From New England to the Pacific Northwest, from South Africa to Sweden, cider consumption is on the rise. With alcohol levels ranging from around 1% to over 8%, it has a broad range of appeal. The US boasts 2000 different cider styles, produced from apples, pears, and other less-known cider fruits.
The “drink of the people” has a history that goes back to the Ancient Roman period when it was discovered in parts of Spain and Britain. Cider in the United States became the drink of choice for the colonists, in large part because fresh water was rare, beer production was meager (because of the difficulty in growing hops and barley), and local grapes made for an undrinkable fermented beverage. After much experimentation with various fruits and grains, apples were discovered as the tasty and hearty alternative to hops and grapes.
Cider consumption gradually began to wain as the German population (and beer) exploded, and halted almost completely during prohibition. But it made a strong comeback in the last decade—consumption rose in the United States from 2008 to 2015, from 6.8 million to 21.75 million consumers.
Reiss Design Studio has recently begun consulting on cidery projects in Washington, as considerations for a cidery have many similarities to wineries—a project type that is a cornerstone for RDS. With the knowledge, experience, professional licensure, and interest that we have to offer, it is an exciting time to be involved in this re-emerging industry, and we look forward to working on many cideries in the Pacific Northwest!