Pacific NW Cider Fest This Weekend, Plus Cat’s Pajamas Spirit

Where to celebrate and drink cider this weekend
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There’s a big cider festival happening this weekend that you won’t want to miss, and perhaps the perfect sipper and mixer for cat lovers has recently been released. It’s just more of the non-stop tasty fun from our local beverage producers.

Support Cats, Drink Well: The Hardware Distillery (which is down in Hoodsport, Wash.) has recently released its Cat's Pajamas spirit. It’s a version of the distillery's Merry Cherry Bee’s Knees®, one which has been sweetened with Bing cherry concentrate and pure cane sugar. For those uninitiated, Bee’s Knees is a very singular line of spirits distilled from honey and fruit mead – there are very few other spirits made this way in the whole world. The Cat’s Pajamas is not only a little sweeter (but not overly sweet), but under 40 ABV, so less strong than the other Bee’s Knees. Also--and this is awesome--the distillery is donating $5 from the sale of each 375 ml or 750 ml bottle of Cat's Pajamas to Kitten Rescue. And the label features the distiller’s cat Loki, which they got from the Kitten Rescue of Mason County. It’s currently available at the distillery. Drink up, and help out the kitties!

Pacific NW Cider Awards and Festival This Weekend: The third annual cider spectacular is just days away, with the private judging – more than 180 ciders entered this year – happening Friday, and the public festival Saturday, June 25, at The Woods tasting room in SoDo. The ciders have come from 44 different cideries in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and British Columbia, and are an in-depth representation of our region’s cider-making chops. The lucky judges will be judging each entry on a variety of attributes, including clarity, aroma, mouthfeel, and overall impression. The winners from the private judging are going to be announced that Saturday morning at PNWCA.com.

The festival for the public runs from 12 to 7 p.m., and there will be food, including gluten-free (cider is a perfect sipper for those skipping the gluten) options from Bread & Circuses in the tasting room. Tickets (which are available through Brown Paper Tickets for $20, or are $25 at the event), get you entry, but also tokens that can be used for eight 4-ounce pours from the more than 35 ciders that will be available on tap; plus, tickets give attendees the ability to vote for their favorite cider for the People’s Choice Award, announced Monday, June 27. As of this writing, the full list of cideries taking part in the festival includes: 

Bauman's Cider Company

Wandering Aengus

Ward's Hard Cider

Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse

Blackfin Hard Cider

Grizzly Ciderworks

Carlton Cyderworks

2 Towns Ciderhouse

Ole Swede LLC

# 6 Cider Co.

NV Cider

Seattle Cider Company

Locust Cider

Portland Cider

Apple Outlaw

Tieton

Spire Mountain Cider

Finnriver

Hub Cider

Phillippi Ciderhouse and Distillery

Schilling Cider

Longdrop Cider Co.

Ciderhead