It may be a well-known fact that Idaho is one of the top hop producers in the U.S. (number two in 2022)! But beyond a delicious haul of hopped beer, Idaho boasts some truly incredible cider companies across the state as well. And this year (like many years passed) several local cideries placed in the NW Cider Cup Awards including Cedar Draw in Buhl, Highpoint in Victor, and Meriwether in Boise.
Cedar Draw Awards: Gold in the Specialty category for their Sour Empress Cider and Bronze in Botanical Hopped category for their Imperial Citra Kissed Cider.
Proud owners and husband-and-wife duo Emily and John Mason opened the doors to Cedar Draw in 2020 and offer not only delicious cider but also wood-fired pizza! The pair received their license to ferment in 2019 but as they geared up for increased production, 2020 happened. They shifted gears and focused on the development of a tasting room and are so glad they did!
“We opened in November of 2020 and haven’t looked back! We are truly a mom and pop,” shared Emily. “I make the cider, my husband sells the cider, my dad helps with the orchard, and we have our kids work with us when we make wood-fired pizza several times a month.”
“We're so proud of how our tasting room has evolved and what it means to us and our community,” Emily said passionately. “We frequently receive comments on how amazing the vibe is here. It’s the perfect place for people to meet and share life with each other. Many friendships and connections have been made here at Cedar Draw Cider. My husband John does such an amazing job making everyone feel welcome and important.”
Love Cedar Draw and want to see them at your next event? The team is happy to pour cider at weddings, gatherings, and parties of all kinds! Learn more about Emily, John, and their team at CedarDrawCider.com.
Highpoint: Bronze in the Low-Tannin category for their Transplant Cider.
Started by brothers Alex and Andrew Perez, Highpoint Cider has been serving the Gem State since April 2021.
“I'm most proud of the people that came together to make Highpoint Cider a reality,” said Alex. “We have an incredibly dedicated production team who have gone above and beyond in so many ways as we've barely been able to keep up with the pace of growth over the last two years.”
He continues, “Honestly, our biggest challenges have been around producing enough cider to consistently meet demand. There are multiple times a month when we have to push to 24-hour production operation in order to keep batches moving toward final packaging. Basically, it's the cider production equivalent of running your car's RPM at redline, so we're really excited for some equipment upgrades we'll be implementing in the next few months that will drastically increase our production capacity.”
On the front-of-house side, Highpoint’s taproom manager has turned the cider house into an amazing gathering place for the local community. Located in the stunning Teton Valley, their Victor cider house has something going on nearly every night of the week including trivia, live music, paint & sip events, food truck pop ups, collage art nights, and so much more.
Meriwether: Gold in the Fruit Post-Fermentation Addition category for the Plum Dandy Cider and Silver in the Botanical Hopped category for their Hop Shot Cider.
Like our other two winners, Meriwether is also a family operation started by the Leadbetter family (Molly, Kate and their parents Gig and Ann) in 2016 in Garden City. Their goal was to create a brand that inspires adventure by making an elevated, easy-drinker cider. Safe to say, they’ve nailed it! Meriwether has been a household name by cider lovers across the state for nearly a decade now.
Their two popular taphouses (located in Garden City and Boise) see thousands of people a year and serve not only their own mouth-watering varieties, but also cider from across the Northwest, including partnering with Cedar Draw and Highpoint on events and tap-offerings.
Meriwether makes a variety of different ciders ranging in sweetness and hoppiness, meaning they’ve been able to convert many a beer-drinker to the cider side.
Learn more at MeriwetherCider.com