BoCo Cider, touted as Boulder’s first cidery by owner Michael Belochi, recently opened its tap room to the public.
Belochi, who has been selling kegs of his Boulder ciders to bars and restaurant since November, will have a grand opening Friday at his cidery, 1501 Lee Hill Drive, Unit 14. As part of the celebration from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, the cidery will give away baseball caps, have happy hour pricing and offer free snacks, Belochi said.
BoCo Cider has a 12-tap draft system, Belochi said. Ten taps are devoted to BoCo Cider flavors, one is a guest tap from St. Vrain Cidery in Longmont and one is a kombucha-infused flavor (non-alcoholic), said Belochi, who makes the hard apple ciders with Josh Smith.
“We have very unique flavors,” Belochi said. BoCo’s sour cider contains lacto bacteria, which is used in yogurt, to give it a sour touch. For the base, he uses apple juice from Washington state and Colorado. BoCo Cider ferments apple juice in steel tanks, and also in oak barrels.
For some flavors, he uses peach and pear juice or adds ginger root, he said. Those visiting the taproom can make special blends directly from the tap, he said.
“Our ciders are hard crafted ‘The Boulder Way,’” Belochi said, adding all BoCo ciders are unfiltered, gluten-free, contain no sulfites or artificial ingredients, and are naturally carbonated.
”Hard cider is made like wine and served like beer,” he said.
Cindy Landi, co-founder and CEO of St. Vrain Cidery, which offers more than 30 taps of cider and mead, is excited about BoCo. It will help all cideries to get attention, she said.
Colorado allows cideries to cross-sell their beverages through guest taps, which offers customers the chance to taste different ciders at one location, she said.
It’s a unique opportunity for cideries to support each other, said Belochi, who previously was a part owner in a local distillery.
“Breweries can’t cross-sell their products,” Belochi said, adding he thinks there’s plenty enough business for the cideries in Boulder County.