The 8th annual Cider Summit Chicago was held at Navy Pier’s Aon Grand Ballroom on Saturday, February 22nd. Cider Summit Chicago is the region’s largest cider tasting and celebrates local, regional and international artisanal ciders and cider makers. The summit featured over 150 ciders, cider cocktails and apple spirits.
Some highlights from this year’s event included:
-New to Cider Summit Chicago 2020 was the “Mead Mezzanine” (sponsored by B. Nektar) which featured six Midwest mead producers including a few of our favorites like:
Misbeehavin’ Meads (Indiana) – Cideburns, a double-dry-hopped lactose cider
Midwest Meadwerks (Illinois) – Triskelion, a fruity mead with hints of black currant, raspberry and tart cherries
-Another new feature this year was the Minnesota Cider Guild Pavilion featuring 3 producers making their Chicago debuts:
-As always, there was a collaboration cider with Virtue Cider as the Cider Summit debuted, Salut!, its annual collaboration cider at the Chicago event.
The Midwest was represented well when it comes to our most memorable sips of the day, however a few cideries outside the region impressed us too:
Blake’s Hard Cider (Michigan) - Blake’s had two remarkable ciders that we just couldn’t get enough of: El Chavo is their beautifully blended sweet-heat cider with notes of mango and habañero; their Triple Jam cider is bursting with berry flavors including strawberries, blackberries and raspberries.
Right Bee Cider (Illinois) - Chicago’s own, Right Bee, recently introduced Blossom, a wine-like cider with essences of lemon myrtle and cherry blossom. They call it “Spring in a glass”. We couldn’t agree more.
Uncle John’s Hard Cider (Michigan) - Their Apple-Pear Hard Cider continues to be a popular semi-sweet beverage made from Michigan apples and Bartlett pears.
Rekorderlig Cider (Sweden) - The embodiment of a Swedish summer is Rekorderlig’s Strawberry Lime expression. We loved it even at room temp but it is preferred served cold over ice.
STEM Ciders (Colorado) - Fresh-pressed apple juice and guava puree is infused with Guajillo chiles to give STEM’s, Chile Guava, the perfect amount of kick.