Emily Ritchie Northwest Cider Association

Show Notes

Exploring Washington State: The Unique and Innovative Cider Culture of the Pacific Northwest

If you're a cider lover, Washington State is the place to be. On this episode of the "Exploring Washington State" podcast, guest Emily Ritchie takes us on a journey through the fascinating world of cider-making in the Pacific Northwest. Emily is a passionate advocate for regional and sustainable cider production, and her insights into the industry are both informative and inspiring.

The Lost Apple Project and the Harrison Apple

One of the most exciting things about cider-making in the Pacific Northwest is the variety of apple varietals available. Emily shares with us the story of the Harrison apple, a unique and historically important apple that almost went extinct. Thanks to the efforts of the Lost Apple Project, the Harrison apple has been saved and its varietal preserved. Today, Rootwood Cider features an estate-grown Harrison apple cider that is fruity, delicious, and has a lower ABV than many other ciders on the market.

The Micro-Cideries of the Pacific Northwest

Emily also sheds light on the fascinating cider-making industry in the Pacific Northwest. From small micro-cideries to larger batch producers, the cider industry in the Pacific Northwest is thriving and innovative. Many small-scale cider makers have turned to cider-making as a value-added product to keep their land and family farms sustainable. However, getting their product in front of consumers remains a challenge. That's where the Northwest Cider Club comes in. The club offers subscribers a curated selection of ciders from independent cideries in the Pacific Northwest.

A Unique and Innovative Cider Culture

Washington's cider culture is characterized by innovation, creativity, and playfulness. The cider-makers in the area are passionate about their craft and often have interesting career paths that led them to cider-making. Unlike in Europe, where there are strict rules around cider-making, the Pacific Northwest's cider culture is free to experiment and create unique flavors and styles. From traditional French apple varieties to experimental habanero and pineapple flavors, the Pacific Northwest's cider culture is full of surprises.

A Trip to England and the Love for Cider

Emily also shares her experience of discovering the delicious and complex world of English cider. She visited Herefordshire, England, where she spent two hours tasting ciders and learning about tasting notes from a cider maker named Tom Oliver. Emily was initially skeptical of tasting notes but now recognizes the nuances in taste and encourages cider lovers to explore the flavors and subtleties of different ciders.

Planning a Cider Tour of the Pacific Northwest

Emily also recommends a cider tour of the Pacific Northwest, using the Northwest Cider Map to plan a route and visit different cideries. Visiting cideries allows for meeting the makers, seeing their orchards, and understanding the passion and care that goes into every bottle and can of cider. Each cidery offers a unique experience with different flavors and focuses, such as sustainability or experimentation.

The Northwest Cider Association's Role in the Cider Industry

The Northwest Cider Association is a non-profit trade association that supports cider makers in the Pacific Northwest. They work tirelessly to ensure the quality of cider is high and provide education about cider to consumers. Through their efforts, the cider market has grown exponentially in the Pacific Northwest, and more and more people are seeking out different styles and flavors of cider.


The "Exploring Washington State" podcast's episode with Emily Ritchie sheds light on the unique and innovative cider culture in the Pacific Northwest. From the Lost Apple Project to the Northwest Cider Club and the regional cider map, this episode is a must-listen for anyone interested in cider-making or sustainable and regional production practices. So grab a glass of your favorite cider and tune in to the fascinating world of cider in Washington State.

Each episode we will have a chat with someone who has a great story to share about Washington State. From artists, to business owners.  Musicians to athletes. Exploring Washington State will showcase the beauty and creativity here in Washington State.

You can find all our podcast episodes on our Exploring Washington State Podcast Page.

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Want other great ideas of places to visit, or to find out more about people who are making amazing things in Washington State  visit Explore Washington State.

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1 Comment

  1. […] Emily Ritchie was previously a guest on the Exploring Washington State Podcast. You can listen to our earlier conversation here. […]

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