Waldschänke Ciders is using inspiration from Switzerland to create something unique in Colorado’s expanding cider scene. Co-founder and director John Dufresne hopes to open the doors in early 2019 at 4100 Jason Street, on the eastern edge of Denver's Sunnyside neighborhood.
“There’s not going to be anything traditional about us,” says Dufresne. “We want to be funky and explore the boundaries with inventive ciders.”
Dufresne wants to explore ciders as they're made in Switzerland — unfiltered — as well as barrel-aged ciders. He also plans a line of flavored ciders using black currant, an English tea blend and hops.
Cider, Dufresne explains, is much more prevalent in Europe, with a large variety of styles all over the board.
Dufresne’s wife is Swiss, and when they take trips back to her home, they frequent a cidery in the forest that is only accessible by hiking, biking or horseback.
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"We just loved the concept and the idea and always talked about doing it ourselves,” he says. With a resurgence of ciders, especially throughout Colorado, the timing felt right to make a move. And with that, Waldschänke Ciders, which translates to "forest tavern," was born.
The plan is to have sixteen ciders on tap: at least four or five of their own ciders and then “the best” of other ciders throughout the state. They’d also like to be a coffeehouse in the morning.
Dufresne is excited about the location and the energy of the neighborhood. There is a 325-unit condo building next door, the G Line light rail and retail shops nearby. He envisions the atmosphere being a place to hang out with laptops and coffee during the day, and food trucks and plenty of activities, including trivia nights, cider bingo and local bands, in the evenings and on weekends. The outside garden area will be dog-friendly, with a bocce ball court in the space.