When Anxo opened its Brightwood Park cidery and tasting room in May, the major appeal was the promise of the traditional ciders being produced in-house.
Anxo has made ciders at its original location, in Truxton Circle, but they were a mere drop compared to the new 1,000-gallon fermenters in Brightwood Park.
On Saturday, Anxo will tap the first fruits of its labors on Kennedy Street NW: Cidre Blanc, which has been aging in stainless steel tanks for the last two-and-a-half months. Made exclusively with Gold Rush apples from Winchester, Va., it's fermented with sauvignon blanc yeast and described by Anxo as having “bright acidity that fades into juicy peach and apricot notes with hints of lemon that are balanced by subtle tannins.” Cidre Blanc will eventually begin to show up at other Washington restaurants and bars.
The increase in production volume doesn't mean Anxo is giving up on its experimental side: Five blended ciders are also going on tap this weekend, all of which are traditional ciders or acidic Spanish-style sidras made using juice from apples or crab apples foraged in D.C. last fall.
These are much smaller batches, Anxo co-founder Sam Fitz explained in an email, and despite the size of the new cidery, they won't be the last: “We definitely plan on continuing to release one-off batches throughout the year as we press more limited-quantity special apples.” These limited offerings will only be available in the tasting room.
This weekend, a trio of ciders will be served as a Spanish-style “escanciar” flight, which refers to the showy manner in which they're poured from the bottle. “Spanish style sidras are packaged still and poured from height as a method of decantation that simulates a slight carbonation,” explains Anxo cidermaker Greg Johnson.
A flight costs $5, and the individual tastings will be poured one at a time. “Each pour of sidra is small, meant a single serving to be consumed almost immediately,” Johnson says.
A $12 flight with three-ounce pours of Cidre Blanc and three of the foraged ciders will also be available. Additionally, the kitchen will serve Spanish-style pork ribs from 1 to 7 p.m.
On Sunday, the party moves to the original Anxo location on Florida Ave. NW, with a seafood paella feast on the patio from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a txotx, or free-flowing barrel of wine, being offered hourly. Cidre Blanc and at least one of the foraged blends will be sold on tap.
Porron, Anxo's pop-up space on Barracks Row, will also offer Cidre Blanc, which can be drunk Spanish-style, straight from the glass pitcher, or porron, beginning at 10 a.m.
The Spanish-style sidras will cost $9 to $11 for 12-ounce bottles, while Cidre Blanc and the other new ciders will be $7 to $9 per six-ounce pour.
Anxo, 711 Kennedy St. NW; 300 Florida Ave NW; 525 Eighth St. SE.