Poppin’ some champagne, er, cider

Last week, my friend Steph passed her dissertation defense. YAY! On Saturday we headed out with her to celebrate.  During the afternoon we did a little cidery tour, with stops at Bold Rock and Albemarle Ciderworks. Bold Rock is my absolute favorite cider and actually was introduced to me by Steph a few months ago. I’m not a huge beer or wine person, but I am mildly obsessed with this beverage. I get really excited when we’re out at a restaurant or bar that has it on the menu… something that I’m glad to say is happening more and more as this new company grows.

Our first order of business was a cider tasting with “Johnny Apple Cider,” the head honcho at the business. He was really fun to chat with, and we all just loved him. He is a good ol’ Southern guy who I doubt has ever met a person he didn’t like. While we drank our delicious ciders he told us his life story, described how the place came to be, and then introduced us to his wife, Robin, who gave us a tour of the facility.

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Johnny Apple Cider

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Robin telling us about the cider-making process

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We could hear the cider fermenting

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Me and Dr. Steph

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The whole crew

We did our second tasting at Albemarle Ciderworks. I don’t love their hard cider, but their sweet cider is to die for. I brought some home to Chris, and he said, “I know this sounds weird, but this tastes more like apples than any apple cider I’ve ever had in my life.”

Later in the evening, we all reconvened for drinks and dinner at Zocalo. I’d never been there, but the food and the cocktails were fantastic. I had the most amazing meal of seared duck breast, manchego carmelized onion bread pudding, and braised swiss chard with a chipotle port compote. I really wish I’d taken a picture of that plate.

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Congratulations, Dr. Steph!

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