Brothers Alex and Andrew Perez have combined their professional backgrounds in business and biochemistry, respectively, and passion for cider to create Solitude Ciderworks: Wyoming’s first modern craft cider producer.
“We’re not purists, but we are sticklers about quality ingredients.”
The pair grew up on a New Hampshire apple orchard, where they learned firsthand the process of pressing apples. Their father has Celiac disease, and the brothers, being sensitive to gluten, have always consumed more cider than beer. New England produces a robust array of cider options, but out in the West, not so much. Most establishments offering a cider option are serving up Woodchuck or Angry Orchard hard ciders. The brothers aimed to create a local product that is more a drinkable, flavorful beer alternative.
While most ciders are associated with apple flavors, the Perez brothers have been toying with more unique natural flavors in their cider, like ginger. Solitude Cider utilizes Colorado apples from family farms above 6,000 feet. Their early batches were made in their own kitchen, with fermentation taking place in their refrigerator. Temperature control is huge, and commercial equipment aids this process. But because they started with less technical equipment, and perfected their batches with careful trial and error, the brothers will be intimately more knowledgeable about the process when they get more turn-key equipment.
Solitude Cider products are unfiltered, because the filtering pulls out a lot of the flavor. In addition, the dry-hopped cider provides more flavor with less sugar. Most name brand ciders will have 18-25 grams of sugar, while the dry-hopped Solitude Tram-line cider rings in at 4 grams of sugar. At this time, they have seven different ciders ready for market. They predict they’ll can some, and test out the popularity of their other flavors in a future tap room. The brothers are still on the lookout for an industrial space that will provide them with the space to brew their batches and also serve as a tasting room.
Spur: A session cider, infused with ginger, quickly tickles the palate while maintaining a clean, crisp finish. A refreshing cider that pairs well with spicy foods, big mountain ascents, breathtaking scenery and good company.
Transplant: A traditional semi-dry New England style cider. The Transplant is a smooth, slightly cloudy and unfiltered homage to the New England tradition of small batch cider and to the skiers of Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont who venture West in search of new beginnings, community and champagne powder.
Tram-Line: A dry-hopped masterpiece, crafted with a sublime blend of Citra and Galaxy hops, this is the bright and citrusy cider that beer drinkers have been waiting for and cider drinkers were left wanting.
Both brothers are excited about the Tram-Line and Spur. The Spur is akin to a ginger kombucha with a 6 percent ABV kick. The Tram-Line has the hop characteristics of beer, with an echo of the juicest IPA you’ve ever tried (or haven’t yet). Throw out your conceptions of cider and what it tastes like. By dialing up the flavor while keeping sugars low, Solitude Cider provides the juicy cider mouthfeel without the gut rot.
While the Perez brothers are still in the process of securing a space, stay up-to-date on Solitude Ciderworks happenings by following their Facebook page.