With the popularity of ciders the last few years, local cideries decided to showcase this refreshing beverage. The inaugural Southwest Cider Festival takes place on Saturday Nov. 10th at Cider Corps in Mesa. At the 5-hour festival Cider Corps will pour Arizona’s Stoic Cider & Crush Craft Cider and ciders from Colorado, Texas, Washington, California and New York.
Guests will also be able to sample bites from local food trucks and enjoy live music.
“People are so interested to learn about and experiment with cider and that’s what this event is all about – a chance for everyone to continue to learn, sample and collaborate,” said festival organizer Josh Duren.
Brothers Josh and Jason opened Cider Corps last year and have produced over 70 ciders and have a loyal legion of fans. They push the envelope when it comes to making cider and helped put Arizona on the cider map.Tickets for the festival are $50 per with a portion going to Operation Homefront. A non-profit Operation Homefront helps local veterans and their families. Tickets include up to 20 cider samples and $5 food truck credit. The festival goes from 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Update: The February 28th groundbreaking has been postponed. Stay tuned for when It will be re-scheduled. The $5 Reggie special & Free coffee w/ purchase of t-shirt will still be honored on the 28th.
The downtown Mesa music scene wouldn’t be the same without the Nile Theater. To keep going strong they’re going to give their vegan restaurant Volstead Public House a new name, Nile Cafe. The new name will begin efforts to re-brand and market the theater in the 21st century.
Starting on February 28th renovations will begin on the facade outside the theater with a groundbreaking ceremony with Mesa Mayor John Giles and others in attendance.
“The logo and joining of the café and theater are final seal on the work we have been doing since taking over the space 7 years ago,” said Michelle Donovan of the Mantooth Group. “The rebranded ties all our efforts together into one complete package and gives us room to grow into what The Nile really has always been – a focal point of entertainment and community for Downtown Mesa.”
The Nile Cafe food specials
After the 10:30 a.m. ceremony the new Nile Cafe will offer an all day food and drink special from their all plant-based menu. Guest can enjoy a FREE cup of coffee when you purchase a new Nile t-shirt and the popular Reggie vegan grilled cheese sandwich will be available for only $5.The menu created by Donovan offers vegan diners dishes like The Squawker Texas Ranger ($9.99) with vegan chicken drenched in buffalo sauce, My Boy Blue Sandwich ($9.99) with blueberry BBQ fried chicken, and The Philly ($8.50) with vegan steak sautéed in green and yellow peppers, onions and the café’s special marinade. The café also has daily scones and pastries, coffee, tea and beer.
The Nile music scene
The Nile dates back to 1924 as movie and music venue with multiple music genre’s playing there to fans. 4 bands will return on the 28th to help solidify The Nile Theater as a cornerstone of downtown Mesa. Senses Fail, Reggie , The Full Effect and Have Mercy have played The Nile in the last 20 years and return to the stage to celebrate the day.
“These groups bring back a lot of memories from coming to The Nile when I was in high school and college, and now as the owner,” Donovan said
I love a good cider as nothing beats it on a hot summer day and with the autumns seasonal foods and holidays. Just in time for the holiday season Arizona’s first cidery, Cider Corps will open its doors for its first public event on Saturday November 11th from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. for its Veteran’s Day Open House.
Cider Corps open house
The veteran owned cidery is just off Main St. in downtown Mesa and the open house is two blocks from the finish line of Mesa’s Veteran’s Day Parade. From 10-11 a.m. guests a can come by and get a mulled cider or coffee to go so they can watch the parade.
Brothers Josh and Jason Duren will be showing off their small batch hard ciders, non-alcoholic mulled ciders and cold brew coffee during the open house. A food truck will be on hand to serve food to guests and tours of the cidery will be given.
Small batch “Pie Ciders” will be available for purchase in Cider Corps limited edition 32 ounce “crowlers” or you can bring your own growler. Cost of the ciders to go will range from $12- $20.
“Pie Ciders” will remind guests of their favorite holiday pies like mixed berry and pumpkin. Cold Brew cider will also be available.
Cider Corps ciders are currently available at over 30 bars and restaurants around Phoenix, Tucson and Prescott.
Veterans community spot
Jason is a retired Sargent in the United States Marine Corps and will be speaking about his time in the service and how he and Josh plan to help veterans through Cider Corps. The cidery is dedicated to be used by veterans and veteran organizations as a community gathering place.
“To open the taproom this way is the embodiment of Cider Corps’ mission: Drink great ciders, honor great sacrifice,” said Josh. “We want it to be a place for veterans to be honored through times of awareness.”
The parade and Veteran’s Day Open House are important part of the brothers devotion to cider and veterans as they started making cider a s a hobby when Jason returned home from Afghanistan with 2 traumatic brain injuries from IED blasts.