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Clear Fork Cider


Artisanal cider made by medal winning cider makers and apple enthusiasts in Colorado

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Clear Fork Cider


Artisanal cider made by medal winning cider makers and apple enthusiasts in Colorado

Made From Apples

We find apples in old orchards around Colorado for the cider we make. The apples for our 2017 releases came from Lakewood, Lewis, Crawford, and Arriola, Colorado, some from hundred-year-old orchards, some from an orchard destined to be plowed under to make way for a housing development. Our apples for our 2018 ciders came exclusively from Maine, after a late May freeze wiped out all of our orchards across the state. Apples for the 2019 release, came from our Colorado orchards and a small hand-worked orchard in Portland, Oregon. Within 5 years, all of our cider will be made from apples that we grow ourselves in Colorado. We like apples from old, neglected orchards like those Montezuma County, near Cortez, where we work closely with a local non-profit to source juice from vintage and heirloom varieties to make our metaMORPhic Blend. We know precisely - down to the tree in some cases - where almost all of our apples come from, and probably picked most of them ourselves. We look for apples that are natural-- not sprayed, fertilized, or treated with pesticides. We add wild seedlings like Pitts' Bitter, Full Field Five, and Bitter Pew to the mix of dessert and cider-specific apples. Seedlings add spice, variety, and tannins.  Then we make cider the way it has been made for a long time, letting the apples express their true nature and the place they were grown. Our ciders will vary from year to year, as conditions in the orchards shift and the availability of certain apples changes. We are dependent upon favorable weather and work closely with farmers and orchardists to manage pests without resorting to sprays and pesticides.

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Drink Cider


Every cider we make strives to find that special balance of bitter, sharp, sweet, and mellow.

Drink Cider


Every cider we make strives to find that special balance of bitter, sharp, sweet, and mellow.

Cider is a fermented, alcoholic beverage made from apples. Humans have been fermenting apples to make cider for thousands of years. The apple tree is believed to be native to Kazakstan and came to the US with early settlers, spread widely as settlers moved west and south and became a mainstay crop until Prohibition when thousands of trees were cut down. Cider can be made from any kind of apple, but the most interesting cider comes from apples loaded with tannin and acids and sugar artfully blended to make a drink that's complex, interesting, and refreshing. A revival of cider and cider-apple trees has been underway in this country since the late 1970s.

 

Cidermakers produce an extraordinary variety of cider, ranging from sweet to bone dry and from simple, low-alcohol drinks to complex, long-aged ciders that pair well with any kind of food. Many countries have a strong and long tradition of cidermaking, including the United Kingdom, Canada, France, and Spain. The destruction of apple trees wrought by Prohibition meant there were no traditional forms of cidermaking for the current generation to follow or be bound by. The resultant explosion in creativity has produced ciders flavored with every manner of spice and fruit, ciders made with dessert apples exclusively, ciders made a nod to traditional cidermaking practices, and everything in between.

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The team


The team


Jay Kenney - Cider Maker

Clear Fork Cider began in 2016 as a partnership between Karl Kister and Jay Kenney until 2019, when Karl left to focus more time on filmmaking and apple growing. Between them, Karl and Jay manage more than 800 apple trees in Golden, Applewood, Crawford and Lewis, Colorado. Jay has been pressing apples for more than 25 years and made cider in his basement for 10 years before taking the plunge into Clear Fork Cider, which is named for the Clear Fork of the Gunnison River near Crawford, where he owns an old, historic farmhouse orchard with more than 35 old trees, only two of which he can identify. He holds a certificate in cider making from Peter Mitchell and the National Association of Cider Makers, a certificate in GIS and a J.D. from the University of Denver, and at the cidery manages all aspects of cider making.

Rob Bayless - Director of Operations

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Rob grew up drinking Jay’s not so hard cider and joined Clear Fork Cider in 2019 as the cidery transitioned from a space shared with a 25 foot camper to a dedicated tasting room and production facility in Wheat Ridge. Rob focuses on the operation of the tasting room as well as improving the production process so Clear Fork Cider can find its way to even more cider lovers. He has a degree in mechanical engineering and an MBA in Supply Chain & Financial Management. Outside of the “office” he is an avid runner, skier and breakfast burrito connoisseur.

His favorite cider is Pitt’s Bitter.

