Looking for something new when you're out exploring Colorado this Memorial Day weekend? A new spot for cider lovers opened earlier this spring in Idaho Springs: Clear Creek Cidery Tavern & Taps, located right in the mix on Miner Street, the mountain town's main drag.
The new bar and eatery is the work of Evan Lombardi and Greg Dalrymple, who are currently developing the space next door to produce their own cider, which is anticipated to be ready by September. The plan is to start off with three varieties, including a dry, semi-sweet and sweet cider. They also hope to utilize local ingredients for ciders, such as Palaside peaches, and create ciders with a twist, such as a tequila-inspired salted lime cider.
In the meantime, there are plenty of guest ciders available. At the bar, a total of eighteen taps pour nine local ciders, including Wild Cider, Talbott’s Cider Co., Stem Ciders and St. Vrain Cidery, plus eight Colorado beers and Guinness. Bottled ciders include Sam Smith’s, Woodchuck, Crispin, Angry Orchard, Smith & Forge and Wyder’s. The ciders will change seasonally and with what's most on demand from customers. There are also handcrafted cocktails and wine.
“Idaho Springs is such a unique, cool little town, and Clear Creek Cidery fits in so well — but also stands out,” says Kyla Ewers, marketing expert for the cider spot.
While cider is the focal point, 60 percent of sales are currently from food. The Southwestern-inspired menu is designed to pair well with cider. “It’s certainly not limited to tacos and burritos, though,” Ewers says. The most popular items are pork chops with apple chutney, house-smoked salmon dip with baked pita chips, and beer-marinated corned beef brisket Reuben sandwiches.
“Many of our dishes are inspired by cider,” says Ewers, pointing to the pork chop as well as a gluten-free green chile. The apple-sauced cider burger is topped with Applewood-smoked bacon, apple chutney, bleu cheese and peppercorn aioli.
She also notes that the kitchen makes a point of offering several gluten-free options, since many cider drinkers turn to the beverage because it's grain-free.
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