Cider Adventures: Philadelphia’s Cinder

Traveling for work has its difficulties, as one would expect. But, in the same vein, there are major perks in the restaurant and drink department. Making a trip to Philly for the first time, I knew there was a wealth of options at my fingertips. I, of course, looked at my options using a few apps and found a restaurant that offered plenty of cider. This is what led me to Cinder, a quaint, modern-industrial-style space in Rittenhouse.

Cinder describes itself as a “unique taphouse & pizza kitchen, brought to life from a triumvirate inspiration of Belgian alehouses, artisan pizza & wine bars, and of course our passion for American craft beer & farmhouse ciders. In a bounteous environment of terrific dining and drinking establishments, we hope to identify ourselves as a premier location for exciting as well as comfort food and beverage choices, delivered with kind and heartfelt service.”

From my experience, Cinder offered a decent local selection of beers and cider and mostly small fare food and pizza. It has a darker atmosphere, but the music keeps the tempo and energy up. With an open kitchen, you can see the chef from the dining room, which is always a plus in my book. It is a smaller venue than some but offers decent seating, especially at the bar. I often frequent the bar as it is the most promising way to get to know the locals (I learned the word “yinz”).

Many come for the pizza, so I had my hand at a pie, a margarita pizza. I would have to agree with the majority. The food came promptly and was a solid offering to go with my cider. The oven-fresh pizza was crispy and pleasantly filling, not giving me the feeling that I stuffed your face. From a specials standpoint, Cinder offers weekly deals for happy hour between 4 to 7 pm, so you can score a cider for a little bit less.

Not having rich experience with cider in Pennsylvania, but knowing of their established cider scene, I tried something I generally wouldn’t, a blueberry cider.  “Deep Blueberry Sea” is a 6.5% ABV cider from Original 13 Ciders.  Dark blue in color, this cider had a nice tart taste with light bubbles. It had a gentle mouthfeel that built into definitive blueberry flavors. It was not too tart, either, which surprised me. It also had a developed apple and blueberry smell, both playing a leading role. I really enjoyed it, even if blueberry isn’t generally my fruit of choice.

Other ciders on the menu included “Earth” from Kurant Cider, a mosaic dry-hopped offering, and “Marmalade” from Big Hill Ciderworks, a peach and orange zest cider. But, only have one night and little time restricted me from exploring more cider options and other restaurants rich with cider. Knowing there are as many options for a pint either at a cidery or restaurant in Philly is rather promising for the state of cider. Let’s just hope the next city I travel to can say the same. Cider on!

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