Beer seems to get all the attention in early fall, a consequence of all those Oktoberfest celebrations and seasonal beer releases.
But not this fall. Another kind of adult beverage is finally getting its due: hard cider.
The inaugural Cider Swig will be held Saturday at Sehmel Homestead Park in Gig Harbor.
The festival is a fundraiser for the Greater Gig Harbor Foundation and features a dozen Northwest cideries serving 50 hard ciders (that’s alcoholic ciders, for those keeping track). Apple ciders comprise the bulk of the menu, but pear ciders also will be served. See a list below of ciders.
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Julie Ann Gustanski, a former college professor and past president of the foundation, is event chair for the Cider Swig. She’s also a devoted cider fan.
Consider Gustanski the chief curator of the cider gathering, along with a half-dozen volunteers that she’s nicknamed “The Cider Swig Army.”
The organizers did their homework, making personal visits to many of the cideries. The lineup reads something like the who’s who of Northwest cider makers. Serving Saturday will be:
Olympia-based: Whitewood Cider, whose owner David White is the current chair of the Northwest Cider Association.
One Oregon cidery will be there, too — Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider.
Several food trucks and mobile food operations will also be at the Cider Swig. Expect barbecue from Rib Ticklers and Smokin Zee’s BBQ; tacos and burritos from Tacoma’s Josefina’s Burrito Boy; Filipino and fusion eats from Lumpia World; and hog dogs from Hot Diggity Dog.
Details: noon-5 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 27) at Sehmel Homestead Park, Gig Harbor; 253-514-6338 or gigharborfoundation.org
Tickets: $32 at the door includes five cider taste tokens and a glass; $10 entry for designated drivers. Children receive free admission (no entry for children to cider garden).
Live music: Spare Thyme, 12-1 p.m.; Lobo Del Mar, 1-2 p.m.; The Early Birds, 2-3 p.m.; Budapest Wing 3-4 p.m.; Billy Farmer, 4-5 p.m.
Kids zone events: Several kid activities, including an apple toss, apple races, apple eating, apple bowling, face painting and a 30-minute daycare dropoff (for a small fee).
Apple talks: In the WSU demonstration tent. Learn about growing apple care and harvesting from orchardists and educators.
The cause: Funds raised will support projects of the Greater Gig Harbor Foundation.
[caption id="attachment_15928" align="alignleft" width="200"] Rick Gamas helps process apples at the annual Steilacoom Apple Squeeze.The yearly event draws cider seekers to downtown Steilacoom.It is a yearly fundraiser for the Steilacoom Historical Museum Association, who also sponsors the event. Steve Bloom/File photo 2011[/caption]
The apple harvest is here, and so are the events that come with it. Check out these three featuring non-alcoholic cider:
Sept. 27-28: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Apple Festival at Lattin Cider Mill & Farm, 9402 Rich Road SE, Olympia. Free entry, but $5 parking charge. Find all kinds of apple products, including ciders made at the farm. Info: 360-491-7328 or lattinscider.com.
Oct. 5: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Steilacoom Apple Squeeze in downtown Steilacoom near Lafayette Street. An old-fashioned cider press will juice apples; or you can buy a fresh-squeezed jug to take home. Apple foods will be for sale. Live music and childrens activities. Sponsored by the Steilacoom Historical Museum Association. Free event. Info: 253-584-4133 or steilacoomhistorical.org.
Oct. 11: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Meeker Mansion Cider Squeeze at Meeker Mansion, 312 Spring St., Puyallup. Fresh cider, pumpkins, apple pie contest, apple food items and live music. Info: 253-848-1770 or meekermansion.org.
CIDER SWIG TAP LIST