Fermented from apples, cider is technically classified as wine and ANXO is DC’s first licensed winery since prohibition. Production at the Truxton Circle location is limited to an annual filling of the 660-gallon wooden cask that graces the entrance to the Pintxo Bar, but a second facility in Brightwood Park is slated to open in Spring of 2017 with nearly ten times the production capability of the first. ANXO products will come from both locations as well as a number of other cideries across the world as part of the collaboration project.
Cider is a traditional beverage with a rich history that dates back thousands of years. It was an integral and vibrant part of Colonial American life and remained so up until the turn of the 20th century. In a new, harsh and unforgiving climate, the bounty of the apple harvest could be preserved as cider for enjoyment and sustenance the year round. At ANXO, we seek to revive the rich cider culture that once existed here in the Mid-Atlantic by celebrating the remarkably diverse apple.
The combinations of smells and flavors that apples can produce when fermented into cider is endless and fascinating. Accordingly, we do not use any adjunct ingredients at ANXO, as doing so would detract from the mission to explore the possibilities afforded by the apple. Hop or cherry additions can make for some interesting ciders but at the expense of our understanding of the character of different apple varieties, the influence of the terroir of where and how the apples were grown, and the techniques the cider-maker employed to ferment them. There is precious little common knowledge regarding the interplay of these factors, and we hope to create complex and delicious ciders by exploring the capabilities of the apple.
One 660-gallon oak cask, purchased from a winery in the Barolo region of Italy, rests at the entrance to the Pintxo Bar. It is a beautiful centerpiece for the restaurant as well as a functioning fermentation vessel for making Basque-inspired Sidra.
Opening in 2017 with a 290-gallon oak cask stacked on top of two 660-gallon oak casks identical to the one in Truxton Circle, as well as two 1,000-gallon stainless fermenters and a couple dozen traditional barrels, this facility will greatly expand ANXO’s blending options. Also, a packaging tank means more cider for your home!