DRINK RARE HARD APPLE CIDERS AT INAUGURAL L.A. CIDER FEST

BY ERIKA BOLDEN
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 19, 2015

Troy, a California-made hard cider, will be at the first L.A. Cider Fest. Photo: Erika Bolden 

Cider is popular here, especially popular with health seekers and the gluten-free crowd. “L.A. is the largest market for cider in the U.S., based on sales volume,” McTavish says. “Shocking to many, but it’s true.” That market volume represents commercial cider varieties that taste more like liquid Jolly Ranchers than apples, but McTavish is confident that more artisanal beverages will find their audience.

Many drinkers don't have access to the small-batch ciders that will be available at the L.A. Cider Fest. This makes the fest an opportunity to change minds and challenge palates, broadening the cider spectrum from saccharine bombs to balanced and nuanced beverages. The fest will feature tasting pavilions, organized by style, so that you can isolate what you do or don’t like about a cider and get an idea of what to pair with it.

You can expect a wide range of cider flavors and even textures. The imports are especially worth sampling. Canadian Sea Cider Prohibition is aged six months in Screech barrels, lending it a strong rum character and high alcohol content. French import Bordelet Poire Granit is a perry (cider made from pears), far more delicate than the barrel-aged selections.

101 Cider House will also have its latest release, Black Dog cider. The world’s first “black cider,” Black Dog is made with Newtown Pippin apples, Ventura County lemons and activated charcoal from coconuts. This release comes on the heals of the activated charcoal craze you've witnessed at your nearest juice bar. 101 Cider House also will offer its full lineup of bone-dry ciders.

“The L.A. Cider Fest is 100 percent curated with quality in mind," McTavish says. “The majority of our selections will be new to consumers in L.A., as they are rare and limited in production.”

L.A. Cider Fest, Sat., Sept. 19, 1-9 p.m.; Raleigh Studios, 5300 Melrose Ave., Larchmont; $55, tickets available here.

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