The Colorado Cider Guild Supports the State's Booming Cider Industry

Pressed Fest is one of the Colorado Cider Guild's annual festivals.
Pressed Fest is one of the Colorado Cider Guild's annual festivals. Kevin Galaba
The Colorado Cider Guild works hard to promote the growth of the cider industry in our state, and with cideries now doubling within the last few years, they’re doing something right. Directors of the organization include cider makers from Colorado Cider Company, Stem Ciders, C-Squared Ciders, and Snow Capped Cider Company. There are currently eighteen cideries represented from many different towns and cities, including Haykin Family Cider in Aurora, Scrumpy’s Hard Cider Bar in Fort Collins, Big B’s Hard Cider in Hotchkiss, Apple Valley Cider Company in Penrose and the Old Mine in Erie.

The guild fulfills its goal by educating consumers about cider and, hopefully, encouraging an appreciation for it. For example, at this weekend’s Colorado Cider and Beer Circus at Copper Mountain, it's hosting Cider University, where guests will have the opportunity to discover fermentation science, meet local cider makers and learn how to pair cheese and cider from an accredited world cheese judge.

The guild also facilitates allied industries and growers to supply cider companies in Colorado and coordinate events to showcase and celebrate cider produced in Colorado.

We talked to Dean Landi, president of the guild, who also happens to be the co-owner of St. Vrain Cidery in Longmont.

Westword: What's the cider scene like in Colorado? It really seems like it's growing at a rapid pace!

Dean Landi: Yes, it is. I can't stress enough how much diverse, complex, unique and flavorful cider is being produced here in Colorado. The number of cideries in Colorado has more than doubled in the past two years. It’s so exciting to be in the middle of the buzz around this still fairly new craft-beverage boom.

What does the Colorado Cider Guild do?

The CCG’s mission is to represent Colorado cidermakers with legislative and regulatory authorities. We speak as one voice for Colorado cidermakers, interests in distribution, and retailing in the state. We promote the sale of local cider made right here in the state. We strive to educate consumers and buyers in the state, and work to promote the cultivation and expansion of the Colorado apple industry for cider.

click to enlarge Colorado is learning to love cider, thanks to the Colorado Cider Guild and its growing number of members. - KEVIN GALABA
Colorado is learning to love cider, thanks to the Colorado Cider Guild and its growing number of members.
Kevin Galaba
Tell me about some of the events the guild does.

We hosted the Pressed Fest in Longmont this past June, and we have Lakewood Cider Days coming up October 6 and 7. It's going to be a blast!

What's it like to be a cider producer in Colorado?

It's awesome! The cider community here is incredible, supportive and innovative. It's really exciting to work with all these great cidermakers. I personally feel really grateful to have my own cidery in a state where the craft-beverage industry is so supportive. Everyone wants to see everyone else succeed. It's really inspiring.

What are some awesome new local ciders we need to try?

Haykin Family Cider is making incredible small-batch ciders that are definitely worth the trip. We are getting ready to can our Pink Guava, which has been super-popular in our taproom, and we're pretty proud of that one. Colorado Cider Company's Block Two is a must. Also, I'm always super-excited to see what Stem is releasing from their Cider Cellar series. There are so many great ciders coming out of Colorado, it's really difficult to list them all.
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Kristen Kuchar is a Colorado writer covering craft beer, food and travel. For Westword, she explores vegan dining and the state's artisan beverages, such as cider and mead.