Chris Blanchard, co-owner of Longdrop Cider in Boise, co-founded the cidery in 2014 with two ciders debuting at the popular Treefort Festival. In over three years, Blanchard and his partners, Carol Crosswhite and Preston Crosswhite, have produced over two dozen ciders.
Here, Blanchard dishes on a new cider, and big plans for a new location in Washington State.
1) Which of your own current offerings are you digging the most?
We are always excited to get our Over Yonder cider out. It’s made with all Jonathan apples that we source here in Idaho from the Henggeler family who have been growing apples since before 1900. We do mostly semi-sweet ciders, but the Over Yonder is totally dry — zero residual sugar — so it’s a great addition to our line-up. Also makes a mean Pomosa!
2) Any cidermaking pipe dreams you’re dying to make a reality?
Our business model has been to contract space and sell primarily to chain stores. That means making the same ciders over and over, clean, safe and consistent. We’re now building our own cidery in apple country in Eastern Washington so we’ll have the freedom and the fruit to do a lot more experimentation, which is what keeps the cider making crew engaged. You have to keep innovating.
3) What non-cider beverage is in your glass most these days? What is your favorite way to enjoy it and where?
My classiness level is really going to drop a few notches here — we have a big family and a lot of friends locally and we entertain quite often. That usually means boxed red wine just so we can keep up! We’ve collected Oregon Pinot Noirs for a long time, so those are always a favorite. Lately though we’ve been enjoying the Cabernets that Charles Smith produces in Washington under their own label. Nice wines at an approachable price, at home or at the tasting room when taking a cider break.
4) Favorite song, album or artist to jam out to while throwing a few down the hatch?
I am a trained musician so my tastes are all over the map. I spend an inordinate amount of time scouring iTunes for new rock, hard rock, Americana and classical. At the end of the day though, I am a child of the ’80s who grew up in Southern California when the metal scene was exploding. I’m always on the lookout for old heroes doing new things. With friends and family I usually stick to the Americana stuff — can’t go wrong with say Sturgill Simpson, for example.