Cider Farm on a Funky Friday

Our weekly happy hour – Funky Friday – will have an interesting twist this week: Local ciders.

It is mid-October, so apple season is upon us and now’s the time to find out more about local offerings made from some special, locally grown apples.

Our staff will welcome visitors from Mineral Point, Wisconsin, where the Cider Farm is located.  Cider Farm is run by Deidre Birmingham and John Biondi (see photo), who make several types of cider, and apple brandy, from certified organic apples from the Cider Farm orchards.

Fromagination is very excited to be partners with this outstanding local producer.  And we’ll have more local visitors to Funky Fridays in coming weeks!

The Cider Farm people began grafting special trees in 2003 to create orchards that provide vintage apples they could not normally find in Wisconsin.

For this Funky Friday, our cheesemongers have chosen a cheese board menu this week will include specific pairings to compliment the ciders we will be tasting:

  • Cider Farm’s Classic Dry Cider paired with BellaVitano Black Pepper cheese  Cider Farm’s Classic Dry is described as having “firm tannins” and a “clean finish,” which will not overpower this creamy, nutty but spicy version of BellaVitano.
  • Cider Farm’s Cyser paired with GranQueso Reserve cheese  Cider Farm Cyser has notes of green apple and honey, and should provide a nice contrast to Roth Cheese’s Spanish-Style, well-aged GranQueso.
  • Cider Farm’s Oak-Aged Cider paired with Pleasant Ridge Reserve cheese  Depending on your taste buds, this may be the more interesting or challenging pairing – Pleasant Ridge’s unique flavors with a cider said to have notes of vanilla, toast and butterscotch!
  • Cider Farm’s Equinox paired with Hook’s 12-Year Aged Cheddar cheese  The Equinox cider is billed as having flavors “herbaceous, citrus” and “soft hop,” which should be a great companion to one of Hook’s well-aged Cheddars!

All of these choices will be available with Potter’s Winter Wheat Crackers, Fromagination’s Cranberry Relish and dried Wisconsin cranberries.

Head over to the Fromagination shop to have one (or some) of these delicious ciders this Friday…or have a glass of wine or a local bottled beer.

Cider Farm also produces apple brandy, and they will be hosting a “release party” for a new version in Fitchburg in November.  See their site for more information.

From the Cider Farm website, they explain their approach to creating aged apple brandies: “We focus on growing tannic apple varieties, varieties rare in the U.S. yet cultivated for hundreds of years in France and England for brandy and ciders. These apples yield an apple brandy similar to that of the Calvados region of France.”

If you want to find out more about how to get Cider Farm products, or how they are made, stop in and discuss your questions with Deirdre.

Don’t forget: Funky Friday happy hour runs from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. every week at our shop, 12 South Carroll Street, next to the Park Hotel on the Capitol Square.

As usual, Fromagination will have cheese boards and raclette plates available for hungry cheese fans.  Call 608-255-2430 for more information.

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