New cider source on Orcas

Libby Garcia opened Boathouse Cider Works to keep herself busy so that she doesn’t “cause trouble.”

“We’ve been open for seven weeks now. I’ve been really gratified by how many people like our stuff… even people who really know cider really like our stuff,” said Garcia. “The variety of ciders that we’ve made here are things that are locally available or interesting.”

The cidery, located near the Orcas Ferry Landing, opened at the end of July, after months of permitting. Garcia made 550 gallons of cider using locally sourced apples and she’s starting to run out.

“We’re having trouble keeping it on the shelves … I still want to use Orcas fruit as much as I can,” said Garcia, who resorts to using organic apple juice if she can’t get apples on Orcas.

Four years ago, Garcia moved into her grandparent’s boathouse on Orcas Island.

“It was a really good place to make cider,” said Garcia. “I was interested in trying to make Angry Orchard’s ginger hard cider, among other things.”

In 2015, she entered the Cider and Mead Festival with her own ginger cider. She won.

“Which was a total surprise because I hadn’t had any proper yeast around I just had some bread yeast in the freezer … and I won first place,” said Garcia.

Ciders of all flavors grace the tasting menu of the small cidery located at 65 Orcas Hill Road. The cozy cidery is open for “apple picker” hours Thursday through Saturday from 3:30–8 p.m. and Sunday from 11:30 a.m.–8 p.m.

“It’s just amazing to me. People are talking, it’s pretty exciting,” said Garcia. “My goal is that we’re fun enough for the locals to come hang out.”