The Return of Spring
As the world around us slowly begins to awaken from the deep slumber of the winter months, the release of Finnriver’s seasonal Honey Meadow cider reminds us that spring is on the horizon.
Cidermaker Andrew Byers notes, “Honey Meadow speaks directly to the roots, shoots, and blooms of Spring on the Olympic Peninsula. Locally harvested burdock from Midori Farm and dandelion roots are dried and roasted. The roots balance the acidity with their earthy depth and nutty notes and then we add honey to add the floral and herbs to honor the season.” Honey Meadow is fermented on the farm with a select blend of Certified Organic Washington apples, organic Midori Farm burdock root, organic dandelion root wild-harvested from our own organic farm, organic lemon balm, organic chamomile blossom and Sequim Bee Farm blackberry honey.
Sequim Bee Farm, the source of the luscious honey in the Honey Meadow cider, was created by Buddy and Meg DePew in 2014 and is a small company dedicated to practicing Sustainable bee keeping and providing the community with local, all-natural honey and bee products. Their love of bees began 25 years ago, when a swarm of bees landed on their truck in Seattle. They called a local beekeeper to remove them and were fascinated by the process. An interest in honeybees was sparked, but it was not until they moved to the beautiful community of Sequim that they were able to realize their dream. Sequim Bee Farm is a fellow multiple Good Food Awards recipient.
Midori Farm, the source of our botanical Burdock root, is a 29-acre organic farm located in the village of Quilcene which grows high quality organic vegetables, garden seedlings and crafts their own traditionally fermented sauerkraut and kimchi from farm grown produce. Their farm is nestled in the Quilcene valley which was created by the Little and Big Quilcene rivers flowing from the Olympic Mountains into pristine Quilcene Bay. This confluence has created a deep and fertile sandy clay loam soil ideal for raising crops.
Burdock is in a genus of plants called Arctium, in the plant family Asteraceae. Native to Europe and Asia, several species have been widely introduced worldwide. The taproot of young burdock plants can be harvested and eaten as a root vegetable. Burdock root is very crisp and has a sweet, mild, or pungent flavor with a little muddy harshness that can be reduced by soaking julienned or shredded roots in water for five to ten minutes. Interestingly, there is a connection between the burdock plant and the discovery of velcro!
According to Crystie Kisler, one of the farm’s co-founders, this spring seasonal cider was one of the most challenging to develop. “It took Andrew's botanical knowledge and fermenting creativity to put together this delightful convergence of spring ingredients!"
Honey Meadow will be available for purchase on tap and in bottles at the Cider Garden, as well as released regionally in our distribution territories and sold online.