Eventually, they figured out that they both lived in Washington and wanted to talk cider in person. “We met at Glen's [Garden Market],” Crosby says. “It was like a blind date.”
The two hit it off over a love of “West Coast"-style ciders: “West Coast cider is about approach and process more than anything else,” Sullivan explains. Instead of East Coast ciders, which tend to focus on heirloom-style apple varieties, “what the craft producers in the Pacific Northwest started doing is, they took the apples that were available and were being really creative about blending them for the right flavors and acid levels.”
“It's really classic American cider with a craft beer sensibility,” Crosby adds.
For their first release, which is being canned at Baltimore's Charm City Meadworks until their own facility is ready, Supreme Core worked with Virginia orchards to find the right fruit. “Working with small producers,” Sullivan says, “we can call them and say, 'Hey, how are the Gold Rush right now?' They can pull it off the trees and test the acids.” The cider hits all the right buzzwords: It's all-natural and sourced locally.
The first release — an unfiltered, unpasteurized dry cider called Micawber — is cloudy with a dry, tannic finish, and a slight sweetness from English ale yeast. The fruit-forward body is lightly carbonated, especially compared with some of the super-fizzy ciders from larger producers.
Supreme Core will sell Micawber for $10.99 to $11.99 for a four-pack of 12-ounce cans. “We want high-quality but accessible cider,” Crosby says. They plan to launch two versions of Micawber — the original and one that's been aged in Sagamore Rye barrels — in addition to another yet-to-be determined cider.
At Supreme Core's 5,000-square-foot production facility and taproom, which plans to open in November, Crosby would like to have at least six ciders, including experiments with sour ciders, infusions and some served from traditional English firkins.
“Ideally, every week or every other week we'd have something new,” he says. “If people like [the experimental batch], we'll scale it up. "
Supreme Core Cider launches Sept. 10 at both Glen's Garden Market locations: Dupont (2001 S St. NW) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Shaw (1924 Eighth St. NW) from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Sullivan and Crosby will be at both events. The production facility will be located at 2400 T St. NE.
Correction: The Micawber cider release party is on Sept. 10, not Sept. 9. This post has been updated.