Central Coast Cider Fest returns

Craft cider tastings and pork dinner arrive at Pavilion on the Lake

ATASCADERO – According to the Central Coast Cider Fest Instagram page, “President John Adams, who comes in third for ‘longest-lived president,’ enjoyed a tankard of hard cider every morning with breakfast.”  

Cider-lovers will be able to toast President Adams and join the apple beverage comeback at the third annual Central Coast Cider Festival on Saturday, May 12 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Atascadero Pavilion on the Lake. Attendees may taste a variety of craft ciders as well as meet the cider makers. This year’s festivities will include music by the Turkey Buzzards and a traditional on-site English pig roast prepared by Chef Jeffery Scott of Vineyard Events. Scout rentals will be providing lounge areas.

“One thing really cool about this is it really spans all different age groups,” said Jennifer Bravo of Solterra Strategies, who has been working with the Central Coast Cider Association to produce the event. She said last year they saw young people from age 21, to moms celebrating Mother’s Day, to older community members.

“It’s an eclectic, fun vibe,” she said.

Scott’s Spanish-themed menu will include La Caja roasted heritage pork with salsa romesco and cider hot sauce. The pork will be served with wood-fired wild mushroom paella with charred leeks, chorizo and sweet peppers, a shaved fennel and organic kale salad and Hush Harbor Bakery rustic bread. For a vegetarian option, Scott will prepare a Yukon Gold potato gratinee and spring veggies.

A variety of fun snacks will include a charcuterie and cheese table, pub mixes and chips. A Cider Shop will offer ciders for purchase from the participating producers.

“It’s especially good for the smaller producers who don’t have all their ciders in the grocery stores,” said Lacie Johns of Solterra Strategies. “After everyone is tasting, if they find a cider that they really like, and if it’s in the cider shop, they can purchase it to take home.”

In the spirit of the cider festival, organizers will offer some pre-event “tap takeovers.” On Thursday, May 3, from 5 to 8 p.m. the public will have the opportunity to taste the ciders from the festival producers at the Guest House Grill on 8783 El Camino Real in Atascadero. On Saturday, May 5, from 6 to 10 p.m. Grape Encounters Empourium will hold a Cider Pouring with the Cider makers from Gopher Glen Cider Co., Jean Marie Cidery and Two Broads Ciderworks at their location on 5816 Traffic Way in Atascadero.

On the morning of the event, Saturday, May 12, SpringHill Suites at 900 El Camino Real in Atascadero will be hosting a 10 a.m. Cider Brunch and Seminar moderated by Neil Collins of Antiquity Tree Farm. “Cidermosas” will be served with the brunch. A cider panel will lead guests through hopped cider’s history in on the Central Coast as well as cover apple styles and cider trends.  

Seminar panelists will be Central Cider Association Board Members Andrew Jones from Tin City, Neil Collins from Bristols, Raven Lukehart from Gopher Glen and Conner Meznarich from Jean Marie Cider. Tickets for the cider seminar and brunch are $40 and can be purchased at www.centralcoastciderfestival.com.

This year’s 13 cider producers will include: Santa Cruz Cider Company, Bristols Cider House, Gopher Glen Cider Co., Tin City Cider Co., Totally Stoked Cider Co., 101 Cider House, Krazy Farm Cider, Reef Points Hard Cider, Jean Marie Cidery, See Canyon Cider Company, Two Broads Ciderworks, Kelsey/See Canyon Vineyards and Mission-Trail Cider Company.

The 21 and over Cider Festival will held located at Pavilion on the Lake, 9315 Pismo Ave., Atascadero from 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 12. Tickets are $65 and include the pork dinner, snacks and unlimited cider tasting, as well as commemorative 2018 Cider Festival Glass.

For the vegetarian or vegan option, attendees must RSVP their request at [email protected] Parking will be accommodated in the Atascadero Zoo parking lot at 9100 Morro Road, Atascadero. For more information, visit http://www.centralcoastciderfestival.com or email [email protected]

You may reach Reporter Beth Giuffre at [email protected] for questions and/or feedback.

Photo contributed


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