Boat school toasts 40 years with limited edition Finnriver cider

Leader news staff
news@ptleader.com
Posted 7/8/21

For four decades the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding has sharpened the minds and skills of students learning the ancient trade of shaping wood into strong, seaworthy craft.

In celebration …

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Boat school toasts 40 years with limited edition Finnriver cider

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For four decades the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding has sharpened the minds and skills of students learning the ancient trade of shaping wood into strong, seaworthy craft.

In celebration of the auspicious occasion the boat school has partnered with its friends over at Finnriver Farm & Cidery. The Chimacum craft cidery has issued a limited-run of its Oak & Apple cider in celebration. Prominently featured on each bottle is an image of “Bryony,” the gaff-rigged cutter built by the boat school back in 1983. 

Despite her years, Bryony can still hold her own and to this day is moored out on Mystery Bay near the school’s Port Hadlock campus.

”The Olympic Peninsula is home to so many makers, builders, growers and people who work with their hands,” said Betsy Davis, executive director of the boat school.

Bryony is the epitome of that sentiment.

Originally built by the founder of the boat school, Bob Prothero, and some of his early students, she was wrecked by a winter storm in 1989. Bryony was subsequently rebuilt by the boat school with significant help from the supporting community, making her a fine expression of the connection between Finnriver and the boat school — stemming from a shared vision of traditional craft, artisan creations and a wholesome, sustainable bond with the surrounding community.

Finnriver’s Head Cider Maker Andrew Byers said the proprietary blend of juice from organic Washington apples, which is fermented and then aged in repurposed oak whiskey barrels, creates an “exposé of oak and apples.”

The Oak & Apple, a semi-dry hard cider, is created through a complex interaction of vanilla and caramel notes derived from the whiskey-soaked barrels, balanced by the slightly tart apple juice.

Oak & Apple cider can be found online at Finnriver.com or at regional farmers markets or at the Finnriver Cider Garden, open from noon to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

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