Not too long ago I visited The Texas Keeper Cidery. My family members pointed it out to me multiple times before I had a chance to visit. They thought it would be an enjoyable experience for me.
As far as I know cideries are not very common. Because of this I have never visited one before. I have tagged along with friends while checking out breweries before. This is fun, and can be enjoyable with friends. But in my experience some do not have gluten free options, which is a bummer. One brewery I did visit that had gluten free beer, not gluten removed, but actual gluten free beer was in Ireland. Bru was the name of the company. Unfortunately I was not a fan of the gluten free beer.
Anyways…back to cideries. I was so excited to finally have a reason to visit the cidery. I actually went for a supper club. And let’s be real, the only reason I went that night was because they chose the cidery for the location. The group was for women in our neighborhood, which is great. The problem for me is that the demographic in my neighborhood is mostly families. Going in I knew most if not all of the women would be older than me, and that I am not in the same season of life as they are. Despite this I am thankful I went.
The Texas Keeper Cidery is in south Austin. It is located on a nice chunk of land and everything has a very natural feel. Trees surround the building and offer shade for all the outdoor seating. The building looks like it was at one point a house. It has a nice stone exterior and an abundance of windows. The bar is located inside in the taproom. The guests order both food and drinks at the bar and the staff brings it out to the table. They serve their ciders either by the glass or by the bottle.
The staff treated us all like we were old friends. They chatted with us, helped us make food decisions and educated us on the art of cider making. The one man helping us specifically typed in my order through the register system, and went back to make sure they understood I was Celiac and that the instructions made sense. The employees were wonderful.
Outside they had fun Christmas-like lights strung so guests can stay into the night. They also have a stage where musicians play for the guests regularly. The outdoor space was nice and spacious. The picnic bench tables were far enough away from each other that it did not feel overcrowded. Sometimes that happens when establishments start getting bigger and need to accommodate more guests.
So obviously this is a cidery and the only right drink choice was cider. One because it is a cidery, and two because I did not intend to get drunk at this supper club. Although I did get a bit tipsy…They do carry some other options for beverages. I did not look too hard into this, but it seemed like a good variety of local brews for the friends who do not want ciders.
The ciders were very good. I started with a flight because that seemed like a good way to taste a variety of options before committing. I thought when I ordered a flight the bartender would give me each of the ciders at once so I could go chat with my group. He did not, and this is when I got a bit of a lesson on cider. Most of the information I have already forgotten, but it was a nice chat. None of the ciders were obnoxiously sweet, which I appreciated. They brew both seasonal ciders as well as year round ciders and I had the opportunity to try both. Thankfully my favorite was the one of the ones they carry year round.
I enjoyed the ciders and I appreciated the opportunity to test a good majority of them. I did not take notes on flavor profiles or anything crazy like that. But I do remember the Gold Rush was my favorite. Mostly because I told my godmother that and she got me a bottle for Easter. But like I have said before the employees are knowledgeable, they offer tastes from the tap as well as flights, so you will be able to find a cider you like here for sure.
The cidery has a rotating food menu. As of today (5/10) the menu on the website has not been updated, so maybe call ahead if you are planning on eating. Most of the food options are on the smaller size portion wise. Most are like appetizers and snacks to munch on while you visit with your friends and drink cider.
For being a cidery I imagined the menu would include more gluten free options than it did. Although that is the case, they did have options so that is good. The menu items that can be made gluten free were labeled gf beside them. I ordered the charcuterie board with gluten free crackers. Like I mentioned before the bartender went back and made sure the kitchen knew my needs and advocated for me. He also knew I was with a group and that I could possibly be sharing with others. He asked if I wanted the regular bread that normally came with the board. I said that would be fine if it was on a separate plate, or in a separate dish.
The charcuterie board was all I ordered, but honestly the amount of food was enough for me that evening. They brought the normal bread out in a separate bowl and had the charcuterie board nicely presented with the gluten free crackers. If I had thought beforehand I might have asked them not to put it on the normal wood charcuterie serving board. I try to stay away from wooden cutting boards and utensils because they are porous and gluten can get stuck in the pores. Since the board had no scorings or markings on it I decided it was ok and I would not complain about it. And I was fine.
Some of the women I knew, and others I did not. If I remember correctly someone asked why I ordered my own board when there were multiple already on the table. I told them I have celiac and what that means and they listened and seemed to take the information in. I ate what I wanted from the board and then offered the remaining food to anyone who wanted it. This worked out pretty well for me.
My whole experience at the cidery was great. Not only did I get to drink good cider and eat good food I met great people as well. The best thing that happened to me at the supper club was meeting a dietitian from my neighborhood. I was randomly paired with her during a get to know you game and found out that she is an RD and an RN, but works as an RN. Despite that now I have a good connection to hopefully meet other RDs in the area to shadow and learn from.
I definitely plan on going back to the cidery and taking friends there, as I meet friends, or as my friends from home come visit me. It is a nice place to chill and hang out while sippin’ on some gluten free alcoholic beverages. The gluten free food options are limited, but the one option I tried was delicious. This place is for sure somewhere to check out if you are in the southern parts of Austin.