Cascadia Weekly: Irish and Folk Monday: The Colleen Raney Trio

From http://www.cascadiaweekly.com/cw/currents/the_colleen_raney_trio

Irish & Folk Night

The Colleen Raney Trio

Info:http://www.colleenraney.com

By Carey Ross

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Although most elements of our music scene seem to come together organically and with little visible effort, truth is, it takes the work of a veritable army of motivated people to create a community as rich and varied as this one. These folks often receive very little money and even less recognition for their labors, but they’re not in it for fame and glory.

Instead, these individuals seem inspired by little more than the ability to define a need they perceive as being unmet within our music scene, coupled with a belief that they are the person who can meet that need.

Sometimes, things really are that simple.

Take, for instance, Jan Peters. The musician has been a mainstay in this area for decades, and while he’s dabbled in music of all types and genres, he’s exhibited a definite affinity for the distinctive sounds of the Emerald Isle. From his own experience playing before local audiences, he knew Bellingham shared his fondness for Irish music. And his time spent performing and touring with other, similar musicians had given him a network of artists from which to draw. He had a feeling a regular, year-round Irish night could find success, and so he decided to create one.

The idea was to have a dedicated night every week—Mondays, in this case—when Peters could invite his friends to come play music with him. And while the location of his Irish & Folk Night may have changed a couple of times, that basic premise of musical fellowship in celebration of Irish music (or folk—Peters isn’t one to unnecessarily limit his guests) has not changed.

These days, the Irish & Folk Night lives at Honey Moon, where it feels a bit like a secret that is ready to be stumbled upon. Except that this is one secret that’s pretty well out, as the success Peters envisioned has come to pass. The Honey Moon may not be the largest venue in town, but anyone who can fill a room on a Monday night in Bellingham is doing some things right.

Irish & Folk Night is a going concern, which has enabled Peters to cast a wider net when it comes to booking guest talent. Which brings to Colleen Raney, who will be the featured guest for the Mon., April 3 installment.

In Celtic-music circles, the name Raney looms large. Her whole, very large family is comprised of singers and step-dancers, and they perform and teach, spreading their Irish roots far and wide. Along with other gifted members of her family, Colleen has performed with Magical Strings as part of the ever-popular Celtic Yuletide concerts, and has recorded and toured solo as well. She’s renowned for taking her deep knowledge of Irish songs and traditions and interpreting them in a way all her own, putting a singular spin on tried-and-true classics as well as more obscure songs. Of late, she’s been touring with another band known for reinterpreting Celtic music, Solas, introducing her to an even bigger audience of Irish music fans.

When Raney plays the Honey Moon, the setting will be a little more intimate than the venues she’s appeared at with Solas, and it goes without saying that this Irish & Folk Night will no doubt be a crowded affair. Get there early, treat yourself to some mead or cider and a snack and settle in to enjoy the fruits of someone else’s music-scene labors.

Whatcom Talks: Appreciating the Poetry of Whatcom County by Lorraine Wilde

Photo by Gary Wade. 

Photo by Gary Wade. 

Poetry is among the most venerated, but also underappreciated, art forms. Because of the hard work of area poets, Whatcom County has an array of opportunities to enjoy and share this art form. With award-winning locals, literary publications, clubs, open mic nights, slams and visiting poet readings, you can get your poetry fix all year long.

One can only speculate as to why so many successful poets call Bellingham home. Perhaps it’s the active community of writers that has blessed us with such an abundance of Whatcom County poetry.

Village Books and Whatcom Community College collaborate to present Chuckanut Writers, offering poetry classes and workshops throughout the year as well as collaborative writing groups Poetry I and II.


The annual summer Chuckanut Writers Conference also includes sessions for and by Pacific Northwest poets.


The Friends of the Ferndale Library hosts the Ferndale Poetry Festival each April.
Whatcom Writers and Publishers offer opportunities and events for writers of all kinds.
A number of private poetry events are also happening within the homes of locals. Kitchen Sessions Bellingham poetry potluck is among the most well-known.


Perhaps poets choose Whatcom County because they were influenced by the esteemed professors and alumni of Western Washington University (WWU). Professor of English, Bruce Beasley has won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Artist Trust of Washington as well as three Pushcart Prizes in poetry. Senior Instructor Christopher Patton is a three-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize.

Whatever the reason, Bellingham is home to award-winning poets like 2016 Jack Straw Fellow, Artist Trust Fellow, and 2016 nominee for the Stranger Genius Award in Literature, Robert Lashley. Although he grew up in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood, when he’s not touring the country sharing his art, he calls Whatcom County home.

This thriving community of poets works together to share and collaborate. Below are some opportunities to appreciate the art form and share your own work.

