Seattle, WA - This past Saturday, under the shade of partially cloudy skies, the Cider Summit Northwest, made its first year debut near South Lake Union. Located off busy Denny street and in the historic Discovery Park, enthusiasts of both Cider, Wine, and Beer demonstrated their enjoyment of this neglected "adult" category.
Admittedly this writer arrived a few hours into the event, but based on the crowd, the festival was doing pretty well, given its first year status. Featured at the festival was some 40 or so regional artisan ciders. Some were familiar, such as Crispin, Aspall, and Scrumpy's; while others were less than known. Bear in mind the term known is more relative to what we have seen as opposed to the cider enthusiast.
With the backdrop of the 'Denny' skyline, the festival featured the expected (dry or pear ciders) to the unexpected (cider fermented with hops, ginger, cherries). The highlights from many of goers included, the Aspall Cuvee Chevallier, the Rumrunner from Sea Cider, and the Ginger Cider from Eaglemount Wine & Cider.
Although this festival was in its first year, there was a show of promise, as the number of people at the event showed, that not everyone is in it for something that doesn't come from a vine or field.
For us, this festival brought out something that hasn't existed since our last beer festival, curiosity. All too often it's easy to review a festival draft list, create a "shopping" list, and then proceed to divide and conquer. This festival, instead put us on edge, as almost every drink we encountered, was foreign to us. Overall, we will definitely give this festival another shot, if anything just to remind ourselves, that no two ciders are alike.
Congratulations, (crossing fingers) to the organizers and presenters of this festival, we hope to see this again next year.