Bob’s brew boasts best of the cider and mead fest
May 22, 2012 · 11:51 AM
– Contributed by the Farm to Cafeteria program
Known to most of us as just plain Bob, no one was probably more surprised than he was to hear his name announced as the first place winner of the Orcas Island Cider and Mead Festival Home Brew Competition with his 2002 Hard Apple Cider.
A 2011 apple and Asian pear blend cider from John and Susan Fleischer placed second and third with their sparkling apple/pear cider.
All won beautiful plates by Crow Valley Pottery. A total of 10 home brew concoctions ranging from a lemon liqueur to tomato wine were submitted for the competition this year.
Judging the entries were three producers offering tastes under the festival tent: Philippe Bishop of Alpenfire, Vince Carlson of Adytum, and Spencer Reilly, who will be opening the first cider bar in Washington called Capitol Cider in Seattle.
Each entry was identified only as a number, so the judges would not be able to identify the brewer. Home brew competition emcee Ron Gilleland described ingredients to the judges as they sniffed, sipped and pondered the attributes of each entry.
“I hadn’t even tasted it,” Bob said when he claimed his prize. “I was afraid it would blow up when I opened it!”
Fortunately, that didn’t happen, and the judges unanimously agreed his smooth and subtle hard apple cider that had survived in Bob’s cellar for 10 years was indeed “The Best of the Fest!”
This was the second year the Farm to Cafeteria Program, along with Ray’s General Store and Pharmacy and the Northwest Cider Association, has held the Cider and Mead Festival on Orcas Island.
“It was clear early on that this year would exceed our expectations,” said Farm to Cafeteria chair Madie Murray. “The number of producers offering tastes under the tasting tent was 16 – twice as many as last year. And this year the event generated more than $1,000 for the Farm to Cafeteria Program through taste sales and sponsors. Our sincere thanks to everyone who participated, helped, played, tasted and supported this event.”