“Cider-centric:” make room, craft beer

One of Thousand Acre Cider House’s “cidertenders” Adam Coy pouring a flight of ciders on Tuesday, Oct. 1. // Photo by Claire Ott

By Carl Bryden

Thousand Acre Cider House, which opened this summer, offers a new take on the classic tap house. 

Since opening, Thousand Acre has held onto the core value of community building. 

“We’re really hoping to be a part of the revitalization of downtown Bellingham,” owner Jenny Hagemann said.

The cider house stands out by emphasizing their selection of ciders above all else. With 18 ciders, six beers on tap and over 200 bottles and cans of cider on-site there are options for everyone. 

“While most tap houses feature maybe one cider and twenty beers, we have the polar opposite,” employee Jenn Knutzen said. “It’s completely cider-focused and cider-centric.”

Thousand Acre features the ciders and beers displayed against an exposed brick wall. A mix of Hawaiian, reggae and miscellaneous music fills the space.

Thousand Acre Cider House’s chalkboard-style menu behind the bar at their downtown location on Tuesday, Oct. 1. // Photo by Claire Ott

“Cider is popular, and it seems like a lot of people were waiting for us to open up,” Knutzen added.

While they opened on Aug. 7, they held their official grand opening during Washington Cider Week, Sept. 6-8 this year.

“We wanted to open a business in a community that was large enough to support the business, but still small enough for us to feel at home,” Hagemann said.

Hagemann and co-owner James Hagemann were introduced to cider in 2015 and have since explored the world sampling and learning about different kinds of cider. They have incorporated this into the business by carrying a number of imported ciders and drinks. This includes their traditional prohibition cider from Saanichton, British Columbia, as well as their Kupela Basque Cider imported from northern Spain. 

The employees all boast an extensive knowledge of cider, assisting customers as they choose between ciders.

A front-facing view of the Thousand Acre Cider House taken mid-day on Tuesday, Oct. 1. // Photo by Claire Ott

They feature art by local artists as well as old photos of Bellingham.

The cider house also offers a book and board game collection and shuffleboard. While they don’t offer table service, they have a number of shareable food items.

“I love working here,” employee Monica Smith said. “[The Hagemanns] have been great employers and the work they’ve put into this place and the community is incredible.”

The cider house plans to get involved with the community by hosting a number of events in the coming year like the Sippin’ on Cider Celebration. They will also partner with non-profit Shifting Gears to host a pre-festival celebration on Oct. 4.

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