2017 is rolling out before us and in the midst of planning out bottlings and label printings, its also a great time to reflect back through adventures passed. Last year was our biggest year of cider production. It pushed us to really look into the characters and expressions of each apple pressing and figure out how to shape them into bottlings that truly represent the Reef Points spirit. Fortunately, it was also good year for friends, fishing and spearing. The inspiration lead to a limited release bottling of Unhooked.
Our friends Drew and Ben at Cana Outdoors were making more central coast spear trips and as we are always frothing for a Channel Islands adventure, we linked up. The boys were already working on videos for Yeti Coolers and had the idea to set sail for the islands and gather footage for a new short film. We were fortunate to have the comforts of a few different local vessels owned by good friends. Over a few trips, we shared some great memories on and in the water. The Channel Islands are an amazing place and the more time we spend out there, the more respect we have for the beauty.
To celebrate the release of the Cana film, we created the Unhooked cider. The apples for this cider came from Gizdich Ranch in Watsonville. The cider was fermented and aged in freshly emptied Cabernet Sauvignon barrels for 6 months. The promote a richer body, we stirred the barrels from time to time. To finish, we bottle-conditioned and the result is a rosey, sparkling cider with subtle berry aromas and a hearty alcohol of 7.9% ABV. The label was a fun one to make. The background is one of Cana's underwater photos from a rainy, late-season dive.
Here's a link to their wonderful page of videos. Please check them all out. They are so sweet! http://www.canaoutdoors.com/movies/2016/10/19/unhooked
And without further adieu,
Time is flying by for the team at Reef Points. The last couple months have been a whirlwind of racking, bottling, festival tastings and cider deliveries. It's been a great season for cider-focused events. Cider Summit SF was a great time again this year. Dane and I were able to pour our work for thousands in the Presidio, meanwhile check out the work of some of the best cider producers in the west. We also had a great time at the first annual Central Coast Cider Festival in Atascadero last weekend. The guys at Bristol's Hard Cider got all of us local cider nuts together for some post-festivus drink at their cidery.
The production this year has been more unique than ever. We are currently making cider at the beautiful Niner Wine Estates on the westside of Paso Robles. The Niner family's amazing facility gives us the opportunity to ferment, mature and condition ciders in a more advanced and controlled environment than we could ever ask for. Currently, primary fermentations from cold stored apple pressings are finished out. Their settling and maturation is taking place. Solids lay rest at the bottom of oak and are stirred back up into solution every other week. We have a couple trial barrels from bourbon and rye origins in the cellar right now that I'm psyched to see develop over the next month.
Another batch of Kid Neptune is in bottle. It has about 4 more weeks of bottle-conditioning and some 2 months ahead to sit down before release.
We have bottlings in the works over the next couple months. The ciders are sitting patiently, their aromatics becoming more complex, more evolved as weeks pass by. We inevitably and naturally have to work on their time.
Ahead, we are going have a few local tastings coming up and a couple adventures on the horizon. Our Cider Club is growing quick. It's so great to have a gang of cider fans supporting us at the beginning of our venture. We will have some great releases for the club this summer. Cider availability is expanding through the Big Sur coastline, on through Monterey/Santa Cruz. Bottles are making their way into some great little markets in the Bay Area and Marin. Find out here.
In the meantime, we are look forward to the long days and good times ahead. Go on a trip and bring a bottle of Reef Points along with you. Share one with a friend. We'll be here waxin...
This weekend's hard cider cocktail was inspired by the delicious pairing of St. Germain and sparkling wine. Using the sparkles of Kid Neptune, we created a cocktail that is fragrant, lightweight and crisp. The citrus, honeysuckle and violet flavors blew us away. We suggest you take an afternoon off, pack a picnic and cool down with this drink.
Your key ingredients are:
1.5 fl. oz. Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
1.5 fl. oz. St. Germain
1.5 fl. oz. Gin
4-5 fl. oz. of Reef Points "Kid Neptune"
Initially, we started with the simple, refreshing combination of fresh lemon juice, St. Germain and Kid Neptune, which was lovely as an apertif. We added gin as an afterthought for a little more bite and are glad we did! It definitely gave this cocktail a whole new dimension. To make the Offshore, follow the full recipe below:
Peel a strip of rind from a lemon and wipe the insides of a lowball glass with it.
Add a frozen cube or ball to the lowball
In a small shaker packed with a moderate amount of ice, combine:
1.5 fl oz of Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
1.5 fl oz of St Germain
1.5 fl oz of Gin - Hendricks is a great choice
Shake quickly and vigorously
Strain into the lowball glass
Top off the glass with a chilled bottle of Kid Neptune
Cut a lemon wheel and garnish
-The Reef Points Team
***PHOTO CREDIT: photos by Patrick Martinez
We bring you this latest cocktail, a twist on The Lions Tail, with the holiday season in mind. Inspired by visions of festive celebrations with friends and cozy firelit spaces, this one provides a respite from chilly air and jam-packed holiday schedules.
