Back in 2013, Joel Malone established a Kickstarter to help fund his dream of opening a cidery in the Bishop Arts District. Roughly a year later, Malone finally saw the end in sight, telling the Observer at the time that, "Dallas is going through a whole transition to wanting more wineries and breweries, but they don't have the infrastructure." Considering the number of breweries operating in the city, Dallas has come a long way. In that time, Bishop Cider Co. has also grown after opening their taproom in 2014. However, the small taproom, located behind Lockhart Smokehouse in Bishop Arts, is no longer large enough to suit their needs. Almost a year ago, Bishop Cider Co. announced that they would be expanding to a much larger location in the Design District, already home to a number of Dallas breweries.
After a grand opening on Feb. 27, Bishop Cider Co.'s new cidery is now open every Friday from 4-10 p.m. and Saturday from noon-4 p.m. for tours, while their old location will keep its current hours. The new location is much larger than the old taproom, at roughly 700 square feet. Right inside the door is a large bar where you can purchase 12-ounce drafts of cider, or if you paid $15 at the door ($10 in advance), you will receive three eight-ounce samples and a tour. Much like craft beer, cider attracts patrons from all walks of life. Despite being open for less than an hour on our last visit, the large taproom was already filling up with people enjoying the live music. Eventually, everyone was invited into the adjacent room where the cider is made (and where they make all their own tap handles) for a tour that was more of a lesson on the cider-making process and an informal Q&A conducted by Malone.
All cider being sold by Bishop Cider Co. is derived from a juice purchased from a company in the Pacific Northwest. However, for those who drink Nectar, one of the most popular ciders they sell, the taste has changed in the last few weeks. This is due to Bishop Cider's quest to use the best possible ingredients, which don't always coming from the same suppliers. The product also changes depending on which fruits are in season. Additionally, the apples used to make cider are much different from those purchased in a grocery store. The ones used for cider are almost inedible.
For those interested in visiting the new cidery, patrons are treated to upcoming and unique ciders that cannot be found anywhere else. One of the newest coming from Bishop Cider is "Sour Cherry," which tastes just like the name implies: It's sour and tart, with a light mouthfeel. It will hit taps later this month. Bishop Cider Co. plans to release one or two new ciders each month.
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One of the more unique products being offered is Bishop Cider's "Cideways" series, which are ciders made with different styles of hops. Unlike the beer brewing process, hops used with cider allow the hop taste to really come through, making the Cideways series the best way for beer drinkers to transition to drinking cider, as the flavor could easily be described as an "apple beer" because the taste is quite floral and uncarbonated. Along with the Cideways series, Bishop Cider will keep branching out and soon begin making mead, made from the fermentation of honey, in their old Bishop Arts location.
With the warm weather already creeping in this year, Bishop Cider is on track to quench a lot of thirsty palates this summer. Between growler fills and now bottles of Nectar and Crackberry on sale, for people looking to branch out and drink something local that isn't craft beer, Bishop Cider is definitely worth it.
Bishop Cider Co. Cidery, 2777 Irving Blvd., Suite 200