Hard Cider – the new “thing” – is hitting Asheville in a big way. Urban Orchard Cider Co and Bar, one of the recently opened cideries, has done it right.
They picked a West Asheville location slightly off the beaten path, and remodeled it into a hip neighborhood hangout. A perfect example of “build it and they will come”, folks are having no trouble finding them.
Right inside the door is a very nice mural done by local artist, Cynthia Limeberry. There’s another huge mural on an outside wall (not pictured), but I’m not sure if Cynthia did that one also.
Inside, you’ll find cozy table, bar and lounge seating. Lighting is a bit creative with a set of ceiling-hung Mason jars. Edison lights (everywhere now, but still cool) run the length of the bar. A wall of windows faces the street, opposite the bar.
We stopped in this past Saturday to sample their ciders. They carry their own on tap and some other bottled brews (cider and beer). This night, the four on tap were: Dry Ridge, Sweet English, Ginger Champagne, and Hopped Cider.
After tasting the Ginger Champage (made with fresh ginger) and the Sweet English, I asked the bartender to mix 80% Ginger with 20% English ($5.50/Pint), cutting the ginger intensity a bit. Delish! Don’t let my mixing keep you from trying the Ginger Champagne for yourself. Another time, I’ll drink it straight. Just was in a different mood Saturday.
Sweet Tooth ordered a Flight of all four ciders ($8).
One disappointment tuned happy surprise was that they had run out of their Cranberry Cider the day before. Sweet Tooth was jonesing for Cranberry Cider. Well into our visit, they found a misplaced supply. We’d already had plenty, but were happy to get a taste. We were informed that it had been so popular, they plan to make more and try to keep it on tap.
Little did we know this was going to turn into dinner! There’s a chef in the kitchen, serving upscale nibbles that pair nicely. The Orchard also carries a couple cakes from across the street bakery, Short Street Cakes.
Take a look at this gorgeous Local Cheese Plate ($15). Your choice of three local cheeses from their list come with City Bakery Baguette slices, Roots and Branches crackers, fruit and olives or nuts. We chose: Looking Glass Creamery Roasted Garlic Cheve, Three Graces Dairy Gouda and Manchego. Chef also included his new, house-made chutney and macerated strawberries. SO good, Sweet Tooth suggested they bottle it!
So you’re saying to yourself, “wait a minute, I see olives AND nuts”. They were nice enough to give us a half portion of each because one of us does not favor nuts and the other doesn’t favor olives.
We also ordered from the Orchard’s “Dips and Spreads” menu. A choice of three without Trout Dip is $12. We both love Sunburst Trout Farms Trout Dip, so we included it, bumping the cost up to $14. Our choices, Roots Roasted Garlic Hummus (right), Trout Dip (center), and True South Horseradish Pimento Cheese Spread (left), came with a few apple slices and the same crackers and bread. More deliciousness!
We had such a great time here, we’re planning a trip back with our husbands and friends. If you haven’t been, you must go!
- Hard Cider is a perfect drink for folks who might want an alternative to beer and wine. Urban Orchard cider has an average alcohol content of 6%.
- Mixes of different kinds of ciders as well as cider/beer are offered and well worth trying.
- Service was a bit scattered”, which I’m confident will improve with time.