Dram adds pleasant seasonal spice here to the warmth of bourbon, balanced by the unusual but delicious addition of lime and a twinkling Kid Neptune top-off. It's pretty tasty. Recipe below.
2 oz. Baby Bourbon, Hudson Corn Whiskey
1.5 oz. Fresh squeezed Lime Juice
1 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
Reef Points "Kid Neptune"
Lime wheel for garnish
First, shake bourbon, lime juice and dram cold in your shaker. Then, strain and pour into a glass.
Top off with Kid Neptune. Garnish with lime wheel.
Cheers! Have a beautiful holiday season.
-The Reef Points Team
This holiday season, we are super excited to team up with some of our favorite brands to put together an epic Southern California getaway giveaway! One lucky winner will be chosen for a two night stay at The Holidays, our favorite San Clemente getaway, where you can camp in high style in beautiful vintage trailers right by the beach! Also included is an insane prize pack featuring Reef Points, along with TONS of other amazing goodies!
Here's the full prize pack:
- Two Nights at The Holidays Campground (pending available dates and trailers)
- Revolution Roasters Coffee and Donuts on Saturday morning
- A bottle of Libre Tequila
- Reef Points Hard Cider
- S'mores kit
- A catered dinner delivered to campsite
- Poler Stuff Napsack and Mugs
- A stack of the newest Surfing and Surfer mags
- Stance Socks for the whole family
- A Sun Bum gift set
- James Michelle Happy Camper necklace
- A Gunn and Swain beach kit with tote, beach blanket & more
- Kamp & Co towels (2)
- Lovebirds LA LBLAxTK Camera Strap
- RAEN sunglasses
- Cobian Shoe and Tee Pack for ladies and dudes
The giveaway runs today through this Friday, 12/11/15, ending at 11:59 p.m. All entrants must be 21 and over. Click HERE to visit the official giveaway module and enter!! Winners will be announced through the official giveaway module. Happy Holidays and good luck!
Weekends lately are all about keeping it simple, as harvest season has us working lots of overtime. Lucky for us, this Kid Neptune Mimosa comes together in a snap.
Easy-on-the-palate, bone dry Kid Neptune is a perfect stand in for champagne here, pairing beautifully with brunch fare. We recommend enjoying this less-traditional classic on one of the sunny autumn mornings we've been loving here in California.
You will need:
- Fresh Juice from 1-2 Large Oranges (about 3 ounces), Chilled
- Reef Points "Kid Neptune" to Taste, Chilled
First, pour fresh orange juice into a champagne flute. Then, fill your glass the rest of the way with cold Kid Neptune. Garnish with an orange slice. Enjoy!
-The Reef Points Team
***PHOTO CREDIT: all photos by Patrick Martinez
We are excited to begin a new series of weekly cocktails using Reef Points hard cider! It'll be a fun way for everyone to kick back, crack a bottle and experiment. Each week we hope to inspire everyone to dive into the world of spirits and explore how easily the dry, sparkling nature of our ciders can be used to create some tasty cocktail recipes.
First up -- let's celebrate Labor Day Weekend with a fizzy French 75, with a Reef Points twist. The balance of bubbles, dry botanicals and tart acidity make this a refreshing drink for the summer afternoon.
We took a classic recipe from The Independent and adapted it slightly, substituting Kid Neptune for the champagne topper. We also used a blend of pressed meyer and conventional lemon juice. However, upon taste testing we would actually suggest using conventional pressed lemon juice to get that really bright citrus flavor, as opposed to the very fragrant but slightly funkier meyer lemon overtones.
We also chose a nice looking gin we hadn't tried before -- Ballast Point's "Old Grove." Full cocktail recipe below.
French 75, Reef Style
-2 oz. Gin, 1 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice, 1/2 oz. of Simple Syrup, Reef Points "Kid Neptune" to taste.
Fill your Shaker with Ice
Add 1 oz. of fresh squeezed or pressed Lemon juice
Add 1/2 oz. of Simple Syrup
Add 2 oz. of Gin
Pour into a Coupe or Martini glass
Top with Kid Neptune
Peel a lemon twist and garnish
-The Reef Points Team
***PHOTO CREDIT: All photos by Patrick Martinez
The Sawyer is a perfect cocktail to celebrate the first hints of fall in the air (can you feel it?) -- and it's one of our all-time favorites. We took this classic recipe published by The Washington Post and removed the gin entirely, replacing it with applejack, adding cinnamon notes and finishing it up with, of course, some Kid Neptune. Not gonna lie, this recipe was partially inspired by the excellent Sawyer made at Sidecar in San Luis Obispo, a spot we frequent.