Local Publications


WWU’s Jeopardy Magazine, founded in 1963, has served as an annual platform for generations of artists to publish work inspired by current culture. Since 2003, the publication has accepted submission exclusively from WWU students, faculty, staff, and alumni. The magazine also hosts one or two creative writing faculty showcases and an annual release party in May.

The anthology, Noisy Water: Poetry from Whatcom County was released in late 2015. Edited by locals Luther Allen and Judy Kleinberg, the collection includes the work of more than 100 poets that live and create in the area. The pair also host the Speakeasy poetry reading series.

Dead Cat Anthology includes many genres and will be roughly fifty percent poetry when it arrives around February 2016. This work, edited by local writer and poet Dee Dee Chapman, is a collection of pieces inspired by the theme ‘dead cat.’ Many locals know Chapman for her encyclopedic knowledge of film and her many years as the former manager of local video store Film is Truth 24 Times a Second.

Clover, A Literary Rag is a biannual print publication that includes poetry, short fiction, and creative non-fiction. It began in 2010 as a result of Bellingham’s Independent Writer’s Studio. About half of the content is from Northwest writers.

Open Mic Nights

Poets brave the open mic to share their work, gain feedback, friends and followers, and to feel the reaction from a live audience. For poetry fans, it’s the perfect way to discover your new favorite touring and local poet and also get a feel for the sheer variety that makes up the art form. Below is a quick list of free, all-ages events around Whatcom County.

poetrynight at Bellingham Public Library


Every Monday night at 8 p.m. for over 15 years, poetrynight has combined touring poets with new and established locals. Sign-up is in-person at 7:45 p.m. If it’s a full house, sets are limited to three minutes, with time reserved at the end to showcase two featured poets. The non-profit program of the Whatcom Poetry Series also provides over 100 podcasts of past events on their web site.

Bellingham Public Library
210 Central Avenue
Bellingham, WA
360-778-7323

WWU’s Underground Coffeehouse
This campus coffee house offers poetry on the second and fourth Mondays each month. Cozy couches make for a super casual atmosphere. Sign up by 6:30 p.m. for the 5-minute performances that begin at 7 p.m.

Underground Coffeehouse
Third Floor of Viking Union Building
516 High Street
Bellingham, WA 98225
360-650-3263

Open Mic with Laurel Leigh

Open mic with Laurel Leigh takes place in the Readings Gallery the last day of every month at 7 p.m. Enjoy 7-minute sets of spoken word from 12 participants. Sign up at the book store’s main counter on the first floor or call for your spot.

Village Books
1200 11th St.
Bellingham, WA 98225
360-671-2626

Honey Moon Mead and Cider


Owners of Honeymoon Mead and Cider, Murphy and Anna Evans, are as committed to the literary art form as they are to local music. Their support of the local poetry scene comes in the form of special events. They’ve hosted the complete reading of Beowulf and the appreciation of the sonnet, as well as parties for local literary magazines, readings, and poetry slams. Server and poet Erica Reed is deeply involved in the Whatcom County poetry community, who also spend time at the Honey Moon.

One of the longest running open mic events in town, Wednesday night’s Open Mic with Scot Casey includes both music and spoken word and draws in some the area’s best talent. Sign up for one of the 12 available slots no later than 5 p.m. on Wednesday. Participants are selected at random and sets are up to 15 minutes long beginning at 6 p.m.

Honey Moon Mead and Cider
1053 N State Street
Bellingham, WA 98225
360-734-0728

Colophone Cafe

Chuckanut Sandstone Writer’s Theater Open Mic, hosted by Carla Shafer, gives local writers the opportunity to share their original poems, prose, plays and memoirs on the second Wednesday of each month. Sign up for a seven-minute slot at 6:30 p.m. to participate in the 6:50 p.m. event that goes until about 9 p.m.

Colophone Cafe
1208 11th Street
Bellingham, WA 98225
360-647-0092

Write Riot Poetry Slam, a weekly event hosted and coordinated by Jessica Lohafer, has been looking for a new regular home for their event. Their hope is to find a local venue and sponsor that might be the right fit—ones that can help host both touring poets and locals.

Community Odds and Ends

Sue Boynton Poetry Contest

Since 2006, two respected judges choose 25 winning poems from those submitted by Whatcom County residents. Walk Award winning poems are displayed on a permanent poetry installation in front of Bellingham Public Library. Both Walk and Merit Award winning poems are displayed for a year inside Whatcom Transportation Authority busses.

Bellingham’s Poem Booth

Poets Shannon Laws and Summer Starr teamed up with a local painter to launch a successful Kickstarter campaign. An abandoned phone booth on Forest Street in front of the Community Food Coop will be transformed into a work of art. New poems will be chosen to be displayed in the booth from among those submitted each quarter.

