web

Inspired by drier British ciders, Whidbey deejay creates his own

After deejaying in London, one South Whidbey cider maker is branching out.

Sweeter is not always better, as one South Whidbey cider maker is hoping to show people.

During his time spent deejaying in London, Christopher Powell learned to appreciate a drier type of cider. While adjusting to the pub culture, he started drinking English dry cider.

This type of cider, he explained, is characterized by its lower sugar content.

Back in the states — where he and his wife, Anna, currently live — Powell sought out cider that was similar to what he had drunk across the pond.

But it wasn’t a very fruitful search.

“There’s this misconception that Americans just like sweet cider,” Powell said. “I couldn’t find the cider I liked, so I decided I would just try to make it.”

And so Misfit Island Cider Company was born about two years ago, although the Powells have been fermenting cider for longer than that.

Things have really branched out within the last year when Powell, who has been working from home, found time to focus on his cider craft.

“The whole COVID thing motivated me to step up what I was doing,” he said. “I kind of had a much longer time frame to do this all.”

The couple have planted 15 different varieties of trees which produce apples used in French and English ciders. Powell hopes to have 150 trees total.

For now, he has had to settle for using “community-sourced” apples in his cider while the trees grow.

In some of his ciders, Powell uses fresh hops, which are from Perrault Farms near Yakima. He encourages beer drinkers to try his cider, because the taste of the hops isn’t muddled by other flavors.

Misfit Island Cider Company’s newest flavor, which is a coffee cider, is a collaboration between the cidery and Mukilteo Coffee Roasters.

Powell added 25 pounds of coffee beans to the cider two weeks before bottling it, and added lactose sugar — which is unfermentable and gives the cider a creamy texture — a few days before bottling. Upon first sip, it’s similar in taste to a stout beer, but after a few moments it evolves into something more acidic and similar to a cider.

If the words “dry cider” makes those with a sweet tooth out there cringe, not to worry. Misfit Island’s ciders are palatable without being overly bitter.

Powell explained that he tries to use several different yeast strains in the cider-making process. He has always admired the potential for experimentation in microbreweries, and has been doing the same with his microcidery.

A nod to his career as “CJ the DJ,” the ciders are all infused with reggae.

“There is a lot of study around live organisms and positive music helping with its overall growth,” Powell said. “During all primary fermentation of any of my batches I play loud reggae out here for the first week and a half.”

The cider is aged for three to eight months, depending on its kind, in Powell’s garage that he hopes to turn into a tasting room when COVID is not an issue anymore.

Powell is self-taught, but that hasn’t stopped him from mastering the craft.

“It’s been very scary for sure because I don’t really know what I’m doing and whether I’m doing it right,” he said, “but I read a lot and try to get as much information as possible, and practice makes perfect.”

Misfit Island’s cider is available at the Bayview Taproom, the Penn Cove Taproom, the Greenbank Farm and several restaurants. Bottles, which are 22 ounces, range in price from $10 to $12 and are available for purchase.

To get a growler filled or to schedule a private tasting, email misfit.island.cider.company@gmail.com.

Misfit Island Cider Company is hoping to start a cider club — similar in idea to a wine club — next. For more information, visit misfitislandcidercompany.com.

web

More in Life

Sherman, Phyllis
Rockin’ a Hard Place: A beautiful remembrance to heal a forgettable time

Each of us has that wonderful remembrance to treasure.

South Whidbey Homeless Coalition donation by Rotary
South Whidbey Rotary clubs donate to Homeless Coalition

Last Friday, the two Rotary Clubs on South Whidbey presented Executive Director… Continue reading

Whidbey writer’s hospice book released in paperback

Oak Harbor author Karen J. Clayton’s book, “Demystifying Hospice: Inside the Stories… Continue reading

Reading to dog
Therapy dogs go online

Reading with Rover pairs pooches with young readers

Annual Whidbey Gardening Workshop grows online this year

The island-wide gardening event is back this year after it was cancelled due to the pandemic.

Mead maker Jeremy Kyncl pours a tasting glass of Hawthorn Tulsi Mead, a blend of hawthorn berry and holy basil, in the new Whidbey tasting room of Hierophant Meadery. Photo by Kira Erickson/South Whidbey Record
From bluff to bluff: Meadery off to sweet start

Hierophant Meadery in Freeland features local honey in its sweet brews.

Currently identified as Sandy Point, this name has been given to many places on the shores of Washington State. The most historic one is on Whidbey Island, at the southwestern entrance to Saratoga Passage. It was the site of a centuries old permanent Snohomish Tribal Village and a major Potlatch Center. Its clam beds drew indigenous visitors as far away as the central coast and Snohomish River valley. Captain George Vancouver noted in his journals that Master Joseph Whidbey saw over 200 people at this site when his ship circumnavigated the Island in 1791. Photo provided.
Research project dives into South Whidbey history

A woman is asking for folks to help her with a research project exploring the years 1870-1940.

Untreated
Lead actress Shannyn Sossamon talks with filmmakers Andy Morehouse, left, and Nate Bell while filming "The House After Westerly". Photo by Wes Anthony/Firehouse Creative
Film featuring Whidbey free to view temporarily

“The Hour After Westerly” is free to view online until Jan. 17.

Susie Van
WI Drive helping to get the elderly, disabled where they need to go

A Langley woman gives rides to people in need in her new van named “Cookie.”

I Love You
Wendy’s manager shares the love one drive-thru customer at a time

April DiDonna tells Oak Harbor Wendy’s customers she cares.

Goodall arranges some food in the to-go window, where customers pick up their food from outside.
New cafe in town adapted to COVID world

Langley Kitchen has adapted to the times.

Artist Wayne Kangas, left, and Langley Arts Fund member Don Wodjenski install the Village by the Sea’s newest public art feature, a weather vane. Photo provided
Flying fish tells the weather

The Langley Arts Fund raised money for a new piece of public art in Clyde Alley.