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Monday, September 18, 2017

Citizen Cider to Expand in Burlington

Posted By on Mon, Sep 18, 2017 at 5:07 PM

Apple cider tanker truck at Citizen Cider on Pine Street - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Apple cider tanker truck at Citizen Cider on Pine Street
Citizen Cider will begin work in two weeks on an expansion to its business that will bring a portion of  its hard-cider production to a second site in Burlington, cofounder Justin Heilenbach told Seven Days.

The cidery with a production facility and taproom on Pine Street will move its apple-pressing operation from Middlebury to 180 Flynn Avenue,  Heilenbach said.  Currently,  apples are pressed in Middlebury and transported to Burlington in a tanker truck filled with apple cider.

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Stowe Cider Moves to Larger Production Space, Throws Party

Posted By on Thu, Aug 10, 2017 at 6:07 PM

Filling cans at Stowe Cider - COURTESY OF STOWE CIDER
  • Courtesy of Stowe Cider
  • Filling cans at Stowe Cider
This weekend, Stowe Cider will celebrate its fourth anniversary with a festive move from its original production facility north of Stowe village to the larger fermentory it's been building across town at 17 Town Farm Lane.

Stowe Cider purchased the building this summer. With financing through Union Bank of Vermont & New Hampshire and the Vermont Economic Development Authority, the company began construction on the 6,000-square-foot space in May. The move follows the cidery's growth into a new tasting room at 1799 Mountain Road last summer.

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Border Buster Cider Is the Fruit of Three Local Orchards

Posted By on Tue, Aug 1, 2017 at 3:10 PM

Apple harvest at Eden Specialty Ciders' orchard in Charleston, Vermont - COURTESY OF EDEN SPECIALTY CIDERS
  • Courtesy of Eden Specialty Ciders
  • Apple harvest at Eden Specialty Ciders' orchard in Charleston, Vermont

At Eden Specialty Ciders (formerly, Eden Ice Cider), Eleanor and Albert Leger have spent the past several years producing high-end ciders and apple-based aperitifs, many of which command $20 or more for a small bottle. Now, with the debut of Border Buster Cider — which they've produced collaboratively with Verger Heath Orchards of Stanstead, Québec, Sunrise Orchards of Cornwall and Farrell Distributing — they're looking to enter the everyday drinking market.

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Shacksbury Cider's Tasting Room Opens Today

Posted By on Thu, Jul 20, 2017 at 6:04 PM

Shacksbury's tasting room in Vergennes - COURTESY OF SHACKSBURY CIDER
  • Courtesy of Shacksbury Cider
  • Shacksbury's tasting room in Vergennes

As of this evening, the good people of Vergennes have another place to tip back a drink. Shacksbury Cider opened its tasting room at 11 Main Street at 4 p.m. The company produces old-world-style and experimental ciders from heirloom and foraged apples collected throughout the Champlain Valley.

The spartan but comfortable space is located at the north end of the former Kennedy Brothers building, which Shacksbury uses to house many of its small-batch operations.

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Shacksbury Cider Pops Up a Tasting Room

Posted By on Thu, Oct 13, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Draft of cider and herbed popcorn at Shacksbury Cider's tasting room - JULIA CLANCY
  • Julia Clancy
  • Draft of cider and herbed popcorn at Shacksbury Cider's tasting room
Last Friday, the duo behind Shacksbury Cider, Colin Davis and David Dolginow, opened the doors to their new Vergennes tasting room in the Kennedy Brothers building at 11 Main Street.

Well, kind of. Although the full tasting room is still under construction, the cider guys began hosting a pop-up version dubbed the Loading Dock Lounge. On Fridays and Saturdays from 2 to 6 p.m., the bar is open for specialty drafts, flights and cans of Shacksbury Dry and Semi-Dry. Bowls of salty, herbed popcorn are available for snacking at the wide hardwood bar top.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Lunch at La Garagista Farm With Wine Writer Alice Feiring

Posted By on Wed, Aug 17, 2016 at 7:55 AM

Table set for lunch at La Garagista Farm and Winery - JULIA CLANCY
  • Julia Clancy
  • Table set for lunch at La Garagista Farm and Winery
Caleb Barber greets me at my car window as I pull up to La Garagista's home vineyard in Barnard for lunch. It’s still early. By noon, the table will be decked in checkered tablecloth and strewn with vine leaves, Queen Anne’s lace and herbs from the garden. Long-necked bottles of field blend rosé and La Crescent whites will be tucked in an old washbasin with ice for chilling. Barber will slice thick tiles of homemade pancetta, and the guys from Shacksbury Cider and Fable Farm will arrive with bottles of cider in tow for tasting.

But for now, in the sleepy morning hour, Barber leads me to his porch overlooking the mountains for a glass of water and a piece of grape cake in the kitchen.

Alice Feiring, the lauded wine writer, emerges from Barber's guest room with a notepad and camera. To call Feiring a “lauded wine writer” is an understatement, and I’m momentarily tongue-tied (which I attribute to careful chewing of the grape cake).  An open advocate of natural wine, Feiring is a significant voice in the wine world as a writer for publications such as Time magazine, the New York Times, New York Magazine, Forbes Traveler, the LA Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. She has three of her own books and just finished a fourth, which she calls “a most unusual wine guide” that she’s “very glad to be rid of — it was grueling to write.”

