Sip French Ciders and Apple Liqueurs at Tria Taproom Tonight

Tria Taproom/Facebook

While we’ve all come to expect the annual pumpkin craze to rear its ugly head each fall, one of the season’s most delicious flavors is often overlooked: apples are just as worthy of celebration this time of year as their big orange cousins, if not more so — when was the last time you bit into a sweet, juicy gourd? Yeah, I thought so.

But this familiar fruit is starting to get its due, thanks in part to cider’s growing popularity. And tonight, October 11th, Tria Taproom is putting them in the spotlight with Autumn in Normandy, a celebration of artisanal French ciders from Domaine Dupont, maker of artisanal ciders, pommeau, and Calvados.

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Kensington Quarters’s Night of the Living Cider Is Better Than Costumes and Candy

Kensington Quarters | Photo by Ryan Scott

Want to go out on Halloween, but don’t want to spend the night surrounded by binge drinkers in Sexy Border Wall costumes? Kensington Quarters has a considerably more genteel — and delicious — alternative: Night of the Living Cider, a celebration of natural ciders and small plates made by guest chefs from around the city.

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Local Cider Makers Find a New Home in Bella Vista

Cider is a big-freakin’-deal this year. It maybe even bigger than beer (gasp!) if you consider the many cider-driven dinners happening all over the city (like Saté Kampar’s sambal/cheese/cider dinner and Good King’s Cider Suppers), and the new local labels popping up throughout the region (like Plougman Cider and Big Hill Ciderworks), not to mention the cideries opening here by the end of the year. Original 13 Ciderworks is scheduled to open in Kensington this summer, and Kurant is scheduled to open not too long after at 436 East Girard Avenue.

And now there’s Hale & True, opening a cidery and tasting room in Bella Vista at 613 South 7th Street — on the bottom floor of a brand new luxury apartment building, right across from The Good King Tavern — later this year.

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We’re Already Pumped for Philly Beer Week’s Opening Tap Party

The Hammer of Glory / Philly Beer Week

The Hammer of Glory / Philly Beer Week

It’s not even May, but we’re already excited for Philly Beer Week’s 10th anniversary celebration, running from June 1 through June 11.

The country’s best and biggest beer week — which has spawned 77 imitators across the country since it first took place a decade ago — will kick off with the ceremonial Opening Tap party at The Fillmore on June 1st.

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Apparently, Cheese, Malaysian Sambal, and Cider Make for Quite a Trio

cheese:sambal

Your average cheese course might include a dollop of fruity preserves or a drizzle of honey to highlight the flavors of the wheel you’re eating. Rarely does anything zestier than a whole grain mustard or garlicky pickle show up alongside your fromage.

But Sate Kampar’s upcoming Cheese and Sambal Dinner will feature one-of-a-kind flavors: Artisan cheeses and bright, spicy Malaysian sauces, all paired with locally made cider.

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Hungry Pigeon Is the Only Place in Philly to Sip This Local Rosé Cider

Hungry Pigeon

Hungry Pigeon

Philly’s favorite orchardist, Ben Wenk of Adams County’s Three Springs Fruit Farm, started a new branch of his family’s seven-generations-strong business last fall: Ploughman Cider, made with Wenk’s carefully calibrated blends of heirloom apples.

The standout of Ploughman’s current lineup is Pinot N’Arlet, a wild-fermented blend of Macoun and Arlet apples aged on the skins of a neighbor’s crop of Pinot Noir grapes. And right now, Hungry Pigeon is the first — and currently only — restaurant where you can score a sip.

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Here Comes Another Good King Cider Supper

Good King/Facebook

Good King/Facebook

In January, the Good King Tavern hosted what they called a Cider Supper. It was an enormous success because cider is big now, duh, and Good King — well aware of the moment it’s having — is building a pretty fantastic in-house cider collection.

And they’re showing off the goods again this Wednesday, March 8th, at 7 p.m.

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Aiming For The Middle: Cinder Reviewed

Cinder1

I go to Cinder on a gray afternoon, looking for comfort and distraction, and find it at the bar—two giant TVs showing football on one side, talking heads silently shouting about sports on the other. It’s quiet because I’m there between services—too late for lunch and too early for a meal to reasonably be called dinner—but I’m not alone. A two-top in the corner is occupied, as are a couple tables on the floor. At the bar, some beer nerds are taking advantage of owner Teddy Sourias’s unapologetic ode to the newest retro-fad among drinkers: cider. Sourias already has BRU, which focuses on beer and sausages, U-Bahn (his Berlin-subway-theme bar) and Uptown Beer Garden (which, obviously, is a sushi bar). In other words, he’s got beer covered and has always put together good lists of interesting brews, generally braced by the things people like to eat while drinking.

Cinder falls solidly inside that bull’s-eye. Everything about it, from the highly polished bar and hi-top tables to the orange glow coming from the mouth of the big oven in the open kitchen, speaks to this moment in Philadelphia’s edible history. It’s an efficient and highly designed concept restaurant masquerading as a neighborhood bar and aiming for that sweet spot of two-notches-better-than-you-expect—the benchmark level of acceptable quality in Philly these days.

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Cinder Opens in Center City

Teddy Sourias and Jonathan Petruce in front of Cinder | Photo via Cinder

Teddy Sourias and Jonathan Petruce in front of Cinder | Photo via Cinder

Cinder, the Teddy Sourias (BRU Craft & Wurst, U-Bahn, Uptown Beer Garden, Finn McCool’s Ale House) bar focusing on intriguing beers, ciders, wild ales and the food of chef Jonathan Petruce softly opens today at 4 p.m.

For today’s soft opening, Petruce’s full menu won’t be available and some of the beers might not be in stock yet, but it will be your first chance to check out the space, food and drink.

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Best of Philly: Get a Hangover

Do This Now: Get a Hangover | Photo by Nell Hoving

Do This Now: Get a Hangover | Photo by Nell Hoving

But make sure it’s worth it. Thanks to Philly’s booze boom, a slew of local distilleries and breweries are turning out home-grown sips well worth the Advil.

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