The newly acid-etched floors of Suite 114 at 316 Pine Street are covered with a deep, swirling red that's both mesmerizing and slightly alarming. "Yeah, it looks like we sacrificed something in here," jokes Kris Nelson, one of Citizen Cider's three owners.
Later this week, Queen City residents will be able to check out the floors for themselves — as well as quaff cider — when the company unveils its rustic, airy new tasting room in Burlington's South End.
The doors will open for a series of soft openings this week and next. Of the 15 taps behind Citizen Cider's bar, nine will be devoted to cider — including experimental and small batches such as the newly released Wit'sUP, made with Belgian beer yeast. (The five remaining taps will be hooked up to beers from local craft breweries.)
Guests can tackle their ciders at the 14-seat bar or at one of three long, reclaimed-wood tables that dominate the space. Pendant lamps made from apple-press racks (and fabricated by Conant Metal & Light), huge garage doors and exposed vents complete the industrial ambiance. In the back, cider production and bottling are already in full throttle — and the smell of fermenting apples fills the air.
Later this year, Citizen Cider will roll out a menu of small plates, such as charcuterie boards, sausages and other cider-friendly noshes, Nelson says, "plus a few specialties."
The tasting room will be open Tuesday through Saturday in the late afternoons and evenings.
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