Big Chill quenches thirst this weekend on July 20

CASHMERE - With the sun beating down and the temperatures not budging any lower than 70 degrees in the afternoon, the Big Chill Ciderfest is an ideal way to quench the thirst and beat the heat. The second annual Big Chill Ciderfest is on July 20 and hosted at the Riverside Center and the Riverside Yard, sponsored by Cascade Farmlands.

"Cascade Farmlands, the event sponsor, is dedicated to showcasing artisan food and beverages, especially those crafted from local growers," said Rhona Baron, Executive Director of Cascade Farmlands. "Almost all the 13 cideries in the Big Chill source from local, multi generational family orchards. These orchards grow apples, pears and cherries."

Anyone who takes a look around North Central Washington can see orchards far and wide - this event is an opportunity to showcase the hard cider producers that surround the local area and highlight the wide and unique variety of ciders Chelan County churns out.

"Pear ciders are rare in America. Besides dry to sweet apple ciders, The Big Chill will provide tastes of over a dozen pear ciders," said Baron.

"Ciders can be as complex as wines and Chelan County is on the verge of becoming one of the best, most concentrated regions to produce premium quality hard ciders in the Pacific Northwest."

Local cider shops participating come from right down the street in Cashmere, neighboring Leavenworth, Wenatchee and East Wenatchee along with Manson and Chelan. Some Yakima cider shops have decided to join in on the fun this year - Independent Cider, Union Hill and Tieton Cider.

 "Many of our cider makers are creating fusion flavors including hops, ginger, cherry, vanilla and other natural additional flavors to build variety and complexity. People will be surprised by the variety and complexity of the flavors and the sophistication of tasting high quality hard ciders," said Baron.

Many residents will be familiar with vendors and options at the event, giving those in attendance a chance to get a hands on encounter with local businesses with special offers.

"Another highlight is the one day only hard cider store, set up inside the Riverside Center.  Cascade Farmlands is selling over 40 local flavors in one shop for one day. You can’t find this anywhere else, all year long," said Baron.

Along with that, the Cashmere Museum will have an opportunity to get hands on with their display of how cider is made along with local orchard history. Local Yokel, Leavenworth restaurant that has their own large organic garden, will be a food vendor for those that want to pair a bite of food with their cider.

 "Come to the Big Chill to be refreshed and to experience the debut of the next wave of local beverages — hard ciders, hand made in the heart of the apple capital of the world," said Baron.  

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