Boise-Based Cider Sisters Debut European-Style Cider 

Cider Sisters Cider releases a new batch of dry, England-inspired hard cider

click to enlarge Boiseans will be seeing a lot more of this Cider Sisters Cider logo designed by local artist Erin Cunningham.  - CIDER SISTERS CIDER
  • Cider Sisters Cider
  • Boiseans will be seeing a lot more of this Cider Sisters Cider logo designed by local artist Erin Cunningham.

Katy Dang, home brewer extraordinaire and co-founder of new Boise cidery Cider Sisters Cider, had her first sip of hard cider while exploring England as a teenager in the 1980s. It was love at first taste, and the spark of excitement began a decades-long affair.

“I spent my teen years with a fake ID searching out Guinness and cider,” Dang said as she stacked red Cider Sisters T-shirts and buttons at Bar Gernika on Sept. 7 in preparation for a tasting of the newest brew from the fledgling company. Dang knew she “wanted in” on the alcohol industry somehow, but only ended up in cider when her plan to catch the craft beer wave fell through—she didn’t want to miss out twice.

click to enlarge Grab a glass of LCB2 at Neurolux, where this shot of the original LCB was taken. - CIDER SISTERS CIDER
  • Cider Sisters Cider
  • Grab a glass of LCB2 at Neurolux, where this shot of the original LCB was taken.


In 2013, Dang and fellow Cider Sister Stephanie May, who had also been chasing the elusive perfect cider since experiencing dry pours in Europe, began brewing their own miniature batches of Boise-made hard cider. The sisters were on the hunt for a particular flavor they hadn’t yet found in the City of Trees: a dry, tart cider reminiscent of their favorite traditional European beverages.

“We started out making one-gallon jars, and it was horrible,” said Dang, smiling at the memory. "But then we got better.”

Over the next three years of experimentation and research, the duo moved on to fermenting
five-gallon jars, and then to batches big enough to bottle. They brew the batches at Hat Ranch Winery in Caldwell in a space owned by the University of Idaho that serves as an incubator for agricultural businesses. CSC sold its first batch of cider commercially in 2016, naming it Lost Carboy after a carboy (a large glass flagon) with the original brew in it went missing and the cider had to be re-made from scratch.

click to enlarge - Cider Sister Katy Dang adds to a fermenting brew. -  - CIDER SISTERS CIDER
  • Cider Sisters Cider
  • Cider Sister Katy Dang adds to a fermenting brew.

“We are cider purists, always seeking the Lost Carboy, that carrier of dreams and good taste,” reads the CSC website. “The only flavors you will taste in this exceptionally dry, unfiltered, traditional cider are those created by the interaction of the apples and the finest yeast as they ferment and age over time.”

After the successful debut of Lost Carboy, the sisters set about recreating their achievement with a second batch from the same recipe, dubbed Lost Carboy 2017, or LCB2. They shuttled out to Caldwell to taste it every few days, and the brew perfectly mirrored Lost Carboy 2016 until Aug. 23, the first post-eclipse tasted.

“It sounds wild, but it seems like something happened during the eclipse that affected the flavor,” wrote Dang in a news release. “It got a little kick to it.” A quick taste of the pale-yellow pour confirmed the kick—the brew is tart, crisp and, as promised, very dry, with a distinctly sour bite and a hint of vinegar lingering on the finish. The mouthfeel is unique as well, leaving more a tingle on the tongue than a true fizz.

According to Dang, LCB2 is now available at various bars, restaurants and grocery stores across town, including Bar Gernika, Sofia’s Greek Bistro, Neurolux, Hilltop Station, Pengilly’s Saloon and both Boise Co-op locations. Cider lovers can also order bottles directly from the sisters through the CSC website (cidersisterscider.com).

“I’m actually stocking the bars in town that I go to,” said Dang, laughing. “I want to go out and drink my own stuff.”

So far, Dang says there has only been one hitch in distribution.

“My husband tries to drink it all," she said. "That’s really our biggest problem.”


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