Bellingham’s newest cider-inspired taproom opened in August 2019, and they’ve been a hot-spot for cider lovers since. Thousand Acre Cider House, named after none other than Johnny Appleseed himself, has 24 taps, with 18 dedicated exclusively to cider. The remaining six are reserved for local beers, so non-cider fans can feel welcome, too.
Of the 18 cider taps, about one third are Bellingham-based; the remainder allow owners Jenny and James Hagemann to play with variety. You’ll find selections from across the Pacific Northwest — hello, 2 Towns Ciderhouse in Corvallis, you’ve got some big fans here — as well as the occasional pick from overseas (France’s take on cider is quite unique).
The Hagemanns work hard to stay involved with the community, hosting three to four events per week, showcasing works from resident local artists, and promoting local beverages. All in all, there’s something uniquely Bellingham about this place.
Beginning with Cider 101, Cider University is an educational program designed to introduce newcomers to the world of cider.
“We get to actually spend time with our customers, talking about cider’s history or cider’s taste profiles above and beyond ‘Oh, this is good,’” Jenny says.
The new eight week semester begins later this month. After the first class, you can find courses such as cheese pairing with Twin Sister Brewery, using cider in cocktails in place of spirits, and Meet-the-Maker lectures with guest speakers.
Students aren’t required to attend each class, and each class is unique to itself. That said, there’s something new to be learned each week, and those looking to enroll for the whole semester may be given a break on tuition.
“James and I are both very careful not to advertise any sort of alcohol as a truly health-forward beverage, however, cider can definitely lend itself toward folks who are opting for a gluten-free lifestyle,” Jenny explains.
And it’s true: Cider is made by the fermentation of apples (or other fruits) with sugar and natural, gluten-free yeast. If you’re someone who often feels full or bloated after a beer, you likely won’t with cider. Also, cider has fewer calories than most beers.
“A dry cider actually lends itself more closely to the calorie count of a champagne versus a beer,” Jenny says. “A 10-ounce pour of a fully dry cider is probably going to set you back about 120 to 150 calories, in comparison to an IPA, which is double [the calories].”
109 Grand Ave. Ste. 101, Bellingham, 360.795.5400, thousandacreciderhouse.com
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