The Poem Store

The Poem Store is a writer-trio composed of Savanah Jordan, Natalie Fedak, and Erica Reed. These women write unique and custom poems on the spot on any subject on their vintage typewriter. They’re often found at the Bellingham Farmers Market and are hired for other local events.

 

Cascadia Weekly: A Spirited Affair: Of art, music and kindness

Great article by Amy Kepferle in the Cascadia Weekly about the Bellingham Women Songwriters Showcase tomorrow (Thursday, December 22) night at the Honey Moon. It's going to be a great show. Benefiting Art for Food. 

VISUAL

A Spirited Affair

Of art, music and kindness

By Amy Kepferle

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

If the urge to snarl the words “bah” and “humbug” has been stronger than the yen to wish your fellow citizens “happy holidays” this year, we’d like to draw your attention to an event custom-made to bring out the Christmas spirit in all but the Grinchiest and Scroogiest among us.

Specifically, we’re talking about the Bellingham Women Songwriters Showcase, an event taking place Thurs., Dec. 22 at the Honey Moon. With a tagline of “art, music and kindness,” the three-hour seasonal soiree will combine live music, visual art and poetry in an intimate venue known for its inclusivity and warmth (not to mention its killer mead).

Spearheaded by local musician Tanya Hladik, the showcase—the third songwriter spotlight and benefit she has put on since last May—will also raise funds for Art for Food. Although entry is free, tips and a portion of the art sales from colorful works by Rose Drummond, Tal Connor, Virginia Rose MacDonald, and Art for Food founder Meghan Yates will go toward purchasing gift certificates for the needy to local grocery stores and coffeehouses. Donations of winter hats, scarves, gloves and new socks for the Interfaith Coalition’s Coffee and Sandwiches Together (CAST) program will also be accepted.

“It’s such a beautiful way to combine art, community and outreach,” Hladik says. “It really parallels what I’ve been doing with the Bellingham Women Songwriters Showcase, so it seemed such a perfect choice to collaborate. Helping the hungry is always pertinent, but this time of year feels especially important. Art for Food was something Meghan began when she was living in Maine, and it also feels good to be helping it come to life here in Bellingham.”

Throughout the evening, patrons can sip festive libations and peruse and purchase the art while listening to musicians and storytellers Marie Eaton, McKain Lakey, Stephanie Walbon, and Maren Day, as well as Hladik and Yates. There will also be creative input from poet Elizabeth Vignali.

If you leave the Honey Moon Thursday night feeling feeling noticeably merrier than you did before, Hladik and the talented roster of local wonder women will have been successful in their mission to bring light to a season that has felt decidedly dark—both literally and figuratively.

“I feel like more than ever, with times being wintery and the political climate feeling discouraging, that it is important to get together with purpose,” Hladik says. “It is essential that we stay inspired and hopeful, remembering the vision we hold for this earth, our communities and our families, and keep voicing it in any way we can.

“It also feels like an especially important time to contribute what we can in ways that feel good and uplifting. We are hoping to provide such an occasion for this at the showcase. It will also be an evening about using our creativity to solve problems—something I think will be important to remember in the days ahead of us.”

Capitol Cider Partner: Interview with Murphy

Q&A: Honey Moon Mead and Cider’s Murphy Evans

http://capitolcider.com/news/qa-honeymoon-mead-ciders-murphy-evans/

Tucked into an alleyway, Honeymoon Mead and Cider’s storefront (or what they charmingly refer to as ‘their house’) is a hub for musicians and artists, and of course, a beacon to mead and cider lovers everywhere. The meadery and cidery has been part of the cider revolution since first opening their doors in 2005 with an English-style cider, CiderHead.  In the last 10+ years while the line-up has expanded to meet demand, the commitment to quality craft cider remains simple and true: cider is made from fresh local apples with no added sugar or concentrate.  Owner and brewer, Murphy Evans, gave us an inside look at his life and his beverage philosophy.

When did you first start making Mead and Cider?

In 2005. (My wife says: “Tell them you’ve been making it since before cider was cool. . .”)

What prompted you to start brewing?

I started as a homebrewer, making beer, and then experimenting with wine. It just kind of snowballed from there. It wasn’t necessarily a vision to open a business when I started, but eventually all those carboys outgrew the basement. Twelve years later, here we are. It’s been a blast!

How are Mead and Cider different, and how did you come to make both?

The most essential difference is their main ingredient: mead is made from fermented honey while cider is from fruit, especially apples. Beyond that it’s really a question of tradition and expectation, and how you treat the ingredients. Mead is generally approached more like a wine, with a similar richness and complexity, and an alcohol content in the neighborhood of 12-14 percent. Cider is typically lighter and more delicate, with a correspondingly lower alcohol content. Plus it’s usually carbonated. It’s not a beer, but it drinks more like a beer than a wine.

