At Finnriver, cider making isn’t their only venture, but it sure is one of the tastiest. Finnriver Farm is a 33 acre organic family farm, artisan cider, and event venue located in on Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula. They are a certified organic and salmon safe farm where you can find an assortment of berries, vegetables, flowers, honey bees, chicken, ducks, pigs, and goats as well as heirloom apple orchards. From those apple orchards comes the apple juice that is fermented through the winter using both traditional and contemporary methods to make the Finnriver Cider.
While Finnriver grows much of the fruit that goes into their cider, they do also source wild apples from “old-time local homesteads” as well as fruit from other regional sources. No matter where the ingredients come from, however, the cider is 100% gluten-free.
Thanks to combination of traditional and contemporary methods that Finnriver uses, cider is available year-round at the farm and local distributors, though the labor-intensive, small batch ciders are only available during certain seasons. These ciders are the Artisan Sparkling,
Farmstead, and the Fire Barrel.
The Artisan Sparkling Cider is made using secondary fermentation in the bottle which requires daily hand turning on wooden racks. Thanks to this technique, this slow cider is most similar to brut champagne and is effervescent with a clean, apple taste.
For the barrel-aged beer fanatics, Finnriver offers up the Fire Barrel Cider, which is aged in old Kentucky bourbon barrels. This process added whiskey, caramel, and vanilla to the tart and sweet apple cider base.
Now if you’re a gluten-free eater who misses a good hoppy beer, the contemporarily made Dry Hopped Cider may satisfy some urges. This brew mixes heirloom and dessert apples with cascade hops to create citrus notes that brighten up the cider and make it worthy of any ex-beer lover. Joining the Dry Hopped Cider to round out the Contemporary category is the Sparkling Black Currant Cider, Sparkling Pear Cider, and the Habanero Cider.
Lastly we come to the Elijah Swan Seasonal Botanical Ciders: Solstice Saffron, Black Currant Lavender, Forest Ginger, Honey Meadow, and Cranberry Rosehip. These more experimental flavors are only available during their proper seasons and pull notes from the best of the seasons to create complex flavor profiles.
The tasting room at Finnriver Farms is open 7 days a week from noon to 5pm and there is a $5 tasting fee. While you’re up there be sure to participate in the public picking days at the blueberry farm and grab a gluten-free pizza from Dented Buoy Woodfire Pizza bakers.