Words & Deeds

Sweet! New hard cider tasting room to hold Boise grand opening Saturday

A new tasting room Downtown wants to become the apple of Boise’s eye.

After a soft opening last week, Longdrop Cider Co. will uncork its grand opening at 4 p.m. Saturday at 603 S. Capitol Blvd., formerly Brewforia bottle shop. Seven Longdrop ciders will be on tap, special kegs will be tapped during the evening, and food samples will be served from a soon-to-come gluten-free menu. Guitarist James Lewis will perform from 6 to 8 p.m.

Cider fans will sip flavors ranging from Semi Sweet (5.5 percent alcohol by volume) and Harvest Hoarder Chai (5.9 ABV) to Electric Cherry (6.0 ABV) and Vanilla Honey (6.0 ABV). Accompanied by a beer snob? No problem. Longdrop will pour Alphadelic IPA from Oregon’s Hop Valley Brewing.

Longdrop, which is Boise’s first cider tasting room, started making product in 2015 using equipment at Crooked Fence Brewing in Eagle. The cider is sold in 12-ounce cans, 22-ounce bottles and kegs. No longer affiliated with Crooked Fence, Longdrop now makes about 1,500 to 1,800 gallons each month using equipment at Payette Brewing’s original Garden City location.

In recent years, cider has been touted as the fastest growing alcoholic beverage. Another Idaho cidery, Meriwether Cider Co., opened a tasting room in Garden City in early 2016.

With a capacity of 49 and another 20 on the outdoor patio, Longdrop’s new tasting room is a major step for the company, president Chris Blanchard says.

“Tasting rooms really do a great volume, so we’re really expecting this to be a big boon for business,” he says. “At the retail level, we’ll probably be bigger than the wholesale production.”

Cider is naturally gluten-free. So it seemed logical to offer an entirely gluten-free food menu at Longdrop, Blanchard says. At the grand opening, street tacos (served on jicama shells) and pork sliders (on ciabatta rolls) will provide a taste of things to come.

Longdrop doesn’t plan to offer food on a regular basis quite yet. With luck, that will happen by the end of March. Menu items will be prepared in a dedicated food trailer behind the building, Blanchard says. The food trailer will supply other building tenants, too, including soon-to-open White Dog Brewing Co. Cumulatively, the area will become a multi-faceted bar-and-pub-grub destination.

“It’s going to be super, super cool,” Blanchard says.

Longdrop hours: 4 p.m. to close Monday through Thursday, noon to close Friday and Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Longdrop will not open until 4 p.m. on Jan. 21 — the grand opening — because of a private party earlier.

Michael Deeds: 208-377-6407, @michaeldeeds