Food & Drink » Food News

Idaho Alcohol Makes its Mark at Sip Northwest's Best of the Northwest Competition

by

Meriwether Cider was Idaho's big winner at the Best of the Northwest Competition from Sip Northwest magazine, which pits beer, wine, cider and spirits from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and British Columbia against each other for the title of best in the region.

Meriwether Cider's Cranberry Crosscut will be available to the public starting Thursday, Nov. 1. - COURTESY MERIWETHER CIDER
  • Courtesy Meriwether Cider
  • Meriwether Cider's Cranberry Crosscut will be available to the public starting Thursday, Nov. 1.
This year's competition garnered over 1,200 entries, including more than 650 wines, 250 beers, and nearly 150 each of spirits and ciders. In the final lists, released on Sip Northwest's website on Oct. 15, Idaho came up short overall to Washington and Oregon, but Gem State brews still made an appearance in all four categories, with Garden City-based Meriwether taking home a whopping seven medals, including three first-place "double golds."

"We are just super stoked to be recognized in the magazine, and to be able to stand with all of these incredible ciders that are being produced around the Northwest," said Meriwether Co-owner Molly Leadbetter, who added that this and other competitions are proof Meriwether isn't just a big fish in Boise's small cider pond.

Up North Distillery took home two medals and a Judges' Pick. - COURTESY UP NORTH DISTILLERY
  • Courtesy Up North Distillery
  • Up North Distillery took home two medals and a Judges' Pick.
"It's pretty awesome to have that regional recognition of, 'You know what, we're making cider the right way,'" she said.

While some of Meriwether's winning ciders are seasonal, two—the Strong Arm Semi-Sweet and Hop Shot—are available in its taprooms year-round, and a third, Cranberry Crosscut, will debut Thursday, Nov. 1.



Other Idaho representatives include Up North Distillery (two medals and a Judges' Pick), Koenig Distillery (one medal), Ste. Chapelle (one medal) and Payette Brewing (one medal). Check out a list of the winning brews below.

Spirits:
  • Koenig Distillery Seven Devils—Silver in Rye Whiskey
  • Up North Distillery Apple—Silver in Brandy
  • Up North Distillery Big Kid Cider—Silver in Fruit Liqueur
  • Up North Distillery 3-Year Apple Brandy—Judges' Pick
Cider:
  • Meriwether Cider Co. Strong Arm Semi-Sweet—Tied for Silver in Modern
  • Meriwether Cider Co. Hardwood—Silver in Oak-Aged
  • Meriwether Cider Co. Cranberry Crosscut—Double Gold in Fruit
  • Meriwether Cider Co. Cherry Thyme Bomb—Double Gold in Stone Fruit
  • Meriwether Cider Co. Apricot Sage—Tied for Gold in Stone Fruit
  • Meriwether Cider Co. Hop Shot—Double Gold in Hopped
  • Meriwether Cider Co. Grapefruit Rosemary—Bronze in Spice/Botanical
Wine:
  • Ste. Chapelle 2015, Snake River Valley—Gold in Malbec
Beer:
  • Payette Brewing Co. Recoil IPA—Tied for Bronze in American-Style IPA