Craft beer will always belong on holiday tables. But there’s another genre of fizzy fermented beverage that ideally complements turkey, pork and other victuals: English-style cider. And we don’t have to cross the pond to get it. Griffin Cider Works, an Ohio-based company, makes authentic English-style ciders from the bounty of local orchards.
“Cider is drunk like beer but made like wine. We don’t boil anything; it’s juice from fruit and yeast,” says Richard Read, cider master and owner of Griffin Cider Works based in Westlake. Read started the company in 2010 because he wanted to create the kind of cider he drank at home in Britain. He hails from Herefordshire, where he first sampled cider at eight when a neighbor with a stone press gave him a taste. He started making it at 14. “In the [English] countryside cider is almost as popular as beer,” he added.
Read uses 15 varieties of Ohio apples to make his mainstay product, Griffin Original Cider. The mix is proprietary and he’ll only divulge that each cider has a primary apple, providing the bulk of flavor, and secondary apples for blending.
At 7 percent alcohol, Original is a deliciously refreshing sipping cider. Griffin’s Burley Man Cider is a traditional farmhouse style that’s drier than Original and unfiltered. Griffin also makes specialty ciders such as mango-infused Lolo Romy and Lemon Blues. Country Cottage is made with elderflower. All ciders retail between $5.99 and $9.99 for a 22-ounce bottle.
These ciders are available in grocery stores, restaurants and pubs in Northeast Ohio. But Read wants the rest of the state to know: “The next step of the British invasion is Columbus.”
See www.griffinciderworks.com or Griffin Cider Works on Facebook.