cactus pear and agave. 101 Cider House is a locally produced cider that is a living beverage, unlike other pasteurized drinks, these ciders are probiotic and raw. This means that you can don’t have to finish a bottle in one sitting, like wine, 101 Ciders get better with age.

“You can actually drink to your health… alcohol in moderation isn’t necessarily bad,” said McTavish. At Hard Core Cider Tour, moderation was a key to having a varied tasting experience. Each cider company brought their best brews and were happy to explain the intricacies of their beverages.

Other standouts included, Ace Cider’s limited edition Blood Orange Cider. This refreshing cider has a barely discernable apple base and is available in Whole Foods Pasadena and BevMo until supplies run out. Ace is also known for their Black Jack Cider and tropical Pineapple flavor.

Julian Cider also sampled a seasonal Apple Pie Cider. This festive beverage is as close to liquid apple pie as you can get, it is the perfect after-dinner drink and would probably go stunningly well with an actual apple pie. Grab a bottle in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas, this limited run cider only lasts until January.

With the help of Hard Core Cider Tour, we can only hope that Pasadena will soon become a cider hub. Cheers to that!

To catch the next Hard Core Cider Tour, visit www.hardcorecidertour.com.


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