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A toast to roots: Cider festival features rockabilly bands, ‘split-personality beverage’

A number of ciders from local cideries, wineries and breweries will be highlighted during the Cider 66 Cider Festival. (Courtesy of Cider Social Club)

Cider 66 Cider Festival is raising a glass to one of the earliest styles of rock ‘n’ roll music.

The festival will feature several rockabilly bands, including headliners Atomic Boogie from Atlanta, Albuquerque’s The Shadowmen and Cowboys and Indian, as well as Santa Fe’s DK & The Affordables. A classic car show, vintage collectibles and memorabilia from Route 66, and food trucks round out the event.

A number of New Mexico cideries, wineries and breweries will be showcased.

“Our music is geared more toward rockabilly style, so we’ve got that throwback sound,” said New Mexico Wine Executive Director Chris Goblet. “We’ve got folks from the rockabilly scene that will come out to the event. We’re really doing Route 66, rockabilly, and then the cider being the main focus of the day. We have 10 cider producers that will be there. Everyone gets to bring whatever ciders they want to but also one beer or wine.”

General admission ticket holders will receive a commemorative 16-ounce glass to sample the ciders each participating cidery, winery, or brewery is offering. Samples are unlimited, and ciders are available for purchase by the glass or by the growler for take-home enjoyment.

Participants include Black Mesa Winery, Bosque Brewing Co., Boxing Bear Brewing Co., New Mexico Hard Cider, Red Door Brewing Co., Sandia Hard Cider, Santa Fe Cider Works, and Steel Bender Brewyard.

The cider festival was created to introduce people to various ciders and help them find their favorite.

“It’s such a new product for a lot of people,” Goblet said. “This is a great opportunity to be able to try brewers’ cider and wine growers’ cider, which are kind of different animals. We were talking about it as a split-personality beverage, because brewers make it and winegrowers make it and it’s served in a beer-style glass but it’s considered wine, so it’s sort of this thing where people don’t know what their favorite cider is. They don’t know what they like. And so this is their opportunity to get to know the New Mexico cider landscape.”

Various styles of cider will be served at the festival.

“You’ve got the dry cider, which is more Champagne-like,” Goblet said. “You’ve then got your semisweet, so your apple ciders, dry, sweet, semisweet. Then there’s going to be raspberry and hibiscus, mint. I know there’s some passion fruit ciders as well. So pretty much any of the fruit additives. You can kind of expect a total variety and of course it ranges from apples that were imported into New Mexico and local apples as well. A lot of the winery and cidery producers are harvesting their apples locally, so (there will be) indigenous ciders as well.”