East Bay Brewers Sparkle at Cider Summit

Oakland's Crooked City Cider and Richmond's Far West Cider Co. were among the local makers.


Images: Kristan Lawson

Last weekend's Cider Summit San Francisco drew a lively, thirsty crowd to the Presidio, where dozens of booths representing brewers from as far away as Spain's Basque Country and as close as our own backyard served samples of hard ciders ranging from dry to semi-dry to sweet, from cherry to apple to pear, from palest blonde to pink to richest rust ... and beyond.

Among the East Bay outfits was Richmond-based Far West Cider Co., whose founder Adam Cinchiolo left a career in advertising a few years ago to fully embrace his hobby: homebrewing. Four generations of his family have owned and operated Chinchiolo Farms, an apple-and-cherry orchard near the San Joaquin Valley town of Ripon.

Apples are pressed at the farm, then transported to Richmond, where they're made into ciders. Being sampled at the summit were the 7.5 percent, fully dry Proper Dry, the 6.5 percent, semi-dry Orchard Blend, and the 6.4 percent, tropical-fruity You've Guava Be Kidding Me.

"We grew up on the farm," said Adam's sister Andrea Chinchiolo. Asked to choose her favorite among the company's Good Food Award-winning brews, she laughed:

"That depends on my mood, but if you wanna talk brunch replacement it's You've Guava Be Kidding Me."

Other local producers at the summit included Oakland's Crooked City Cider, Walnut Creek's Pacific Coast Cider, and San Leandro's Hidden Star. 

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