Chicago, IL — Seattle Cider Company and Wirtz Beverage have announced a new partnership to bring Seattle Cider’s unique selection of craft ciders to Illinois, beginning August 15. Seattle’s first cidery since Prohibition, Seattle Cider is known for its handcrafted collection of flavorful ciders while Wirtz Beverage is regarded as a leading wholesale distributor of beer, wine and spirits. The agreement between the two company’s comes as alcoholic cider sales continue to boom across the U.S.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Wirtz Beverage to bring a new type of cider to the cider lovers of Illinois,” said Joel VandenBrink, founder of Seattle Cider Company. “You’ll taste something different when you try our ciders. We’ve created flavorful, small-batch ciders with limited sweetness using all natural ingredients and fresh pressed Washington apples, making for a truly unique product.”
Established in August 2013 by Joel VandenBrink, Seattle Cider’s products break the mold of overly sweet cider, bringing the natural flavors of Washington apples to the forefront. Made from a custom blend of local apples and flavorful additions — such as fresh berries, peppers and more — Seattle Cider’s products are handcrafted with all natural ingredients and never made from concentrate. Their unique taste has earned Seattle Cider a number of awards and accolades including gold and silver medals in the Pacific Northwest Cider Awards, in addition to many loyal drinkers. Currently, the in-demand, naturally gluten-free ciders are available in Washington, Oregon and Alaska.
“Cider is experiencing a major comeback and it’s very exciting to see,” said Jeff Roth, VP Alliance Craft Beer Division at Wirtz Beverage Illinois. “It bridges the gap between beer and wine, so it’s no wonder cider is popular amongst many drinkers. Seattle Cider is putting out some really innovative things and really doing their part to bolster the category as well as consumer options.”
As sales continue to climb, industry predications expect cider will soon claim 3-5 percent of overall beer sales. Last year in the U.S., alcoholic cider was a nearly $1.32 billion industry. When Seattle Cider launches in Illinois with Wirtz Beverage, it will be available statewide at restaurants, bars and retail stores with a variety of products available in 16-ounce cans, 22-ounce bottles and on draft, including:
Dry: One of the driest ciders on the market, the golden glow of the unique unfiltered cider lends way to notes of lilac, blood orange and green apple on the nose. Pleasantly acidic, flavors of nectarine, under ripe peach and tart cherry hit the palate with no residual sweetness. 0 brix, 6.5% ABV, 16-ounce can.
Semi-Sweet: A light, crisp cider with just a touch of sweetness, this cider is honey in color with notes of bergamot orange, lemon and apple. A refreshing cider, it reveals hints of citrus and cinnamon on the palate. 3 brix, 6.5% ABV, 16-ounce can.
PNW Berry: This summer seasonal cider is crafted with locally-grown raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Softly tart with a flavor of young raspberries at the start and softly sweet on the finish, it’s a cider that is both refreshing and full-flavored. 1.8 brix, 6.9% ABV, 22-ounce bottle.
Pumpkin Spice: This semi-sweet cider is copper in color and perfect for cooler weather as the cidery’s fall seasonal. Fermented with pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves, it offers hints of the season’s favorite spices followed by just a touch of pumpkin. 3 brix, 6.9% ABV, 22-ounce bottle.
Three Pepper: A small-batch, limited-edition cider, the Three Pepper features an aroma of fresh, green jalape├▒os. Paired with a unique flavor profile, it combines the taste of poblano, habanero and jalape├▒o peppers, giving this cider a kick followed by a subtly sweet finish. 3.2 brix, 6.9% ABV, 22-ounce bottle.
Wirtz Beverage Illinois will support the launch of the Seattle Cider portfolio with activations in the on- and off-premise, including samplings, trainings and events.
About Seattle Cider Company
Not your standard cider. Seattle Cider Company is the city’s first cidery since prohibition, bringing true craft cider back to Seattle. Bridging the gap between wine and beer with flavorful, small-batch cider, Seattle Cider’s initial offerings — Dry and Semi-Sweet — break the mold of overly sweet cider, bringing the natural flavors of Washington apples to the forefront. Naturally gluten free and made from a custom blend of fresh pressed, locally grown apples, Seattle Cider’s products are handcrafted with all natural ingredients and never from concentrate, successfully distinguishing themselves from the mass market cider found in stores today. Available in 16-ounce cans, Seattle Cider products are available at retailers and bottle shops throughout Seattle. Seattle Cider is also available on tap in Seattle-area bars and restaurants, with tastings, kegs and growler fills available at The Woods tasting room, located at 4700 Ohio Ave. S. in SoDo, open weekly Tuesday – Saturday. For more information, visit seattlecidercompany.com, or follow Seattle Cider Company on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About Wirtz Beverage Illinois
Wirtz Beverage Illinois is the state’s most established alcohol beverage distributor with operations statewide serving premium wine, spirits and craft beer brands. The family-owned and operated company is an affiliate of Wirtz Beverage Group, one of the nation’s leading alcohol beverage distributors. With nearly $2 billion in annual sales and 2,500 employees, Wirtz Beverage Group has interests in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Wisconsin and Canada. To learn more about Wirtz Beverage, visit its website at www.WirtzBev.com.