Due to my relationship with Tampa Bay Bloggers, I was invited to 3 Daughters Brewing in St. Petersburg, where we were given a flight of the eight new ciders produced at 3 Daughters, along with a nice treat of Red Mesa tacos. All opinions are my own.
We are lucky in Tampa Bay, where breweries dot the map in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, throughout St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Tampa.
Recently I was invited along with other bloggers from the Tampa Bay Bloggers group, to taste test the new ciders at 3 Daughters Brewing.
I had gone along to at least six local breweries with some of my Millennial friends, but I have to say not a big beer fan. I’m a big champagne and prosecco fan and usually if I have to drink beer, I will order a cider. (However, if you’ve seen me at a local running race, you will notice free beers in my hand after the race!)
So I was quite happy to hear that 3 Daughters was introducing new ciders. I really enjoy them in the summer and especially at the beach, but there are only about four available at the grocery store – Red Apple Ale, Angry Orchard, Woodchuck and Stella Cidre.
So I was even happier to hear that 3D was debuting EIGHT ciders.
I figured I might like three, but I thought because it was a brewery, they would taste too much like beer and I wouldn’t be fond of them.
So guess what – Cider is considered a wine, not beer. Well knock me over. I guess I didn’t know squat about cider.
Apparently beer manufacturers are forbidden by law to make cider, and they have to have a separate LLC.
I had been to 3D before because they hosted a local kick off for St. Petersburg’s upcoming St. Pete RunFest, a long awaited half-marathon, 5K and kids run on Nov. 18-19.
But it wasn’t until we got the tasting and the tour that I really learned to love this place.
Owners John Erik Savitsky and wife Leigh Harting were most welcoming, taking us into the laboratory, explaining the process and showing us around the two buildings, which total 2,800 square feet together.
It was great to learn about their background and that it’s a family business, and yes, they actually have three daughters.
We first tasted the eight ciders:
- Tropical Fruit
- Morello Cherry (red)
- Spicy Cinnamon Apple
- Key Lime
- Sweet Tea
- Summit Hopped
My least favorite one was original, which oddly enough is the overall favorite of visitors.
The other seven – I totally loved! The list above is my order of preference. I have to admit I like sweet and fruity, so of course tropical fruit and cherry came in first. The spicy cinnamon apple was fabulous and I cannot wait to drink it in the fall, when, if we’re lucky, it will get below 80 degrees here in Florida.
The Key Lime is the second-biggest selling product in the 3D line in all of Pinellas.
I was also interested to learn that ciders are loved 50-50 among men and women. For craft beer, the ratio is 70-30, favoring men.
They have a partnership with University of South Florida St. Pete, where they have 23- week brewing arts program, and students come to 3D for hands on training. According to John Erik, there are dozens of programs around the country, but theirs is the first one in the state of Florida. Here they learn the hard core science of brewing, including fermenting, practical applications and cleaning and they receive a wine making license in the end.
According to John Erik, when they served brands such at Magner’s and Woodchuck, they sold 109 bottles a week. With the opening of the new Cider Market, they now sell 1,500 pints.
The process of brewing takes four hours and the fermenting takes 10 days. 3D has more than 3,200 accounts, including the United States and even Aruba. One of their largest accounts is Disney World.
“Having the cider allows us to appeal to a broader audience,” said John Erik.
Yes, it certainly does. And that audience includes me!