What could be better than a beer festival in the middle of a hot summer, especially one with a whole showing of cideries! The annual Naperville Ale Fest located in Naperville, IL fits that bill and is our first stop in the cider scene. The festival featured some of the major cideries such as Angry Orchard and Crispin, but there was also some of the smaller, growing companies in the mix. The cideries that I found quite interesting were: Right Bee Cider, Farmhaus Cider, Argus Cider, and Ferro Farms. All of their booths featured their own showings of unique, local cider flavors accompanied by the owners showing their products.
Right Bee Cider featured their main cider offering, a simple 3 ingredient cider made from apples, organic fair trade unrefined cane sugar, and local honey. The result was a very clean and simple cider that is crisp and slightly dry. I had the pleasure of meeting Katie and her husband Charlie who run their business together since 2014. You can visit their site at www.rightbeecider.com.
Farmhaus Cider featured two different selections: Raspolte and Trocken. Both ciders were in stark contrast to each other. Raspolte provided an interesting fusion of raspberry and chipotle flavors, something that will typically overwhelm the drinker withspicey and sweet. However, they managed to keep the cider semi-sweet with a nice smokey end. The duality with Trocken was immense. It was quite dry and, as they list on their description, as traditional of a European dry as you will get in the United States. All in all, their products were delicious and the team’s story, intriguing. John was at the booth and we got a chance to meet and go over their product line and history. Farmhaus cidery started out of a family owned orchard purchased in 1866. Fast forward to 2015 and they started selling their lines of cider out of the same orchard his family grew up on. Delve deeper into Farmhaus’ roots by visiting www.farmhauscider.com.
Argus Cidery had an interesting option at the event, their Ginger Sour cider. The drink was pretty tart, starting with a dry pear and finishing with a spicy ginger aftertaste. I took notice of their simple and sleek product line and really enjoyed their overall aesthetic. To learn more about Argus Cider, visit www.arguscidery.com.
Next on the list was Ferro Farm, which only had one cider featured. It was a very traditional cider without frill, but openly one of the most crisp and refreshing simple products I’ve tasted. I wish we could provide more, but we will let Ferro Farm toot their own horn. Visit Ferro Farm’s site, www.ferrofarms.com, to listen in.
Of course, there is the obligatory Angry Orchard photo from the booth to end the day. Cheers!