I’m not particularly impressed with gluten-free being used as a fad diet regimen. Especially since there are people, and I know some, that are truly gluten intolerant.
For those people, I’d like to introduce your new best friend: Accomplice Brewery and Ciderworks in West Palm Beach. It’s pretty close to downtown, just on the other side of I-95. There’s a fantastic array of ciders, all made in house by Level 3 sommelier and beard raconteur Matt Stetson.
The beers are coming, and once they are, they will all be gluten free as well. As Felonice Merriman was telling us (while playing around with my daughter), several people at Accomplice are gluten intolerant, so they intentionally focused on being welcoming to the gluten-free community.
We went on their monthly art brunch, which was not only all-you-can-drink ciders, but also all-you-can-eat foods from Rolling Chefs. Even the brunch menu was gluten-free, and their tostones and pulled pork sliders were fantastic.
After brunch, Felonice took us on a little tour of their production facility. Apple juice is expertly blended by an orchard in Washington state, making sure the flavors remain exactly the same year after year. Matt grew up learning ciders from his family, who focused on drier European styles, explaining the slightly dry nature of Accomplice’s ciders.
They ferment their ciders in what might be the only cold fermentation room in South Florida. Instead of getting giant jacketed fermenters, they are kept in a room consistently kept cold, which feels wonderful on a cold day.
So, ciders. I’ve tried a few of these before, and I had to go back for more of that coffee cider, which is great. But, my wife and I had a few more:
Chaider (Cider, 5.5% ABV) – I might have had more than one of these. Apple cider with chai spices. Sweet and meaty, with some delicious depth and a great, soft feel. So very good.
Brogue Irish Style Apple (Cider, 6%) – I asked what made this ‘Irish Style,’ and Felonice let us know that the Irish style of cider is to soak the apples in black tea. Now, the cider doesn’t taste like tea, but there’s a definite cutting of the sweetness that occurs from the treatment. It’s a bit more crisp and sharp than other ciders, and quite tasty, too.
Marc with a C (Cider, 5.5% ABV) – This is one of two mango ciders they had on tap (Accomplice is located on, I kid you not, Florida Mango Rd. It’s practically perfect). Marc with a C was the lighter of the two, however, and the flavors aren’t faint as much as they are softer and a bit more refined. I didn’t try the other mango cider, and I’m kinda kicking myself for that one.
Cidewinder Cinnamon (Cider, 8% ABV) – Pretty simple here, cinnamon cider. Natural cinnamon, too, since there was a pile of used cinnamon sticks in their production area. As you can guess, the cinnamon is strong and blends quite nicely with the apple.
There is a ton of ciders coming from that I’d really like to try, including a tiramisu cider and one that clocks in at a whopping 16% ABV. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy what they have on draft and probably be back soon.
Even if there isn’t any gluten.
Drink Florida Craft,