The Charlottesville 29

If there were just 29 restaurants in Charlottesville, what would be the ideal 29?

Tag: Potter’s Craft Cider

Five Finds on Friday: Andy Hannas

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Andy Hannas, cider maker at Potter’s Craft Cider, which has just launched a cider garden and tasting room next to Lampo. In addition to bottled ciders, the rural farm cidery’s downtown tasting room has six ciders on tap, offering guests access to small batch, seasonal, and experimental ciders. Enjoy a cider flight, a whole glass, or a growler to go. There is also a full calendar of events with co-host The Bridge, including live music and First Friday exhibits, like today’s reception for artist Bolanle Adeboye. Regular cider garden hours are Friday 4 – 9 pm and Saturday 12 – 9 pm. Hannas’ picks:

1) The Italian Stallion from Hunt Country Market & Deli. “Potter’s Craft Cider runs on cold cut sandwiches from here, and the Italian is the long running staff favorite. It’s also a great opportunity to pick up beer for after work, and check in and see how our cider is selling. When local tomatoes are in season, this sandwich gets even better.”

2) Brioche Feuilletée from MarieBette. “Laminated brioche dough with pastry cream filling (passion fruit is my favorite) and an iced coffee out on the sidewalk patio is the start to my ideal Saturday morning.”

3) Tonkotsu Ramen at Lemongrass. “Whether from Kokoro, Mican or their new home inside Lemongrass, the ramen by Yoshihiro and Yukiko Tauchi  has always been killer. Ramen is only available at Lemongrass on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5:00, so make sure to set a reminder on your calendar. Once summer hits and The Corner clears out, I plan on being there every weekend possible.”

4) Sushi at Tokyo Rose. “Perfectly cooked and seasoned rice at the optimum temperature is what sets good sushi apart from mediocre sushi for me. The rice and the maki rolls are always spot on here, but just as importantly, so is the service. I would eat dinner here every day if I could. As an added bonus, I love the history of punk shows in the basement.”

5) Brut from King Family Vineyards. “Honestly this should say ‘anything that Matthieu and his team are putting into a bottle out in Crozet.’ But, as a cider maker, I have a real love for sparkling wine. Not only is Matthieu making excellent wines, but he is also an incredibly generous source of knowledge. With help from him, Emily from Veritas, and Damien from Afton Mountain, we have been working on some really cool wine/cider hybrids that should start seeing the world this year.”

Five Finds on Friday: Erica Hellen & Joel Slezak

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Photo by Brianna LaRocco.

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Erica Hellen and Joel Slezak, of Free Union Grass Farm. Tomorrow marks the opening of the 2017 Charlottesville City Market, where Free Union Grass Farm is a longtime fixture and one of our favorite sources of meat, poultry, eggs, chicken liver pate, and duck fat caramels. This fall, the farm is hosting a special Outstanding in the Field feast with James Beard semifinalist chef Tarver King of The Restaurant at Patowmack FarmDetails and tickets here. Hellen’s and Slezak’s picks:

1) Potter’s Craft Cider. “Any of them, all of them. In a region dominated by wine and beer, their perfectly dry libations pair with everything and work year-round. The Farmhouse Dry is such a crowd-pleaser that we went through five pony kegs at our wedding!”

2) Ham Biscuit at JM Stock Provisions. “Seriously, it’s perfect. It’s moist and flaky and lofty, and sticks to your ribs without sticking to the roof of your mouth. Add a little peppery honey and a pile of their Tasso ham and baby, buckle up. We like to buy them in twos – one for now, and one for pretty much right after that.”

3) Chicken Salad at Feast!. “You know it, we know it: Feast is the OG. They’ve been sourcing locally since before it was even a thing, and they’ve been using our chickens for their chicken salad for years now. It’s our go-to lunch on delivery day and is perfect hot or cold.”

4) Baguette at MarieBette. “It’s hard to nail something so seemingly simple, but Marie Bette has done it. Who knew bread could be so elegant? #westilllovegluten”

5) Al Fresco Lunch at Greenwood Gourmet Grocery. “It’s the perfect pit stop on the way to Seven Oaks Farm, our satellite duck operation. We grab one of the aforementioned baguettes, a stick of salami, and a soft-ripened cheese. We spread it all out at a table under the trees, eat every last crumb, and wash it down with a ginger beer so potent you can feel it up in your nose.”

Potter’s “The Haven” is Special

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When it comes to new releases, nothing from Potter’s Craft Cider is rushed or ill-considered. You can tell from the quality of the product. The flavors are never haphazardly executed, the combinations never carelessly conceived. While owners Tim Edmond and Dan Potter do experiment by trial and error, none of the errors ever makes it through.

The latest release is no exception. The Haven is a Belgian style cider flavored with figs, coriander, and Belgian dark candi sugar. Bottle-fermented with Belgian abbey yeast, it is perhaps the one Potter’s offering that would most appeal to beer lovers. In fact, the rich aroma of stone fruit, ruby port cask, and spice is a dead ringer for Dogfish Head’s legendary World Wide Stout. And, while apple is present, the taste is less reminiscent of cider than it is of a Flanders Oud Bruin or a Belgian Quadrupel like St. Bernardus Abt 12.  Unlike many of Potter’s other offerings, this is not a refreshing drink to have on the porch on a warm summer day. Rather, at 12% alcohol, it is one to enjoy in a snifter by the fire with a book, or in a haven from the rain. It is special.

A limited release, Edmond and Potter created it to raise awareness about the shelter The Haven, which will receive a portion of proceeds from the cider’s sale. “The Haven is perhaps the most unusual cider that we’ve ever made,” says Edmond, “and we hope that it shines light on the outstanding work that The Haven does on a daily basis, treating our homeless population with dignity and providing the essential tools that they need.”

You can be one of the first to try it at The Haven’s release party, this Saturday, May 21, at the IX Art Park, from 11 am – 5 pm.  In addition to cider tastings, there will be music by Tequila Mockingbird, donuts by Carpe Donut, and, perhaps best of all, food by Cote-Rotie. (Wherever Cote-Rotie goes, you should go.)  And, you’ll have a chance to buy a cider that seems destined to sell out fast.