Few have a better perch from which to observe Washington State’s craft cider boom than Sarah Silverman. She manages Schilling Cider House, located in Fremont, and oversees 32 taps that span a range of craft ciders, many of them produced locally. “There's a resurgence in the farm-to-table movement, and with Washington State being a major producer of apples, I think it's only natural we’ve become a national leader in the cider renaissance,” Silverman says.
When the first iPhone came out, you could count the number of cider producers in the state on one hand. Your local farmer’s market was a better place to find hard cider than the supermarket. Now, over 60 cider producers in the state produce a dynamic range of styles, from sweet to bone dry, from heritage to modern. Nationally, sales of cider are stealing market share from beer and wine.
Ironically, beer—specifically craft beer and its spirit of experimentation—contributed to cider’s renaissance. “Cider does take some inspiration from the craft beer industry—but honestly, I think we push the boundaries in a unique way—and now lots of craft breweries have looked to cider for inspiration,” says Colin Schilling, founder of Schilling Cider, “We have been innovating since we opened our doors—really by making what we want to drink.”
Modern cider is usually canned, cleverly branded and experimental with flavors. Despite the slight cooling in popularity, Schilling says, “While cider growth has slowed from astronomical levels—that was to be expected—that kind of growth cannot last. But craft cider is still rapidly growing and outpacing craft beer and wine.”
Cider is also a popular gluten-free alternative to beer. With the growing demand for cider in our area, we have decided to roll out cider delivery at all our locations. 6-packs of Schilling's Hard Cider are now available for pick-up and delivery!