Contrary to the notes above, The Sawyer is a cocktail that is highlighted by bitters, and acid is balanced here with spiced apple notes. We used Peychaud's bitters, Angostura orange bitters, added Laird's Applejack and made a cinnamon-infused house grenadine. Go easy on the grenadine; the drier this cocktail is, the better. Recipe below.
Applejack recipe: -2 oz. applejack, 1.5 oz. lime, half oz. cinnamon infused grenadine, 6 dashes Peychaud's bitters, 4 dashes Angostura orange bitters, Reef Points' "Kid Neptune" to taste
Use a shaker to add ingredients
Add 1.5 oz. fresh Lime juice
Add half oz. Grenadine
Add 6 dashes Peychaud's bitters
Add 4 dashes Angostura orange bitters
Add 2 oz. Applejack
Strain and pour over Ice in a Lowball glass
Stir with a spoon
Top with Kid Neptune
Garnish with Lime
-The Reef Points Team
***PHOTO CREDIT: all photos by Patrick Martinez
Did any of you see or hear that NPR story a few months back about hard cider making a comeback in the U.S.? In the news outlet's food-centric blog The Salt, writer Joel Rose calls dry hard cider "the fastest growing alcoholic beverage in America." While we were of course aware of the cider explosion occurring around us over the past few years, we wanted to give you some background on why we started making cider and how Reef Points came to be.
We came of age right around the time steady careers became harder to come by than they were for the generation before ours, and California's Central Coast, by no means the worst place to be, was still affected. We were lucky to be able to work in fields we both felt passionate about. Dane, having just graduated with a small business degree from Cal Poly, worked on the ocean as a boat captain while Patrick's career progressed in the Paso Robles wine industry. We felt the urge to expand our horizons and begin a new project of our own.
Patrick was properly introduced to cider in the southern hemisphere. It was a light, crisp and refreshing remedy for a long day's work, hot days on the beach or epic trips spent fishing or surfing. Inevitably it became tied to traveling, adventure and creative endeavor. The idea to create products that represent those memories was further excited by Dane's co-interest in starting a business. Reef Points evolved out of a desire to create quality dry, sparkling ciders that embody the adventures and the creativity of both of us.
We are both are fascinated by the "nuts and bolts" of alcohol production. Our passion for the business is spirited by its collosal number of processes and twists. The day to day tasks move quickly from formulating financial projections to creating watercolors for labels and marketing materials, corresponding with customers to racking barrels, editing photos to delivering cider from the back of our truck. It's incredibly involved and time consuming.
Reef Points began in just five barrels, after countless hours already spent on the project. In reflection, we look back at the products we've designed, the businesses who have been willing to stand by us and the people we are incredibly fortunate to have involved and it inspires us.
More than anything else, Reef Points is a creative expression of who we are, and a collaborative effort between friends. Right now, we are at the beginning. We've had a great two and half years but we can push our ciders a LOT farther. We haven't quit our day-jobs. We are thankful and excited to take what is available to us now and create products that will stand the test of time.
-Patrick and Dane
***PHOTO CREDIT: top photo by Patrick Martinez; lower three photos by Cana Outdoors
Welcome (back) to the Reef Points blog! We've made a few stabs (okay.....one stab) at keeping our blog updated since we unveiled our new website earlier this year, but now with Reef Points growing left and right we felt that this was really the best time to start writing more regularly.
We want to get to know you a bit better, and want you to be able to come here for fun posts that cover all the things we're passionate about: food and cocktails, events and gatherings, outdoor adventures, the latest news and press on our ciders and the beverage industry. We'll be unveiling several series in the upcoming months, which we hope you enjoy.
Last but not least-- stay tuned for upcoming Reef Points giveaways and contests! We are so appreciative of all the support we've received and are looking forward to giving back to you when we can. We have some cool things planned and will share everything here first! In the meantime, if you haven't yet, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram so we can stay in touch!
All the best,
The Reef Points Team
*second from above photo credit: Wine Camp
We are excited to eat dinner with friends at Niner Wine Estates on Sunday June 28th. Come out for a warm summer evening with great wine, ciders and the delicious eats of Chef Maegen Loring.
Gluten Free Options Available
Reserve a spot with Niner:
firstname.lastname@example.org - 805.226.4896
We are happy to introduce everyone to the new website. It is the next level for Reef Points.
The SHOP page gives us the ability to send our ciders and merch straight to your doorstep. If your traveling and need to find a shop selling bottles, we can point you in the right direction using the FIND US page.
We are excited to begin a new BLOG and keep everyone involved in Reef Points events and happenings.
Cheers to the next segment of our journey together! It's going to be fun. Reef Points is growing fast and we can't wait to become more connected with all of you drinking our ciders.