Starting today, May 19, and running through Saturday, May 24, the fourth annual Minneapolis Cider Week will take over Town Hall Brewery. The local brewpub chain often promotes beers crafted in-house, but for this unique event the spotlight will be on cider, with a week of special offerings and a bicycle crawl that covers much of Minneapolis.
"Minneapolis Cider Week started as a Town Hall Tap event when that location first opened," says owner Pete Rifakes. "We created it to celebrate the craft of making artisan cider. Now that cider has grown in popularity, so has the event."Town Hall Lanes will each have 10 ciders on tap. Additional ticketed tastings are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, with cider makers on hand to discuss the business. To close out the week, Town Hall Tap will host a homebrew cider contest judged by British cider maker Henry Chevallier Guild of Aspall Cider.
Also on Saturday is the Minneapolis Cider Bicycle Crawl, an event sponsored by Town Hall and Sociable Cider Werks in which participants receive a punch card and can travel between the three Town Hall locations and Sociable Cider Werks sampling ciders and filling up their punch cards. The first to fill a punch card wins a special prize.
Cider is the fastest growing segment of the beverage market, increasing 49 percent in national sales in 2013. Local start-up Crispin was purchased by Miller-Coors in 2012, and Sociable Cider Werks opened last year in northeast Minneapolis with a cider-first focus.
For more information about the event, follow @MPLSCiderWeek on Twitter.