by Lexi Bissonnette
Beer has always been a popular drink. Looking around most homes you can find six packs or bottles chilling in the refrigerator. But with the rise of gluten awareness and health trends, cider is becoming just as big in American homes. So what better way to embrace a drink that’s on the rise than with a festival?
Starfish Junction Promotions is putting on the first annual cider fest, Pour the Core, in Philadelphia in the Naval Yard on September 28th. From 1-5 pm in the Naval Yard attendees are invited to taste a variety of ciders, be apart of a charity auction and more. Forty dollars will get you in the gate, a tasting glass provided by Woodchuck and of course, tastings.
The event will host 22 cider companies, eight beer companies and a wine company. But the focus of the event will be on the cider; a drink that is growing enormously in popularity. ” The cider industry is really growing immensely,” says Kristyn Dolan, Marketing Manger at Starfish Junction Productions. “Like an 85% increase in all cider, even though in beers only a 1% industry in sales.”
Pour the Core did begin last year in Long Island but it’s the debut year for the cider festival in the city of brotherly love. “It started as a need to provide gluten intolerant people with something and gluten free is taking off so much because of the diets out there also,” remarks Dolan.
The 22 cider companies were carefully picked according to Dolan and three are from the Philadelphia area. “We want to make sure when people sample the ciders they can buy it, too.”
A few of the names you can expect to find are the ever popular Irish Magners, Belgium Stella Artois, Vermont Hard Cider Company and Warwick Valley Winery. All of the companies will be bringing their best but each can contribute something different to the event.
Jeremy Kidde, co-owner of Warwick Valley Winery, is no stranger to Starfish events and the company has been attending as one of the few cider companies at many of the beer events. “So when they were having a stand alone cider event, it was an obvious decision,” explains Kidde.
Bret Williams, President and CEO of Vermont Hard Cider Company, takes a more historic look on attending the festival. “Philadelphia is where the Founding Fathers gathered to declare independence. They certainly enjoyed a tankard or two of cider during their time in the city.” He went on to say that Philadelphia was one of the first cities to accept Woodchuck (cider division) when they began an attempt at a cider revival.
Both breweries have a stand set of ciders that are similar. For Warwick Valley the general lineup includes an apple, a pear and a raspberry. Woodchuck is an amber, 802, crisp, raspberry and pear. But that doesn’t mean they’ll be bringing the same thing to the event.
Kidde says that they will definitely be bringing their apple, their seasonal pumpkin and most likely two more. “But definitely the pumpkin, pumpkin is one of our top sellers.”
Woodchuck is bringing a slightly larger selection at 10 ciders that will include their general lineup as well as a few private reservers – Pink, Belgian White, Fall and Pumpkin. You’ll have to head over to decide who has the best. But both have the same anticipation for the event. “Getting our ciders in the hands of the people,” says Williams. Kidde echoed the sentiment, while also curious to see how an all cider event does.
But the event is more than just tastings and a good time. There will also be two seminars to inform the public about the cider process. Hank Frecon of Frecon’s Cidery will talk about building an estate cidery while Adam Redding of Good Intent Cider will guest through making a hard cider.
Still more to mention is the charity the event supports, Committee to Benefit the Children (CBC). This charity is local and strives to find resources for treatment, care and family needs for families with children suffering from cancer, leukemia and serious blood disorders. Michael Marchase, board member of CBC, says there will be a few different charity events at the function. The biggest will be items donated from breweries to be auctioned or raffled off. There is also a non-perishable food drive for anyone who can donate and a putting green to win raffle tickets.
Don’t miss out on tasting tons of cider and getting a look at the rising trend in the beer industry on September 28th.