Sweet or tart, a hard cider is a refreshing option on a warm day or any day.
Enthusiasts flocked to the Cider 66 Cider Festival last summer, but this time around organizers are taking things online. The Cyber Cider Social Club will give participants a look into the inside world of ciders with a kickoff toast by U.S. Cider Makers Association Director Michelle McGrath, cider trivia, live local music, interviews with cider makers and a preview of cider events and special releases for later this year.
Participants can choose the $5 general admission ticket or opt for the $30 ticket, which includes a sampler pack of seven New Mexico ciders. They will receive a Zoom log-in to the event on Wednesday, June 3, with their ticket purchase. There are 240 sampler packs available and can be picked up between 3 and 8 p.m. Friday, May 29, at Santa Fe Brewing Co.’s taproom inside Green Jeans, 3600 Cutler NE, or its the brewery’s headquarters at 35 Fire Place in Santa Fe.
The sampler packs are made up of 12- or 16-ounce cans or bottles of Black Mesa Winery’s Bite Me Cider – Blackberry Basil, Raspberry or Dry Hard Cider; Santa Fe Brewing Co.’s Just Apple Cider; Brew Lab 101’s Cherry Bomb; New Mexico Hard Cider’s Mariachi Tart Cherry; Steel Bender Brewyard’s House Apple Cider; and Santa Fe Cider Works’ Enchanted Cherry.
“Cider – it’s easy, it’s refreshing,” Goblet said. “I thought I could come up with something creative that would give people a chance to sample a variety of cider producers and one person could do it. One person could drink all seven of these, not in one day, hopefully, but theoretically. It’s something a person could enjoy and taste over a couple of days and get a sense of what New Mexico cider tastes like.”
Each of the cider producers and Black Mesa Winery chose fun and interesting ciders to be part of the sampler pack.
“It is something that we uniquely can do,” Goblet said. “We’re trying to create this Cider Social Club. This collective of cideries that are working together, and it’s breweries and wineries. Sometimes they speak different languages and they have different styles, but I think that’s what also makes it fun and eclectic.”
The sampler pack includes three that are tart cherry or cherry-infused because they are some of the producers bestsellers. The other ciders nicely round out the pack.
“I think it will be interesting for consumers to sit at home and taste them parallel to each other,” Goblet said. “There will be nice tasting notes in their sampler packs, so that they can kind of understand what the cider maker was thinking when they produced it. I just like this idea of us being able to introduce people to a broad cross section from basically Taos through Albuquerque of cider producers. It is a little miniature version (of Cider 66 Cider Festival).”
Cyber Cider Social Club purposely falls on World Cider Day.
“We were looking for a logical date on the calendar to do this,” Goblet said. “We probably wouldn’t have done it so quickly, but with World Cider Day coinciding it just made perfect sense to pick up. We’re hoping that tacking it onto the next level, the fact that it will be on World Cider Day, we might get some people to check out our cideries.”
Goblet plans to send sampler packs and information to national cider and beer publications in hopes to receive broader coverage and bring attention outside the state to New Mexico ciders.
“We’re thinking of creative ways to promote the industry, to generate sales, during this unique time, and it just seems like a really fun one that cider drinkers will gravitate towards,” Goblet said of the Cyber Cider Social Club event. “It’s always about beer and wine. Give cider some love.”