Experience a unique taste of Montana this season, with 4 celebration-worthy 750ml (wine sized!) bottles of cider, each crafted from Montana grown apples. This hand selected gathering of bottles from three different makers, offers cider drinkers the chance to dig deeper into Bitterroot Valley’s McIntosh apple, savor a semi-dry traditional, and pop the top on a sparkling Pét-nat.
‘Tis the season for gifting cider or gifting yourself cider! Sign up by 11/17/21 for mid-December shipping.
The Elevated Big Sky release includes the 4 ciders listed below. This release is $81 plus shipping and handling. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a shipping estimate.
The Discover & Elevated release includes 4 Elevated and 6 Discover ciders and is $130 plus shipping and handling.
Join the club and start exploring Big Sky Ciders.
North Fork Traditional 7% abv (750ml)
The first big bottle (750ml, yep, that’s wine sized!) of our ‘Big Sky’ Elevated Club line up is North Fork Traditional – a Semi-Dry English Style Cider from Montana’s oldest licensed cidery, Montana Ciderworks. North Fork is handcrafted from a blend of cider apples and crabapples, alongside Montana Bitterroot Valley apples.
When popped, this bottle pours golden and gently bubbly. Expressive bittersweet apple characters thread with wood, grass and smoke notes. The faintest sweetness balances against sharpness, astringency and tart fruit in a delightfully palatable semi-dry cider. North Fork traditional cider received a Gold medal at the 2016 Great Lakes International Cider Competition (2016) and was awarded Best Traditional Apple Cider by SIP Northwest Magazine (2017). North Fork offers a clean, aromatic finish that enhances the flavor of savory foods – pairs wonderfully with spicy global foods, game bird dishes, and hor d’oeuvres with strong cheeses. Perfect for a slow evening by the fire.
McIntosh Single Varietal 6% abv (500ml)
Bauman’s McIntosh is a Single Variety Cider that snuggles right up to our love of Macs, single varietals and the Bitterroot Valley. Montana born, Oregon crafted – in this cider, Montana Bitterroot Valley Macs metamorphous into cider in Oregon’s fertile Willamette Valley under the keen eye of Christine Walter. This unique, small batch (hard to get) cider captures the amazing aroma and flavor of one of her favorite apples. Versatile enough for an afternoon glass paired with cheese and pickles or a more dressed up dinner date of pan-seared trout, roasted butternut and risotto.
First homesteaded 1895 Bauman’s Farm has been home base for this Willamette Valley farming family ever since. Christine’s Great Grandpa Stephen began making cider in the barn in the early 1900’s, to his neighbors and friends’ delight. Bauman Cider launched in 2015, as Christine hands-on answered the farm family question, “who’s making hard cider?”
Passionate, educated and determined, Christine set to work making cider she hoped Great Grandpa Stephen would have been proud of. We think he would. In 2021, Bauman’s was awarded Small Cidermaker of the Year at the Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition (GLINTCAP). Among the over 1,500 entries, the Bauman’s cider tucked in our Big Sky club box this season won gold in Heritage Cider Sweet. Bauman’s final take home haul from GLINTAP this year was an impressive total of seven gold, nine silver and a bronze medal.
McIntosh Heirloom 6% abv (750ml)
Medium Sweet, in just the right way, McIntosh Heirloom. Intensely flavorful fresh juice ferments to a medium sweet cider that is both fruity & tart with a note of cinnamon. Perceived sweetness can be deceptive… try this cider with a big sniff and then again without. Experiment with food and solo. Delightful on its own or paired with grilled pork or poultry.
Montana Ciderworks McIntosh features Bitterroot Valley apples, the region long considered the world’s finest growing terroir for this heirloom cider apple. Montana Ciderworks McIntosh was awarded Silver at Great Lakes International Cider Competition (2018) and Best Varietal Cider by SIP/Cider Craft Magazine (2015, 2017)
Montana Ciderworks in Darby, MT recognizes the significance of the drink of Americans from Revolutionary times to Prohibition and honors 100 years of sustainable agriculture in Montana by offering exceptional English-style ciders crafted from Bitterroot Valley apples. Cidermaking increases the value and usefulness of Montana’s orchards so that they will remain on the landscape to support and delight future generations.
Dry & Dandy Sparkling Cider 8.1% abv (750ml)
Celebration-worthy cider? Indeed. The final bottle in our final Elevated quartet of the year is Western’s Dry & Dandy Sparkling. As you savor significant moments and want to delight in brilliant cider profiles on purpose, we picked this refreshing blend of Golden Russet, Harrison, Calville Blanc d’Hiver, Baldwin, Ashmead’s Kernel, Hudson’s, Golden Gem, Bedan des Parts, Binet Rouge, and McIntosh apples for you.
Bottled at the tail end of primary fermentation in the pétillant naturel style. Pét-nat, as you may have heard, is French and roughly translates to “naturally sparkling.” In this technique the cider is bottled during initial fermentation leaving sugars from the apples to provide the bubbles. By contrast, most ciders finish their ferment before bottling. This dandy cider has rested for 6 months, presents with light haze, ripe pineapple aromatics and is eminently drinkable.
Located on the banks of the Clark Fork River in Missoula, Montana, the Western Cider dream was seeded in 2012 when co-founder Michael Billingsley planted 2,500 cider apple trees in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley – just south of Missoula.
Now, with nearly 5,000 trees and over 50 varieties of apples, Western uses those apples, as well as apples from Northwest orchards, to produce easy going and traditional ciders. Western is a fixture of the community. Self proclaimed, “plain-speaking cider weirdos who can hang with the nerdiest of cider nerds and the gnarliest of dive bar flies.” As a company, Western Cider aspires to create an institution of great cider, good times and a life worth living in this far-flung region of the American West.