Cider Made By the Sea
We invite you to experience the distinctive flavors of our estate grown ciders from the Puget Sound. Shaped by our maritime climate’s mild summers and tempered by the foggy mist rolling off of Discovery Bay, our apples maintain the range of flavors that have been treasured by generations of cider lovers. Alpenfire ciders are an expression of the unique landscapes of the Northwest.
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How to Make Cider Sing
We believe that after the trends pass, people will look for well crafted traditional cider that sings with the unique beauty of each apple variety. At Alpenfire, we focus on our craft and the potential of apples, loaded with acidity, tannins, sugars, and extraordinary flavors. Perfect apples plus time is the best formula. Meaning, cider apples, heirloom apples and once a year production. We only want to make cider that we enjoy drinking.
Inspired by Tradition & Roots
To us, the appeal of cider lies in its historic and traditional roots. We both grew up in Washington State and as 19 year old travelers, we discovered cider while visiting British Columbia. Long before Eastern Washington became “Apple Capital of the World”, apples were flourishing in the milder, moister climate of the Pacific Northwest. Homesteads have long ago disappeared, but the apple trees planted by these early settlers are still offering up their scabby, shrunken fruit on lichen covered limbs. If you look past the cracked skin and curled leaves, chances are you will find a taste of history in the flavor packed punch those old apples deliver.
Certified Organic Farming
Making traditional cider was our first love and we planted the orchard to be able to do that the way we wanted. We were the first certified organic cidery West of the Rockies. Being certified organic matters to us. The thought of using products that would potentially damage ourselves, our watersheds, the wildlife and everything we care about most is unimaginable. We prefer to work inside the limitations that organics impose, knowing that we are doing our part to create the kind of future we want for our family and planet. Making cider with organically grown fruit assures us that we are not taking part in the tremendous overuse of synthetic fertilizers and herbicides happening around the world. The additional attention we are required to give to our orchard keeps us in touch with the amazing paths of nature.
Bear & Nancy Bishop
Bear’s first love was fighting fires, and he continues with this work. One of the little known facts he relates about firefighters is their love of home-brewed beer “since they can’t afford to buy it in the store”. His beer-making skills led him to consider making hard apple cider. In 1991 Nancy & Bear purchased their Cape George property where they began dabbling in cider-making as hobbyists.
Farming Near Discovery Bay
Our farm is in the Puget Sound area, about two hours West of Seattle in a special place, along the cliffs that border Discovery Bay. Our orchard is located on a narrow band of lava flow from 55 million years ago, called the Crescent Formation which means we have the challenge of growing apples in the soil of land formed by volcanic fire and the slow grinding of glacial ice. While it required extra work to make this land ready, we believe the unique marine climate of this spectacular place creates wonderful cider apples, bursting with character and flavor, which you can experience in a glass.