"Yeah," Josh laughs. "That's some serious bite, huh?"
I take another sip of his hard cider. To be honest, it isn't so much cider anymore as it is an apple wine. The potency is through the roof, the flavor divine, and I can only think about how awesome it would be to try and make my own.
"So how'd you make this?"
"A community cider pressing. Want me to let you know next time we do it?"
My eyes dart back and forth, looking for the yellow barn.
"It should be around here somewhere," Brad says as we tool down the little highway through the north of Longmont.
"You mean that one?" I ask, spotting the small army toiling away. "With all the people, loads of apples, and strange-looking machines?"
"Oh, it's right there," he replies, stepping on his brakes to make the turn.
We pull in with an SUV loaded with empty barrels, gaskets and airlocks for the fermentation process, knowing that Brad, Erin, Josh, Laura and friends had picked a mass of apples the previous weekend with cider in mind. None of the 900 pounds of apples laid out in row upon row of bushels are theirs, meaning this is a larger operation than I had anticipated.
I snap a photo or two with my phone, a less than stellar, but ample alternative to bringing a mass of equipment, and weave my way through the heart of the operation to find Josh.
"Hey!" Josh calls as I approach. "Want to tag in and take over at the press so I can find my lovely wife?"
"Umm, sure," I say, unsure of what I'm getting myself into. "Just show me what to do."
And just like that, I join the fray.
My Six Degrees of Cider Separation starts with my good friend Josh. Josh, who grew up split between Colorado and Vermont, is a virtual homesteading renaissance man. His family owns a quarry in Lyons, and he's slowly rebuilding his flood damaged log cabin home by hand with the help of friends and family.