Wrangletown Cider Company, Pat Knittel

Jennifer and Pat...before we started drinking the cider and wine she brought!

Jennifer and Pat…before we started drinking the cider and wine she brought!

It’s the label that will catch your eye — so many new start up hard cider companies it’s hard to keep up. A couple of women wrangling in the streets — well, if you know your Humboldt County history you know that Freshwater was once called Wrangletown.  Story goes there were a couple of women who had taken to brawling in the streets of the town.  Now why did we ever decide that Freshwater was a better name for that town?

Pat Knittel, with a heavy duty background producing wine in Napa and Sonoma — wanted to come home to Wrangletown — in Humboldt County where she was raised.  And she realized that hard cider was her path home (she still makes wine – North Story Wines– but a gal’s got to branch out, right?)  So there we were at about 10:30 a.m. tasting up the hard cider which was lovely and dry — pairing meals with hard cider is the next new thing.

One last word of advice (besides don’t start sipping hard cider at 10:30 a.m.) — if you have only tasted those mass produced hard ciders and think they taste like bubbly ultra sweet apple juice with an edge — give Wrangletown a try!  You’ll be doing cider pairings instead of wine — a whole new world will open up, and it’s a delicious one.

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Humboldt Cider Company, Jamie Ashdon

We think of hard cider as being an adults only beverage — but there was a time in north America when drinking fermented beverages was commonplace with everyone including children — many diseases could be contracted from drinking tainted water and it was much safer to consume hard beverages.  With the advent of prohibition hard cider became a thing of the past — for a very long time!

But, thanks to some small cider works — and also thanks to orchardists throughout the country that kept the cider varieties alive and propagated, we are returning to a golden age for hard cider.  Here in Humboldt County there are many home brewers — and Humboldt Cider Company, co-owned by Jamie Ashdon (you will remember him from our episode on Humboldt Beer Works), and Michelle and Darren Cartledge (beer and cider enthusiasts and makers) will be providing an opportunity to savor the terroir of Humboldt with a tasting room at Redwood Acres.

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Bert Walker, Hard Cider

If you have taken an Agriculture class at College of the Redwoods — you have probably taken a class with Bert Walker.  Recently Bert retired from CR and is pursuing a new career making hard cider from the apples in his orchard in Fortuna.  Bert can still be found guest lecturing in the Ag Program at CR.

I know, I know — this one took a long time — excuse is that it was difficult to edit — blah blah blah — but here it is!

Interview with Bert Walker, Hard Cider Brewer

Also — be sure to enjoy an Adophus Spitzenburg apple, Bert’s favorite eating apple!  Hard to find, but worth the effort —