Washington's third annual week(ish) of cider events returns September 4 to 14. Cider's popularity has surged in recent years, but it's still uncommon to get a critical mass of local cidermakers in the same room. This year's Cider Week has more than 70 events on the calendar; here are a few sure bets for continuing cider education.
THURSDAY, September 4
Alpenfire Blackberry Rum Barrel-Aged Cider Release
This Port Townsend cidery is one of the most established in the state, with a proclivity for drier creations, made with heritage cider apples. So Alpenfire's latest cider release should serve as a lesson for anyone who assumes fruit-flavored cider will be girly and sweet. West Seattle craft beer bar Beveridge Place Pub is hosting the official release party, which will also feature a special reserve keg that's been aging since 2012. 6–10pm
FRIDAY, September 5
Cider Summit Seattle
The region's most massive cider gathering brings together 43 cidermakers pouring 159 of their creations on the lawn at South Lake Union Discovery Center on Friday and Saturday. A $25 ticket buys you a tasting glass and eight drink tickets (additional drink tickets run $2 apiece. More than 60 of the ciders here have never been poured at any other event. Whole Foods and Capitol Cider are doing food pairings and live music happens all weekend long. 3–8pm, Sat, Sept 6, 12–6pm
SATURDAY, September 6
Schilling Cider House Grand Opening
How fitting that Fremont's new cider house chose this week for its official debut. Obviously some of the 32 taps will dispense Schilling's own creations, but the rest will showcase crafted ciders from all around.
THURSDAY, September 11
Rhein Haus Cider Festival
For one night only, the biergarten shifts its focus to cider, specifically the creations of Finnriver Cidery and Dragon's Head Cider. For $15, you will receive four tokens that are good for any of the 3-ounce cider samples, and available food pairings include local cheese, housemade sausage, and pickles. Additional cider tasting tokens are available for $3 each. 4–10pm