West Coast Wanderings

This week led us on a journey to the West Coast, specifically, The Golden State (it was green and not golden due to the recent rain they’ve had, alas details). We started off the weekend in Southern California near Huntington beach and proceeded to make our way North, heading home out of San Francisco. This trip was a hodge podge of adventures from surfing, relaxing on the beach with friends to hiking in Big Sur, riding a trolley car and as always, searching for cider.


As we traveled along the coast, we always looked at our cider map (thanks Eric West) but much to our surprise,  found that many of the cider makers in California do not have a tasting room (being from New York we naively expected an on premise tasting room to be the norm). Not to be swayed from our quest we shifted gears and searched for places carrying local cider on tap and/or bottle shops where we could get bottles to enjoy out there and bring home for later.  An added benefit of these searches was the accompaniment of the cider with delicious food, California has the climate and culture for great local food and we found everything delicious and amazingly fresh.  Luckily, along our travels we have acquired a shipping box, which we brought with us, empty. This allowed us to bring 12 bottles back, so be prepared for some additional California coast cider reviews.

One of our favorite discoveries on this trip was Beer Thirty Bottle Shop & Pour House in Soquel, just outside of Santa Cruz.  Now don’t let this post decieve you the name rings true, Beer Thirty is mainly about great craft beer however the local cider selection there was quite good.  Though there was only one on tap there were about a dozen more in the coolers or on the shelves.  While we were there they had the Mission Trail  Diehard Cider on tap, and in bottles so yes, some made the trip home too!  Here’s the tasting notes:

Him:  Medium golden in the glass with medium bubbles and clear, we haven’t run across any unfiltered ciders in our travels yet so its a good thing that everything has been clear so far.  In the nose you get the distinctive tart aroma of the Newtown Pippin along with some subtle caramel and earthy notes.  Flavors that came through in tasting the cider were rich ripe apples, like walking into a cold storage filled with fruit in late fall though without any sweetness as this cider is dry.  This cider finishes crisp and clean with a bright acidity that refreshes.

Her: Upon first glance, there was a nice golden color with some bubbles showing the carbonation. At first I got a subtle apple smell but as I continued to take in the aromas, it reminded me of walking into a cold storage unit like when I was little. This was a good cider, it reminds me of ciders I have had before. It was clean and crisp. It tasted appley and then had a bit of a bitter finish that reminded me of apple skins.

Until our next adventure

A & S