Colorado Cider Company, one of the state's cider pioneers, was founded by Brad and Kathe Page in 2011. Now, they are celebrating their success with an expansion that has enabled the cidery to triple its annual production capacity from 25,000 gallons to 75,000 gallons, and includes four new 2,100-gallon tanks and two new 1,200-gallon tanks. The cider masters are also introducing two new seasonal ciders: Pearsnickety, a seasonal perry (a fermented pear variation) and Cherry Glider, a version of their flagship Glider Cider enhanced by tart cherries.
With seven ciders already on the market, the expansion and the additions will help Colorado Cider meet the growing demand for small-batch cider as curiosity about the niche beverage -- and a stemming sense of loyalty -- gains momentum.
Pearsnickety, an extra-pale cider made from Colorado-grown Bartlett pears, serves up pear aromas and a fresh, lingering finish. "Like all of our ciders, qe ferment Pearsnickety to just-about dryness," Brad says. "This accents the fruit flavors, reins in the sugars, and conjures up Pearsnickety's earthy finish and Western Slope terroir."
Last year, the Pages planted 1,000 cider-apple trees on their property in Hotchkiss, helping to boost the local supply of apples (about seventy percent of their juice already comes from apples sourced in state) and this fall, they plan on planting another 2,000.
The Cherry Glider is rose in color, with flavors of cherry pie and a slight pucker. The muted apple notes temper the tangy cherry character, adding complexity. "The key to a great cherry cider is knowing when to say 'whoa!' on the cherries," Brad says. "That's what you find here. It's grownup enough to thrill discerning cider lovers, without calling up cough syrup nightmares from your childhood."
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Colorado Cider Company's tasting room, at 2650 West 2nd Avenue #10, is open on Fridays, from 3 to 6 p.m., and on Saturdays, from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m.