There’s a James Beard Foundation Award in her history as well, but the laurel I like best comes from the San Francisco Bay Guardian, which has dubbed Feiring “the high priestess of natural wines.”

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Carpe Buzz: Fresh Brews to Sip This Season

Posted By on Tue, May 20, 2014 at 5:49 PM

After winning Seven Days' Vermont Brew Bracket in April - FILE PHOTO: 14TH STAR BREWING
  • File photo: 14th Star Brewing
  • After winning Seven Days' Vermont Brew Bracket in April

Vermonters are observing their rites of spring – warm days blossom with floral dresses and rosy, bare chests, and by evening, sunburns for paler, more foolhardy revelers.

For casual tipplers and craftbrew dilettantes alike, spring also means bright, sunny beers best sipped fresh in the open air, whether the venue is your back porch, on the lake or in the garden, or at your favorite watering hole.

Over the last few weeks, Vermont’s brewmasters have been rolling out the season’s new releases. It's a fruity, citrusy batch that predictably forges new trails into IPA territory, with stops along the way for ciders, sours and saisons. Just in time for Memorial Day and the official (unofficial) start of summer.

Read on for a smattering of noteworthy new brews, listed by release date.

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Grazing: Last Bites

Posted By on Fri, Apr 11, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Today has been one of those glamorous workdays when I eat lunch at my desk — specifically, half of a day-old turkey wrap from the Pine Street Deli (which had been delicious when fresh) and some stale popchips. Such is the last day of production on 7Nights, our annual, 136-page dining guide, which shipped to the printer early this afternoon.

This is a momentous day for another reason, though: It's my last one at Seven Days. I joined the paper in January 2011, and over the past three-plus years have chalked up enough culinary and liquid adventures to fill a book (or at least generate hundreds of articles and blog posts). I've also gotten to know some incredible people (coworkers, chefs, farmers, brewers, distillers and others), eaten innumerable kale Caesar salads from Bluebird Coffee Stop at the Innovation Center, and gained a well-earned 12 pounds. (When I see my family or distant friends now, they say, "You look ... healthy."

My last week in and around Burlington hasn't been all desk lunches, though. In fact, it's been filled with some peak moments, and a reminder of how much I'll miss. To wit:

Citizen Cider
Earlier this week, Citizen Cider launched its new Pine Street tasting room with a series of soft openings; on Monday night, that meant I got to convene with a room full of food- and ag-world peeps while sipping a glass of crisp, wonderful Cidre Bourgeois. I'm bummed to leave Burlington just as this place opened. Le sigh.

Lunch at Lucky Next Door - CORIN HIRSCH
  • Corin Hirsch
  • Lunch at Lucky Next Door

Lucky Next Door
I sit in a portion of the 7D office known as "the nook," and the four of us who occupy it (or have occupied it) call ourselves "ladies of the nook." We convened for lunch early this week at Lucky Next Door, the sister eatery to Penny Cluse Café. I blissed out over a bowl of tender beef-and-pork meatballs and piles of broccoli rabe in garlic-heavy brown gravy. It was truly a perfect lunch — made even more so when the kitchen sent out a ramekin of silky caramel custard. Once you've tasted it, you may wake up in the middle of the night craving more (as I did).

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Midweek Swig: Vermont Ice Hard Cider

Posted By on Thu, Feb 27, 2014 at 3:49 PM

Vermont Ice Hard Cider, decanted - COURTESY OF BOYDEN VALLEY WINERY
  • Courtesy of Boyden Valley Winery
  • Vermont Ice Hard Cider, decanted
This week: Vermont Ice Hard Cider from Boyden Valley Winery

Cost: $6.99 for a 22-ounce bottle at Mike's Store and Deli in Hartland

Strength: 6.9 percent abv

The pour: An exuberant head that quickly recedes, as well as fat bubbles and a pale straw hue. It gives off aromas of — well, apples, with maybe a whiff of apricot. (It doesn't smell complex.)

The taste: Full-flavored apples — such as Jonathans — with hints of pear, vanilla and almonds; some of those secondary flavors likely come from the oak-aged ice cider added before bottling. The entire swig, from start to finish, had an innocuous tart-sweet balance laced with bits of savory bubblegum, if such a thing existed. (Well, it does in the Chocolate Factory.)

Drink it with: On its own, or maybe with an apple crumble.

Backstory: This brand-new hard cider is from the Boyden family, who also turn out a range of grape, fruit and dessert wines. The winery used the pressed juices of Northern Spy, Empire and McIntosh apples from Castleton's Brown Family Orchards, then fermented the result in stainless steel. After carbonation, this was "finished" with some barrel-aged Vermont Ice Cider. 

Verdict: The Boydens seem to have a knack for nailing the sweet spot of the palate. This is simple, smooth, refreshing and playful. It doesn't demand much.

Midweek Swig tackles a new liquid release (almost) each week. If you have suggestions for something to sample, send them to Corin at [email protected].

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