The Ongoing Pursuit of Funk

I'm finally getting around to what my planner says is "blogging in a new location". Which this isn't a new location since I'm at Brauhaus but it will have to suffice considering at least its not in my bed. Or living room. Or not writing at all.

I put that in my planner because if I don't try a 'new location' I'm afraid my writing might become stagnant and maybe a 'new' surrounding will inspire me. I think what it really does is make me 'reflect' rather than 'create' since the only sentence I can think of writing right now is "this last weekend" type of shit. Good Lord. I can't believe how much this Tuesday feels like a Monday. I guess I'll just go with it: check out my to-do list from Saturday, lets start there.

Saturday To-Do List:

 

  • 9:00-10:00 AM Shower/manicure
  • 10:30-3:00 PM Pore the Core
  • 4:00-5:00 PM Nap time
  • 6:00-10:00 PM Work@Distributor
  • 10:00-11:45 PM Visit Julian at work for a cocktail and gossip
  • Midnight: Turn into a pumpkin

Yes I literally scheduled nap time and gossip time and manicure time and got it all done while working a fest and logging some work hours. (See my first post: 'Its called planning, thinking ahead and compromising as little as possible on dressing like a motherfucking boss'.)

So, all you craft beer nerds, if  you have not gone out to try a few local and/or craft ciders lately you are cheating yourself.  I knew of most of the brands that were at the festival, however had I tried all of them? Certainly not. However, since I was going to be going to work for the evening shift I only sampled a few, as in three, so I knew I had to make it count. Here's what I tried:

  1. Original Sin Elderberry (which I was pouring samples of for the crowd)
  2. Good Intent Cider
  3. Sarasola

If you know your own palate and can pre-determine which type of flavors you will enjoy then most sampling sessions can be a great success. I was looking for dry ciders, hints of fruits and of course, the ongoing pursuit of funk. The elderberry cider by Original Sin provided the hint of fruit from a cider that I was looking for. I'm not inclined to super sweet ciders, (which often remind me of my first horrifying encounters with 'sweet wines' from when I was living in the South. I still don't consider those 'wines'; seriously) so this was a perfect balance to me. Refreshing, crisp, cool and berry-ey. Plus, I got to nerd-out on my apple knowledge, thanks to the Harvest Festival which I attended annually in Sonoma County, with Gidon, the owner of Original Sin, who brought a few apples from his personal stash. He even had a couple of tiny-tiny apples from Kazakhstan  He told me about the oldest apple from New York and showed me a page in a book about apples...this is what I love about festivals!!! Gidon's passion and vision for O.S. is tangible and it was a pleasure to pour his cider and also to share my rice crackers from Traders Joe's with him.

Good Intent Cider, a family owned and operated cidery from the heart of PA apple country was the 'local option' sample that I went for. First off I was sold by their label and packaging. There was a nice light green label and a red bottle (which was not being served and I'm under the impression that it is bourbon aged). The dryness and crispness of this no-water added small batch fermented local cider was exactly what you might be looking for if you were serving a brunch on Mothers Day and wanted to opt out of mimosas. I think it can be found on tap at a few places in Gettysburg, PA (1). 

The wildcard ciders were the French bottles directly across the tent from where I was pouring Original Sin. Adam, the rep who I was there to assist, told me when I arrived that those were going to be the best ciders at the event. So of course I tagged along when he and his wife sauntered over before the flood of 2,500 people bombarded the event. The last fifteen minutes of set up before the event starts are the last time you will be able to complete a sentence during a conversation and not have to stand in line for a bathroom. So I use those minutes wisely. Sarasola (2) is a funky cider from the Basque region. It reminds me a bit of a blue cheese that I once bought with my Landlord in the Italien Market, but also of a nice champagne I had at Roy's at Pebble Beach's "Inn at Spanish Bay", and also of biting into the most crisp, dry apple: all of this in one whiff and sip. Needless to say, this is the exact reason I was excited to hear of an all cider 'beer fest'. Because I knew that someone out there was making something amazing in the cider world and I want to be a part of it. Sarasola blew my mind: I'm hoping I can find a bottle and pass on the excitement to some of my friends since I know this funky-bubbly-apple-drink has all the qualities of a celebrity beverage. So go out there, try something new. Volunteer. And don't be afraid of a little funk.

1) http://goodintentcider.com/

2) http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/sarasola-sidra-natural/96203/