Meet the Maker: Redwood Coast Cider
Cideries have proliferated around the Bay Area in the last decade, and few are taking this type of brewing to such extremes as the folks at Redwood Coast Cider. The firm’s core concoctions are all apple-based, but sudsy ferments of other sweet juices appear regularly on their rotating menu. The atmosphere is relaxed and authentic, the brews a natural addition to the Bay Area craft scene. ABV recently stopped by and chatted with owner Jesse Ferarris and cider maker Andrea Johnson on why Redwood Coast is cultivating such a strong following.
What questions do people usually have about Redwood Coast Cider, or cider in general?
Jesse: There is a pretty big educational component that comes with the product — more so, I think, than the typical brewery or distillery needs to consider. Usually, people have questions that relate directly to how they’re going to enjoy the cider, like if it has gluten. They also come in and want to know really basic stuff about cider, what it’s made from or how it’s made. I always try to answer them as best I can. People with questions often have the same questions.
Andrea: Which is great! We want people to be interested and to come in, be interested, and, if they haven’t had cider before, be open to the experience. There are no stupid questions. We love talking about what we do and educating new customers.
What’s the creative process behind your ciders?
Jesse: We try and do things that no one else is doing. For me, especially, I’ll get this idea for including some kind of fruit, or some kind of herb. I really want to break new ground, do what hasn’t been done.
Andrea: We have twelve ciders available right now. Six of them are made from the same apple juice: however, all the difference in color, and flavor, all of that is based on the strains of yeast used to ferment each type. From there, we can add whatever we want, which offers a level of freedom and creativity that keeps our brewing fun and surprising. Our process to figure what to do with that freedom is, I’d say, really collaborative. I think of our Gose style. There was a stretch of time, about a month or so, where I was absolutely so pleased every time I had a Gose style beer, and then I was like, “I wonder how that tastes as cider.” One of our yeasts presented a little bit tarter than the others, so I started thinking that might be just the right base for doing a Gose style cider. So we had the tart from the yeast and added some salt and coriander. Jesse wanted to up the orange peel more than I did, but his suggestion turned out just beautifully. Everyone at the bar loved it, and that style quickly became a regular on our menu. – By Clayton Schuster
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Redwood Coast Cider