This Saturday, Northwest hard cider and mead producers including Finnriver, Westcott Bay Traditional Cider, Eaglemount Wine & Cicer, Sky River Mead, Alpenfire Cider, Methow Valley Ciderhouse, Tieton Cider Works, Lopez Island Vineyards, Hidden Legends, and more will be gathering together under the tasting tent on the opening day of the Orcas Island Farmers’ Market for the 2012 Cider and Mead Festival!
Last year — the inaugural year of the festival — producers and volunteers poured about 1500 tastes of locally-produced cider, and the festival hopes to double that this year. The cider-filled launch day will offer live music on their outdoor stage, and there will be a contest for Orcas Island home brewers of ciders and meads who will be competing for “Orcas Best of the Fest.”
Check out these pictures from last year’s event:
In 2011 NABC, in partnership with Washington State University and Northwest Cider Association, received a Specialty Crop Block Grant from the USDA, giving a boost to the emerging hard cider industry in the region. The $75,000 grant supports cider research, education and marketing, including WSU trials of cider apple varieties and research on mechanical harvesting and the week-long orchard management and cider production courses NABC offers.
We encourage you to support the Orcas Island Farmers Market, the Cider and Mead Festival, the local producers who will be participating, and the emerging cider industry in Washington by attending this weekend’s event!