While many of the breweries along South End brewery hoppers’ weekend crawl routes offer locally made GoodRoad or Red Clay ciders as their gluten-free alcoholic option, Sycamore Brewing now offers their own line of ciders – Wild Blossom.
The introduction of Wild Blossom to Sycamore’s lineup is part of the brewery’s larger expansion plans that have covertly been taking place over the last few months.
“Wild Blossom Cider is the perfect addition to our dynamic beer offering. Our Brut and Rosé ciders have become my go-to, guilt-free drinks of the summer,” says Sarah Brigham, co-owner of Sycamore Brewing. “It’s a new and unique product. It deserves its own look, feel, and brand.”
To the taproom regular, not much has changed as far as what’s pouring from Sycamore branded taps or cans. However, all production, except for the brewery’s barrel aging program, has seamlessly moved from their Hawkins Street facility to their new, 54,000-square-foot North End production facility – The Sycamore Brewing Cannery.
The move happened without any interruption to inventory, thanks to near around the clock brew days in anticipation of the move. What taproom patrons will notice are renovations to the existing taproom that will triple its taproom size, more than double its beer garden and make way for the brewery’s new sour program.
The increased brewing capacity has allowed Sycamore to distribute outside of Charlotte. Soon, the Triad, Triangle and Hickory regions will find Sycamore wares at their favorite watering hole or bottle shop.
All of this came at a time when the brewery hired a new head brewer, Brad Bergman. Bergman received his formal training at Appalachian State University, where he studied chemistry with an emphasis in brewing science, and SIEBEL. He polished his skills as both a brewer and cider maker at Boston Beer Company (Sam Adams and Angry Orchard) and Petoskey Brewing in Michigan.
“As the brewery’s footprint expanded, so did our team,” Brigham said. “We’ve hired a group of brewing professionals, led by our head brewer Brad, that are as good as it gets. Our commitment to quality begins with our people, our ingredients and our equipment. As a result, the liquid coming out of The Sycamore Brewing Cannery is very, very special.”
Expect ciders as unique and creative as Sycamore’s beers. When I stopped by the brewery last week, I had the chance to try their Rosé and Tropical ciders. The Rosé reminded me of a fun Italian frizzante, perfect for back porch or beer garden sipping on a warm summer evening. The Tropical was geared more towards sizzling summer afternoons with notes of pineapple, mango and yuzu that were rounded out with an almost sage-like finish. The Brut, I was told, drinks like a champagne – but with less calories for the figure conscious South End singles.
Expect to find both the Brut and Rosé in cans by the end of the summer with one offs like Tropical available on draft in the taproom.
Image courtesy of Sycamore Brewing