Rodeo - Squirrel Task Force (Lead)

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Consults on tree based mammal issues and is an active seeker of sunny lounge spots. He is always ready to go, regardless of destination, but prefers long walks and hikes. He’s not yet old enough to have a favorite cider.

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Our Cider


We make cider from apples and that's it.  No berries, no ginger, no shenanigans.

 

Our Cider


We make cider from apples and that's it.  No berries, no ginger, no shenanigans.

 

The Clear Fork Cidery started across the street from Denver Fire Department Station Eight, once known as the Marion Hose House. We named this blend of Colorado cider apples in honor of the Station. It features a mix of Golden Russet and Pomme Gris apples fermented with a Belgian Saison yeast to produce an easy drinking cider with a nice balance between tannins and acids and flavor notes of pink grapefruit, melon, and peach.  Dry. 6.5% ABV.        _  _

The Clear Fork Cidery started across the street from Denver Fire Department Station Eight, once known as the Marion Hose House. We named this blend of Colorado cider apples in honor of the Station. It features a mix of Golden Russet and Pomme Gris apples fermented with a Belgian Saison yeast to produce an easy drinking cider with a nice balance between tannins and acids and flavor notes of pink grapefruit, melon, and peach.

Dry. 6.5% ABV.

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The Bitter End is a blend of everything left in our barrels and tanks at the end of bottling season. It leans to the bitter side, but not dramatically so, and has a mild astringency similar to Oak Barrel blend but without any underlying oakiness.  Dry. 6.9% ABV.

The Bitter End is a blend of everything left in our barrels and tanks at the end of bottling season. It leans to the bitter side, but not dramatically so, and has a mild astringency similar to Oak Barrel blend but without any underlying oakiness.

Dry. 6.9% ABV.


Oak Barrel Blend features apples from the Arriola and Lewis, Colorado, from the XK Bar Ejido orchard in Crawford, Colorado, and an old orchard in Lakewood, Colorado, as well as apples from the Ford Farm in Portland, OR. The blend includes Stayman Winesap, Jonathan, Wealthy, Macintosh, Dabinett, Sweet Coppin, Geeveston Fancy and seedlings collected in Crawford and Lewis. After fermentation with English Cider Yeast, the cider was racked to used French and California Oak Barrels and aged for five months. The cider is both earthy and smooth, with subtle tastes of tobacco and cherries.  Dry. 6.9% ABV.

Oak Barrel Blend features apples from the Arriola and Lewis, Colorado, from the XK Bar Ejido orchard in Crawford, Colorado, and an old orchard in Lakewood, Colorado, as well as apples from the Ford Farm in Portland, OR. The blend includes Stayman Winesap, Jonathan, Wealthy, Macintosh, Dabinett, Sweet Coppin, Geeveston Fancy and seedlings collected in Crawford and Lewis. After fermentation with English Cider Yeast, the cider was racked to used French and California Oak Barrels and aged for five months. The cider is both earthy and smooth, with subtle tastes of tobacco and cherries.

Dry. 6.9% ABV.

This limited release cider is made exclusively from the Russian Imperial Dolgo crabapple, aged for 5 months in stainless steel, and very lightly sweetened to create a powerful, tart cider for those who like their cider boldly sharp. Think Granny Smith on steroids and you’ll be close. Puckery.  Semi-Dry. 6.7% ABV.

This limited release cider is made exclusively from the Russian Imperial Dolgo crabapple, aged for 5 months in stainless steel, and very lightly sweetened to create a powerful, tart cider for those who like their cider boldly sharp. Think Granny Smith on steroids and you’ll be close. Puckery.

Semi-Dry. 6.7% ABV.

This is a cider from the Colorado Plateau. It is made from three apples grown on the Pitts’ Family Farm. One is thought to be a Stayman Winesap, the other two are feral seedlings. After aging in stainless steel for six months, the cider is mildly bitter, with notes of fennel and anise and an extraordinary finish.  Dry, 6.8% ABV.

This is a cider from the Colorado Plateau. It is made from three apples grown on the Pitts’ Family Farm. One is thought to be a Stayman Winesap, the other two are feral seedlings. After aging in stainless steel for six months, the cider is mildly bitter, with notes of fennel and anise and an extraordinary finish.

Dry, 6.8% ABV.

