Beer Man

The Colorado Cider Company will turn apples to apple cider

Brad Page, a real-estate agent and co-founder of Coopersmith's Pub & Brewing in Fort Collins, plans to start Denver's first hard cidery this spring.

Cider, which is more popular in England and Ireland than in the United States, is made from fermented apples. Page will buy his apples for now, but he and his wife plan to plant their own trees on some property they own on the Western Slope.

"As much as a beer lover as I am, I get beer fatigue sometimes," says Page, who was one of the first brewmasters at the Wynkoop Brewing Company when it opened in 1988 and is still a co-owner of Coopersmith's, which has a cider of its own.

Brewing cider takes about two months, and Page is still working on his cidery, located at 2650 West 2nd Avenue in an industrial complex. But he hopes to be producing kegs and 22-ounce bomber bottles of his Glider Cider by the end of March.

"If I make 400 barrels in my first year, I will be ecstatic," he says. While Page describes cider makers like Woodchuck and Strongbow as the "big guys," cider is beginning to catch on in the Pacific Northwest, Michigan and in New England, where there are small company dedicated just to alcoholic apple beverages.

"It seems to be it has taken longer than it should have to catch on," he says.

In addition to Coopersmith's, the Wynkoop make a cider. There is also a very small cidery in the Western Slope town of Cederedge called Blossomwood Cidery.

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes