The team behind Logboat Brewing Co. in Columbia, Missouri, launched Waves Cider Co. at the end of July, serving up their inaugural ciders alongside a selection of celebrated pours from across the country at the new taproom. While the company currently makes two types of cider – dry and semi-dry – it’s just getting started.
Future plans include a four-acre orchard with apple varieties meant for making cider, and the team hopes to eventually source all other apples and apple juice from Missouri-based growers. Here, Josh Rein, head brewer of Logboat Brewing Co. and head cidermaker of Waves Cider Co., talks about his transition from malt to apples.
What inspired this move to cidermaking? Part of Logboat’s original plan was to create beverages outside of just beer; we thought tea, soft drinks, just an all-around beverage company of sorts. But having a brewing background, beer was the thing that I knew the most when we got the brewery up and running, so we went with that, full steam ahead. As Logboat was coming through, cider came on our radar when our buddy, [one of the owners of Logboat and now an owner of Waves Cider Co. as well], was told by his doctor that he was allergic to barley and wheat – so beer. He kind of brought me into the realm of cider.
What flavors can we expect from Waves Cider Co.? I think the profile of the cider we’re doing is very much on the line of a white wine, like a Chardonnay or a Sauvignon Blanc: bright, fruity characters and a nice tartness to it. We use a little bit of oak in our dry cider – I think that will resonate with people who are looking for a wine product. Cider is a wine, technically.
What was it like to transition from making beer to making cider? To be perfectly honest, it was a huge adjustment at first … after 10 years of making beer, and I never really messed around with making wine. I started doing some reading; I did some test batches, [and I] ended up sitting in a weeklong course that’s offered by the Cider Institute of North America – just a crash course in what are some of the basic things you need to know [and] the no-nos of trying to ferment juice instead of a bunch of malt beer. There’s a big difference [to] how things work.
Waves Cider Co., 604 Nebraska Ave., Columbia, Missouri, wavescider.com