Events


Events


 
Pressed Fest, 2018 Longmont

Pressed Fest, 2018 Longmont

 

The Big Wonderful Derby Weekend

May 4, 5, 2019. Local vendors, live music and (at least one) cidermaker. Kentucky Derby Viewing Party (Saturday) or Cinco de Disco Party (Sunday). Unlimited Beer & Cider Samples from 12-6PM. DJ Dance Parties with Fun Factory (Saturday) or Disco Social Denver (Sunday). Full weekend access to shopping at 100+ vendors. Mobile Food Truck Court. Fashion Trucks. Local Bluegrass Music. Kids Activities & Lawn Games. Cash Bar with Beer, Wine & Cocktails. Free parking. Globeville, CO, 4400 Fox St. 12-6 both days. $32. https://www.thebigwonderful.com/2018-events/denver

RiNO Spring Bazaar

May 18-19, 2019, 12-6 p.m. More than 100 local makers, food and fashion trucks, beer and cider tasting, and much more to the streets of the RiNo Art District this Spring! Taking over Market St between 28th and 29th. $20. Tickets here.

The Pressed Fest

June 8, 2019, 2-6 p.m. The Pressed Fest is one of Colorado's best cider-centric festivals. CFC is proud to be a member of the Colorado Cider Guild and this event raises working funds for the Guild, a group of 20 Colorado Cider makers, most of whom will be pouring at The Pressed Fest. We’re returning again to Longmont’s gorgeous Thompson Park, 420 Bross ST. Don’t miss this!! Tickets here.

Five Fridges Farm

Farmers’ Market Friday evenings, 4-7 pm, throughout the summer: July 12, July 26, Aug 9, Aug 23, Sept 6, Sept 20, Oct 4, Oct 18, and Nov 10. Sample and buy cider, enjoy this amazing conservation protected farm in Wheat Ridge, and check out the fresh produce, baked goods, and CBD Oil for sale. 11100 W 38th Ave, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033.

Cider Circus

August 24, 2019, 1-6 p.m. The Cider Circus will offer more than 75 craft cider and craft beers for sampling. PLUS Jugglers, mimes, clowns, cider and live music! From nano and micro cideries to obscure, handpicked craft beers, you’ll enjoy amazing creations from the participating cider houses and breweries. 2875 Blake St, Denver, CO 80205. Tickets: $35-$50.

Lakewood Cider Days

October 5-6, 2019. Celebrating Lakewood’s agricultural heritage with an entertaining mix of live performances, activities and tasty harvest treats, Cider Days offers fun and excitement for the entire family! This year’s event will include tractor pulls and vintage power displays, wagon and barrel train rides along with other children’s activities, historic demonstrations and a unique variety of exhibitors and vendors. Lakewood Heritage Center, 801 S. Yarrow St. Event runs 10-5, tasting runs 12-4, both days.

 
 
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Location & Contact Info


We're moving! We’ve just signed a lease on a new facility in Wheat Ridge, CO and will be moving there in July. Sign up below for the opening party and cider specials. Our Denver sales room is open by appointment for off-premises sales only.

Location & Contact Info


We're moving! We’ve just signed a lease on a new facility in Wheat Ridge, CO and will be moving there in July. Sign up below for the opening party and cider specials. Our Denver sales room is open by appointment for off-premises sales only.

Denver Is No Longer OUR HOME (we Moved to wheat ridge!)

4965 Iris St, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033

Join our Mailing List!

SIGN UP TO RECEIVE EMAIL UPDATES ON OUR NEW TASTING ROOM, NEW PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENTS, SPECIAL PROMOTIONS, EVENTS, AND MORE... OR JUST DROP US A NOTE WITH QUESTIONS, IDEAS, OR ANYTHING APPLE RELATED.

 

303-656-9395
clearforkcider@gmail.com

Where to Buy


Where to Buy


Our cider is distributed widely around the state of Colorado. We're small. And local. And many sellers of specialty wines, beers, and spirits share our values and carry our cider.  A number of restaurants and cafes that appreciate local, artisanal products also serve our products. Ask for it!  And if you can't find it, let us know and we'll do our best to get it to you.

For retailers interested in carrying Clear Fork Cider, please contact us or our distributor, Elite Brands, directly, and ask for Cole Hanson.  

Elite Brands of Colorado   Info@elite-brands.com   Phone: 303.394.7535