Sip a juicy Colorado hard cider with a European pedigree
By John Lehndorff
When a host asks you to bring a beverage to a dressy holiday gathering, exceed expectations by arriving with a four-pack of Snow Capped Gold Rush instead of your usual bottle of Pinot Grigio.
Don’t let the cans fool you: Colorado-born Gold Rush is a serious craft beverage on par with high-end European ciders.
Poured in a glass, Gold Rush glows with a wonderful golden hue. Take a sip and you have one of those “Oh wow” moments.
“Gold Rush is extremely complex. It starts out sweet and apple-forward, but as you taste it, the cider finishes almost dry,” says Kari Williams of Snow Capped Cidery.
There’s a good reason Gold Rush doesn’t taste like those too sweet, too bubbly ciders that are filling the shelves now. Those ciders are not made by pressing and fermenting actual cider apple varieties, Kari Williams says.
“They usually use juice from sweet culinary apples,” says Williams who — with her husband, Ty Williams — owns the cidery and the more-than-century-old Williams Family orchards near CedarEdge on the Western Slope.
“Traditional cider apples are hard to grow, disease-prone and don’t give the yield of culinary apples like Honey Crisp,” Williams says. At 6,130 feet, Williams Family orchards are among the world’s highest elevation orchards and vineyards. Kari Williams says that the high elevation not only develops flavor from the hot sunny day and cool night cycle, but also because of high exposure to UV light.
“In 2013 we started Snow Capped Ciders to take advantage of the fruit we were growing including French and English varieties,” she says. Snow Capped Gold Rush is the newest addition to a line of award-winning ciders. It’s made with four notable varieties: Blanc Mollet, Ashmead’s Kernel, English Golden Russet and Dabinett. Each rare apple contributes elements of astringency, sweetness and acid to the cider, much like the grapes blended in the best red and white wines.
These cider apples yield bright ripe apple mouth-filling flavors and aroma notes from vanilla to leather. Williams suggest serving this semi-sparkling cider slightly chilled, but never ice cold.
The family are the only growers in the state producing enough cider apples to can a true cider. “Because we grow this rare fruit ourselves, we are able to sell the cider at an accessible price,” she says.
“It’s the crème de la crème of apple cider in a can.”
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
40% of all food produced is thrown away, while our neighbors go hungry. This has devastating effects in our community and to our planet. We Don’t Waste is here to help. They support the community and environment by reclaiming and redistributing quality food to those in need. Their vast network connects food from purveyors who want to avoid food waste with community organizations who need food to serve their populations. Since their inception in 2009, they have recovered over 100 million servings of food. Although this is a challenging time for many people, We Don’t Waste is still inspiring people to support their communities.
To donate to their cause, visit wedontwaste.org
GIVE & RECEIVE
CAFE 180 creates space for everyone to feel good about the food they eat, the work they do, the people they connect to, and the time they spend. It’s a place where anyone can eat, regardless of their ability to pay. Those who are unable to pay simply exchange their time and energy for a nutritious meal. Since 2010 the café has not only served delicious meals but in 2018 they began offering paid work experiences through JOBS 180 where apprentices gain experience in a full-service kitchen cooking and preparing soups, salads, pizzas and sandwiches as well experience in customer service and training volunteers. CAFE 180 believes that everyone has something to give and everyone is worthy of receiving. cafe180.org