LIQUID LIBATIONS/mead & cider
Innovation through Collaboration
by Chris Lozier
ierophant Meadery and Twilight Cider Works are great friends and neighbors on Green Bluff, and now they are partners under the roof of Solace Mead & Cider in Kendall Yards. With about 10 mead and cider taps, bottle and by-the-glass sales, and rare mead and cider cocktails, their cooperative tasting room brings their unique products together in an innovative way. Twilight and Hierophant are already popular destinations on the Bluff and staples of the Kendall Yards Night Market. Solace Mead & Cider won’t replace their Green Bluff production facilities and tasting rooms, but it will offer products that you cannot find elsewhere, like a new line of draft ciders from Twilight. Twilight’s ciders are made from Green Bluff apples, some of which owners Will and Jackie Jordan grow themselves at their family farm across the street from the production facility. Served alongside their original line of complex and sophisticated artisan ciders at Solace, Will says the new line of draft ciders are more like beer, poured in pints and growlers rather than wine glasses. “They’re not meant to be saved for the holidays, this is the stuff that you want to take home because it’s Tuesday and you had a hard day at work or friends are coming over,” says Will. Also on tap, Hierophant’s session meads (beer-strength honey brews) include peach, raspberry, spiced apple, elderberry, dandelion wit, and other seasonals. In addition to their traditional non-carbonated bottled meads, they even have some carbonated full-strength meads on tap, like their hopped and chamomile varieties. Kindred Spirits Mead and hard cider are two of the least-known but fastest-growing craft beverage categories, so Hierophant and Twilight have plenty in common. Twilight’s Will and Jackie and Hierophant’s Jeremy and Michelle Kyncl have been cooperating on the Bluff for years—sharing ingredients, equipment, and ideas—and through those experiences they learned that they were kindred spirits. When Michelle heard about an open retail space in Kendall Yards, a community interested in artisan-centric, locally owned businesses like theirs, their friendly partnership came to fruition. “It was our first thought—these are the people we want to work with,” says Michelle about
spokanecda.com • OCTOBER • 2016
Will and Jackie. “They truly are our best friends.” Michelle first learned about cooperative tasting rooms on mead sales trips to Seattle and Walla Walla. She says she loves the concept of small businesses working together, and says that starting the business in Kendall Yards was an easy decision. She and husband Jeremy think it’s an incredible part of Spokane, and both said that Greenstone, the property developer, has been very supportive of locally owned businesses like theirs. “The more small business, the more craft beverage, and the more art you put in a space, the more of a hub it becomes for the city,” she says, explaining that Solace will contribute to that community spirit by participating in First Friday, working with neighboring Marmot Art Space to host co-op art parties, and more. Solace is a friendly space with about 16 seats, and next spring they will open a patio to double that. They serve small plates which include local cheeses and smoked salmon from Sandpoint, Idaho-based Thunder’s Catch Seafood, another Night Market regular. People can also enjoy French press coffee from neighborhood roaster Tom Sawyer Country Coffee, and herbal teas from Seattle’s Cunning Crow Apothecary.