Vendor Spotlight: Finnriver Farm & Cidery
It’s finally fall, and you’ve probably had daydreams of chai tea lattes and crunchy fallen leaves dancing around your head since late summer. And if you look around our produce department you’ll notice that in-season Washington apples are making their long-anticipated appearance. While nothing quite compares to a crunchy bite of a juicy apple, they’re pretty enjoyable to sip on, too.
If you take a peek at our beer and wine department, you’ll notice that our selection of local beverages is ever-growing. We’ve got beer from our beloved Skagit Valley, wine from Chelan, and cider from Chimacum, a farming community located right outside of Port Townsend, just to name a few. And that Chimacum cider is from Finnriver Cidery. Yes, Finnriver is one word.
Founded in 2008 by partners Eric Jorgensen and Keith and Crystie Kisler, Finnriver’s mission is to reconnect people to the land that sustains us and to grow community (sounds a lot like a friendly food co-op you may know).
Finnriver ciders are farmed and fermented on 80 acres of Certified Organic farmland and orchards. Their orchards are home to over 6,000 (!!!) organic heirloom and traditional cider apple trees. In order to hand harvest and care for the trees at a human level, their trees are grown on a semi-dwarf rootstock. Semi-dwarf rootstock grown trees only get 50-80% as tall as standard rootstock grown trees, making them much more accessible when it comes to harvesting time. Finnriver transforms those humble apples into contemporary craft ciders, botanical ciders, their orchard series ciders, and even fruit wine.
Following Mother Nature’s lead, Finnriver’s cider making process begins in the spring, when Pacific Northwest orchards transform into rows of beautiful blooms. Hardworking bees bumble from flower to flower, pollinating as they go, and come fall, the fruit of their labor are hand harvested, and the cider pressing ensues.
Some of Finnriver ciders are crafted in a more contemporary fashion, meaning that they incorporate ingredients beyond apples, revealing the versatility and range that ciders can have. Making them in a more contemporary fashion also allows them to be more readily-available year-round. Some of their other ciders are a seasonal, small-batch labor of love that are crafted with the intention to respect cider heritage and celebrate the flavor profiles of different apple blends.
Sipping a Finnriver cider is like taking a big bite of the Pacific Northwest and all its freshest flavors. With flavors like Farmstead Apple, Black Currant, Forest Ginger, and Pear, each cider features its own unique essence of Finnriver’s home farm. These craft ciders are meant to be enjoyed at a leisurely pace, so you can experience every flavor element and truly appreciate the thoughtfulness and care put into Finnriver’s unique blends.
For us, the full experience means grabbing a few ciders, a couple of friends, and having your own mini cider tasting. Because after all, fall is better when you’re spending time with your people and soaking up the best flavors of the season.
photos provided by Finnriver Cidery, taken by James Curties and Jen Lee Light