The United States Association of Cider Makers named this event the North American Cider Event of the Year last year for good reason: There are eighteen cideries pouring anywhere from two to six of their best ciders each.
“We ask cideries to bring ciders that are special or new — something people won’t be able to easily find,” explains Stephanie Carson, founder of Cider Circus and Gypsy Circus Cider in Tennessee. A perfect example is Talbott’s whiskey-barrel-aged peach sour cider, a variation on an already uncommon cider from Palisade.
The majority of the participating cider producers operate in Colorado, but there will also be a few national and International companies. Colorado ciders that will be served include Wild Cider Hard Cider, Apple Valley Cider Co., Haykin Family Cider, Clear Fork Hard Cider, Big B’s Hard Ciders, St. Vrain Cidery, Stem Ciders, Colorado Common Hard Cider, Snow Capped Cider, Colorado Cider Company and Talbott’s Cider.
Carson adds that there's a huge educational component to this fest. “People will be able to talk to the cider makers themselves, or at least someone from the cidery, to ask questions and get an understanding of what makes their cider special,” she notes.
There will also be classes on cider making, a Cider University sponsored by the Colorado Cider Guild, and cheese pairings from World Cheese Judge Michael Landis.
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While this is the fifth year for the fest in Colorado, it’s the first that will be in Denver. Carson is excited to move the event to a new market; in previous years, the Cider Circus has been held at Copper Mountain.
This will be an indoor/outdoor event. Inside C Squared, a handful of tents in the production area will give guests an opportunity to see where the cider magic happens. Outside, an adult water slide will give ticket holders the chance to cool off. There will also be a DJ and aerial performances; this is a circus, after all.
Tickets start at $40 and include unlimited cider samplings. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Cider Circus website. The show begins at 1 p.m. for VIP attendees and 2 p.m. for general admission.