Three new brews: Western Cider hits the bottles 

What you're drinking: Three of Western Cider's most popular varieties are now available in 500-milliliter bottles and 12-packs: Sour Cherry, McIntosh, and Whiskey Peach.

Why you're drinking it: The shawties at Western Cider debuted their new apple bottle drinks this month, holding a release party that was, let's say, well attended. Everyone in the club seemed to have their eyes on Whiskey Peach, which sold out. The owners figure they bottled a month's supply, one of the bartenders told the Indy. That's a good sign, right?

click to enlarge PHOTO BY DEREK BROUWER
  • photo by Derek Brouwer

Don't they already can? Yeah, they do. But the canned varieties—Poor Farmer Classic and Poor Farmer Hopped—are more basic, "everyday" brews. The bottled varieties are more adventurous, as the names Sour Cherry and Whiskey Peach suggest. But don't forget the McIntosh, either. A single-variety cider made from the fruit of an 80-year-old apple orchard in the Bitterroot, McIntosh won Best in Show at the Portland International Cider Cup in June, besting 167 entries from 40 cideries across the northwest and British Columbia. Western Cider, which opened this year as Missoula's first hard cidery with a connoisseur-meets-the-masses flair, had its approach validated at the competition, taking the cup and winning Best New Cidery to boot.

How to drink it: The bottles you'll get at the tasting room aren't chilled, so put 'em in the fridge when you get home. Western Cider serves their tapped ciders at just over 32 degrees, but you can drink at whatever temperature hits your spot.

Where to find it: Besides the tasting room, bottles are on shelves now at specialty beer stores in Missoula and Bozeman. Think Worden's, Market on Front, and the like.

What it costs: Gulp. A bottle of McIntosh (or Whiskey Peach, when it returns) will set you back $8, or $86 for a case of 12. The Sour Cherry is $6/bottle, $65/case.

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