Washington State has long been well regarded for its apple growing. But the apples used to make sparkling cider are a completely different breed from your typical Gala, Fuji or Granny Smiths. Cider apples are a wilder, inedible bunch with higher sugar levels for fermentation.
Drawing upon his loves of food and drink, Tieton Cider Works co-owner Craig Campbell decided it was time to start harvesting apples made for cider production. Campbell’s degree in horticulture from Washington State University as well as 33 years on his resume in marketing produce surely helped a bit too. These days, Tieton has one of the top acreages of cider apples in the state and utilizes the produce to craft its tasty ciders.
Tieton’s apples are farmed on Harmony Orchards, a family-owned business in Tieton that sits at an elevation of 2,000 feet, making it ideal for growing food at slightly cooler temperatures.
Tieton’s products include Apricot cider, a blend of crisp apple flavor and apricot tartness. The cider took a year to perfect and is now Tieton’s most popular cider. It even garnered the 2012 Readers’ Choice award for Best Cider in the Northwest from Northwest Brewing News. Other specialties include its cherry cider with infusions of cinnamon and clove, a Wild Washington Apple cider and a Yakima Valley Dry Hopped Cider. Our tester gave it an A+.
Tieton ciders can be purchased from retailers in Alaska, California, Idaho, Illinois, Oregon, Texas and various places in Washington.