Saturday, August 26, 2017

ANXO Cidery: Crafting Hard Cider Made from Foraged D.C. Apples

Last year ANXO Cidery (300 Florida Avenue NW) introduced DC residents to the funky and rustic side of cider from the Basque region of Northern Spain. In fact, ANXO (AN-CHO) " is a common first name in Northern Spain and is also a nickname for Basajaun, a Basque mythological creature that is something like a benevolent Bigfoot". They've also introduced cider lovers to a broad range of other styles through collaborations from some of the top American cider houses such as Millstone Cellars, Eden Ice Cider Company, Blue Bee Cider, Farnum Hill Ciders, Snowdrift Cider Company, and Shacksbury Cider. After a trip to the National Zoo, we headed to sample these collaborations and unexpectedly much more.

I ordered the Flight of the Day and not only did it contain collaborations from Eden, Snowdrift, and Shacksbury, but also the Cidra Blanc. This newly released cider is comprised of 100% Goldrush apples from Winchester, VA and fermented with Sauvignon Blanc yeast in stainless steel at the ANXO Cidery & Pintxos Bar at 711 Kennedy Street NW.  It was quite tasty with fresh acids, tart lemon, and a bit of body. As for the collaborations, I enjoyed the rustic Shacksbury the most with its tart funk. The other's were also delicious with the Snowdrift was full of apple flavors and the Eden well balanced.

I then ordered the D. Sidra, a funky cider comprised of D.C. foraged apples and crabapples, fermented with the yeast that naturally occur on their skins, and served in traditional green bottles with a long pour. What a process - foraged apples which include crabapples and natural yeast?  For my acid hound palate, this cider is fantastic - it starts with short bursts of apple before the intense acids and tannins dominate. Be prepared, their presence is felt long after the pour is finished.

ANXO produces a couple other foraged fruit ciders, some blended with Michigan apples, but I'm looking forward to procuring "The Rando" - made from predominantly D.C.-foraged apples from 2016 that were pressed but forgotten until re-discovery.  You can discover all these ciders at either location using theCompass Craft Beverage Finder. Cheers.
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