Monday, July 14, 2014

Dayton Brewvet Ride 3: Go Exploring

Since we were in Athens for Ohio Brew Week, we decided to take advantage of our options to fulfill the Go Exploring segment of the Dayton Brewvet. Is this cheating? Quite possibly. But since I am organizing it, isn’t that my prerogative? To pull out some classic Parenting 101, do what I say, not what I do. After all, if it works for parents, it should equally apply to bikes, beer, and brewvets. Stone cold logic.

Our destination was the West End Ciderhouse, which was right down the road from where we were staying. Yes, this ride was even shorter than the last one: two-tenths of a mile roundtrip. Barely a bike ride at all. But since we did have an earlier 58 mile Quilt Barn Cycling ride (we rode the Granny Gear ride, but made a couple tactical changes to avoid main roads), I figured it was acceptable to make this ride nice and short. While our location was quite close, I still made Elli ride her bike, for which there was much grumbling. Walking may be convenient, but there ain’t no walking in brewvet.

West End Ciderhouse had several of their own creations on tap, as well as several offering of both beer and cider for Ohio Brew Week. We ordered a sampler round of the in-house ciders and meads; cider, after all, is the new beer. Our sampling included:

Kelly’s House, which was a dry cider with just a hint of apple. It had an almost brut-like quality (ala champagne) from the dryness and the carbonation, with hints of tannic skin character and soft acidity to balance out the flavors. It was my favorite of the evening.
Them Apples, a semi-sweet cider that featured crisp, sweet apple flavors. It could have used a touch more carbonation to brighten it on the palate, as it was significantly less carbonated than the other three. Still, however, a delicious choice. This was Elli’s favorite, and I can see why.
Creekside Raspberry Mead, a sparkling small mead with raspberries. The balance between honey and raspberry was nice, while the carbonation brightened the mead on the tongue. It was still sweet, even with the carbonation
Zingiber, which was (I believe) a cider with ginger, lemon, and honey added. The ginger flavor was excellent; coupled with the dry body and carbonation, it was bright and delicious, with just a touch of alcohol and ginger candy spiciness to finish.

We also tried Griffin Cider Works Jolly Friar and Lemon Blues (from Cleveland), as well as Brothers Drake Hopped Mead (from Columbus).

I’ve always had a soft-spot for ciders—of the drier French and Spanish variety more than commercial American-made candy bombs—and West End Ciderhouse is certainly following the current craft cider revolution in regards to making ciders like their Old World predecessors. I do, however, wish they were closer to Dayton.

More on the Dayton Brewvet can be found here.


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