Outside of Julian off the 78 right before you hit the curve in Wynola Junction, tucked inside the Wynola Farms Marketplace you will find the tasting room for Julian Hard Cider, apples done the way they should be.
Cider was the true American drink of choice before the prohibition and German beer taking over. As bathtub gin was being brewed and whiskey was distilled for the heavy drinkers, the every day drinker drank apple cider. In many instances it was actually safer (and tastier) to drink apple cider compared to the local water.
Nowadays, very few micro-breweries have taken on the tradition and task of brewing hard ciders. Most on the market are heavy on the sugar, while Julian Hard Cider has a dry and tangy taste. Currently the apples used in the cider are based out of Oregon, but starting the fall some recipes will include Julian apples… but not all. With three years of hard work and four months of being on the market, owner Paul Thomas and buddies brewed some cider, opened the saloon-style tasting room and got a huge distribution deal with none other than Stone Brewing Co. They will need to keep using those Oregon apples to keep up with their growing distribution because it will be hitting bars everywhere.
The folks at Julian Hard Cider really are American to the Core… true to their love of history, good beer, local investment, oh and also happen to be members of American Legion. I really need to give extra special thanks to Paul, Denise and Brad who made sure that I had an excellent tasting experience. I walked away with three bottles of Hard Cider, a key chain, a Julian bumper sticker and a t-shirt with one of the coolest logos I have seen since… I’m not even sure when.
Currently, Julian Hard Cider is on tap at The Local (downtown), The TapRoom (Pacific Beach), and Toronado (North Park) according to Tap Hunter… who are the best authority in San Diego, and 4 other major cities, of what beers are where. I also heard it was available at BevMo and Whole Foods now. Go out, try it! If you like it, tell your local bar to check into getting it on tap or in bottles.
Addtional note straight from Paul: During the harvest this year, I am going to invite our fans to one of our partner orchards and teach them how to make AMAZING hard cider on their own using local apples and inexpensive, basic equipment available in town. It will include lunch made from local farm ingredients, a great education and PLENTY of hard cider to enjoy.