By Alex Grubb
While much of the country was celebrating March 17 by wearing green and knocking back hefty Irish brews, a friendly crowd of locals and out of towners gathered at Brewster’s Fine Foods and enjoyed a night of farmhouse ciders paired with a delectable dinner.
The cider dinner held on St. Patrick’s Day at Brewster’s pleased the cider aficionados and convinced the non-believers. I was indifferent to the taste of cider until I tried the farmhouse ciders that were skillfully paired with the plates prepared by the chefs.
The evening featured fine ciders from four farms, spanning three different countries. Two cider makers, Bruce Wright of J.K. Scrumpy’s and Peter Stuart of Thistly Cross from Scotland introduced each of the ciders along with eight dishes.
Both comedic and informative, the cider makers explained the origins and process behind their cider and even revealed the truth about the commercial cider that many drink. For example, I learned that most cheap cider is made from concentrated apple juice from China.
The food was scrumptious, from the selection of hard cheeses to the cooked-to-perfection pork tenderloin. At the end, we enjoyed a sweet yet sophisticated dessert ice cider. Ice cider is made by harvesting apples at their peak ripeness, storing them until the first frost, juicing them and freezing the cider outdoors for 6-8 weeks. The concentrate left over after thawing is fermented and bottled as ice cider.
Along with mouth-watering food and ciders, Point Roberts local George Wright delighted the room with his singing
and guitar playing. (Speaking of which, the folks at Brewsters are planning live music on Thursday nights, so stay tuned for details.)
The evening was filled with laughter and “ooohs” and “aahhs” as the drinks and the food kept coming. The event reinforced the importance of small communities and locally produced food and drink grown organically and sustainably.