Learning about cider at Anxo Cidery and Tasting Room
When I arrived at the new Anxo Cidery and Tasting Room in Brightwood Park, I thought I had put in the wrong location. It took me a few seconds to notice the mural in the alley confirming that I was indeed, at the right place. You enter through the alley and walk right through into the building itself.
While you may be familiar with their Truxton Circle restaurant and bar – which of course introduced most of DC to cider, the new spot will focus on cider production, and will be the only bar to carry the entire line of Anxo products. Whether you are remotely interested in learning about cider OR are a full-fledged cider aficionado, I highly recommend stopping by the Kennedy Street location.
There are 24 tap lines which will include ciders, beers, vermouth, and draft cocktails. I will say that this is not your typical “college cider” – it’s not the stuff that folks normally drink when they need a break from beer or are nursing a hangover. There is something for everyone, but even if you have any pre conceived notions about cider (too funky! strong flavors! too sweet!) or are completely clueless, please give it a shot. The folks are Anxo are super nice, extremely knowledgeable and will guide you through a tasting with no judgement. If that’s not your thing– their ciders are also organized as rustic, fruit forward, structured, bright, so just ask for a recommendation.
I had a chance to try their latest Collaboration cider (#7), a Rose cider (which I learnt is made with apples that have a pink flesh – who knew?!) and the rustic and tart Spanish “Sidra Natural”. My first taste of cider was in Spain a couple of years ago, so I lean towards the more acidic Spanish style as opposed to the typical North American ciders that I find are on the sweeter side. While you are there, you should definitely try the Spanish sidra, which has to be poured from a height and poured in individual sips. It’s a fun experience and quite impressive if you can manage to do it without any spillage. Or try drinking from the porron, where there will definitely be some spillage, but that’s all part of the fun!
If you have even a passing interest in cider, or a curiosity about it, I can guarantee you will learn more about it in the time you spend at Anxo than anything else.
That being said, Anxo is definitely not the kind of place that is aiming to only please cider snobs or the cider curious. They are aiming to be a neighborhood hangout spot - so even if you just want a cold beer or a cocktail, it’s a fantastic option.
There is no kitchen as such, but there will be some food available – the opening menu starts with a selection of snacks such as almonds, anchovies etc, salads(I loved the octopus and chickpea salad), imported Spanish meats, cheeses, paninis, and a chocolate rice pudding with sea salt that is the right amount of sweet. The food is meant for snacking, in true Spanish style.
Anxo is open Thursdays – Sundays with a Happy Hour on Thursday and Friday from 3-5pm (hello, summer Fridays!). They also have cider bottles and cans to go.