Cider Circus at Copper Mountain Resort celebrates Rocky Mountain ciders
IF YOU GO
What: Cider Circus
When: Saturday, Aug. 27
Where: Copper Mountain Resort
Cost: Friday’s Big Top Cheese Pairing, $25; Grand Tasting, $35 and First Pour $50; Circus Sunset 5K, $25
Friday, Aug. 26
6–8 p.m.: Circus Sunset 5K
6:30–8:30 p.m.: Big Top Cheese Pairing
6:30–8 p.m.: Live Music with Mountain Meadow Bluegrass
Saturday, Aug. 27
1–6 p.m.: First Pour Premier Sampling
1–4 p.m.: DJ Landry
1–3:30 p.m.: Aerial Show
2–6 p.m.: Grand Tasting
4–6 p.m.: Free Live Music direct from New Orleans, Big Sam’s Funk Nation
6–8 p.m.: Dinner and After-Party in Village Restaurants
7 p.m.: Copper Campfire& Live Music with Randell McKinnon (Center Village - Fire Globe)
8:30 p.m.: Fireworks over West Lake in Center Village
After a successful first year, Cider Circus is back and even bigger this summer. Serving up cider and beer from around 25 breweries, the event will feature free live music, a Friday cheese pairing and aerial arts performances by Fractal Tribe out of Boulder. Headlining the event is Big Sam’s Funky Nation from New Orleans.
The festival showcases ciders from Washington and Vermont and many from around the Colorado area.
“Colorado is a growing cider region, and the cider makers of Colorado or the Rocky Mountain region will tell you the characteristics of the apples grown there impact the flavor of the cider,” said Stephanie Carson, director and media coordinator of SuperFly Fabulous Events, who is hosting the festival.
With even more breweries signed on this year, organizers with SuperFly are also offering a new Cider University, presented by Cidr Box. Several different classes, running from 1 p.m. until 4:30 p.m., will be hosted in conjunction with the festival on Jack’s Bar deck.
“Cider University involves folks being able to sit down and take 30-minute classes on anything from cider cocktails, to cider food pairings, to just knowing what kind of cider to buy in the store,” Carson said. “Cider University falls in line with what our overall goal has always been, which is to create a more educated consumer population in the area about how to pick a great cider and to understand there are some great regional ciders to enjoy, as well.”
The classes are included with festival entry, and guests can take as many or as little as they like.
While the event focuses on beverages of its namesake, there will be craft beer.
“We do that because there are folks (who) still don’t care for cider, or maybe they don’t think they care for cider,” Carson said. “What I loved seeing last year was the number of people (who) came for the beer and left drinking more cider because they discovered there were styles they actually like.”
On Friday, the event will feature a Circus Sunset 5K from 6–8:30 p.m., or for those who want to get straight to it, a Big Top Cheese Pairing from 6:30–8:30 p.m. There will be free live music with Mountain Meadow Bluegrass from 6:30–8 p.m.
For the cheese pairing, organizers worked with The Cheese Shop of Breckenridge. Representatives from The Cheese Shop selected five artisan cheeses to be paired with brews from Gumption Cider, Portland Cider, Colorado Cider Company, Stem Cider and Wandering Aengus.
“It kind of goes along with the trend that we are seeing, that cheese doesn’t just go with wine, but it also goes with beer and cider really well, and they complement each other,” Carson said.
A SuperFly infusion master will be traveling the tasting area with what is called a randall, which connects to a keg of beer or cider, allowing the liquid to flow through fresh ingredients. It creates another layer of flavor and uses ingredients like jalapeno and pineapple. Due to its popularity last year, this year organizers are bringing two randalls.
“The brewers and the cider makers really liked it last year, too, because it kind of gave some of them some cool ideas of what they might try next,” Carson said.
First Pour ticket holders can enter an hour early from the rest of the crowd, and Whole Foods will be sponsoring appetizers during the hour, as well as special tappings.
Kids and leashed pets are welcome into the festival.
For entertainment, stilt walkers and aerial acrobatics from Boulder-based Fractal Tribe will return for the second year. Last year, MarchFourth! brought their large group of performers and dancers to the stage, and, this year, urban funk band Big Sam’s Funky Nation will close out the evening with a performance from 4–6 p.m.
Team Summit will be the beneficiary of the event, and there will be nonalcoholic cider at the festival for kids.
“We’re big skiers, and our children are ski race team, and we really believe in what that’s done to build their character and self-confidence, and so we are really happy to be able to benefit the race team and the kids that participate in that,” said Carson.
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