Cider and mead are similar in that they both play well with others. Both are imminently blendable, and, in fact,they blend together very nicely. A mead-cider blend is traditionally called a cyser, and we make a number of these. Our Raspberry, Rhubarb and Quince ciders are all technically cysers or mead-cider blends.

We make both because, well, I like both, and I really like to experiment. There’s so much that grows in our area; it just inspires you to try new things. (Here’s my wife again: “Tell them about all the carboys in the basement!” Yeah, I had a lot of carboys in the basement. . .)

When you’re not brewing up something tasty, what are you doing?

Cleaning up! (My wife says: “Yeah, right. . .”)

What goes into making the perfect cider and mead?

I’m not sure I know about “perfect,” but the quality of the product is a function of the care you put into it every step of the way. Careful selection of the honey and apples is most critical. There’s also careful attention to the fermentation, the filtering, the cleanliness, all of it.

What sets Honey Moon apart from other Meaderies?

We don’t have a preconceived notion of what we’re supposed to do, or how it’s supposed to be. We’re constantly experimenting with new flavors, new combinations. It’s a great creative outlet.

Hard Cider News: A Community Cider Released Just In Time For The Holidays!

A Community Cider Released Just In Time For The Holidays!

http://www.hardcidernews.com/2016/nov16.html#1

Honey Moon Mead & Cider announced the release of their 2016 Bellingham Extra CiderHead, the delicious result of a community-focused project that aims to capture the essence of Bellingham (WA) in a bottle. Now in its second year, this unique and particularly local hard cider blend is made from apples grown all over Bellingham city, quite literally in their own backyards. This year’s vintage contains dozens of different varieties of apples, including Spartan, Snow, Melrose, King, Akane, Gravenstein and Jonagold, as well as many mystery varieties from wild or heirloom trees.

Favorable growing conditions this year produced a bumper crop of tree fruit, and local residents with “extra” apples on their hands have been eager to participate in the project. During the harvest season the folks at Honey Moon collected more than 12,000 pounds of local fruit that would otherwise have gone unused. Contributors received vouchers for a portion of the finished cider to be redeemed at Honey Moon any time.

“We were overwhelmed by the response,” says Murphy Evans, Honey Moon’s owner and the driving force behind the project. “People were dropping off buckets and boxes full of apples at our shop, and the phone was ringing off the hook for our crew to come and harvest trees. It’s been really fantastic.”

Six tons of apples yielded about 1,000 gallons of juice, all of it pressed at Honey Moon’s facility in downtown Bellingham, which is bursting at the seams this time of year. Evans worked with a local machinist to design and build a custom press expressly for the purpose.

“The press was designed to be mobile, so we could roll it onto the patio where we have more room to work. The added bonus was that folks could watch the press in action, and even toss a few of their own apples into the hopper if they wanted to. It made the community connection that much stronger,” continued Evans.

The final product has been carefully tended to produce a one-of-a-kind cider that reflects the climate, terroir and spirit of Bellingham in 2016. To celebrate its release, Honey Moon threw a release party on Small Business Saturday – perfectly fitting – with tours, tastings, special apple-themed treats, and music by Bilongo Quintet.

The 2016 Bellingham Extra CiderHead (4.5% ABV) will be available in 22oz. bottles for a suggested retail price of $8.00/bottle and on tap at Honey Moon as well as area stores and restaurants, while supplies last. As a way of giving back to the community that helped make it possible, Honey Moon will donate a portion of the proceeds to the Bellingham Public Schools Foundation.

 

Whatcom Talk: 10+ Drinks to Keep You Warm This Winter

10+ Drinks to Keep You Warm This Winter

Whatcom Talk by Sara Holodnick

http://www.whatcomtalk.com/2016/11/22/warm-winter-drinks/

The only thing you really need to know about Honey Moon Mead & Cider’s winter warmers can be summed up in three beautiful words: Hot Spiced Mead. Warm, lightly sweet, and holiday-spicy, it’s hard to go wrong with a hot mug of this goodness.

B'Ham Extra CiderHead Release Party

“EXTRA!! EXTRA!!”

2nd Annual Community Cider is Ready

Just in time for the Holidays!

Honey Moon Mead & Cider is pleased to announce the release of our 2016 Bellingham Extra CiderHead, the delicious result of a community-focused project that captures the essence of Bellingham in a bottle. Now in its second year, this unique and uniquely local hard cider blend is made from apples grown all over our fair city, quite literally in our own backyards.

This year’s vintage contains dozens of different varieties of apples, including Spartan, Snow, Melrose, King, Akane, Gravenstein and Jonagold, as well as many mystery varieties from wild or heirloom trees.

Favorable growing conditions this year produced a bumper crop of tree fruit, and local residents with “extra” apples on their hands have been eager to participate in the project. During the harvest season the folks at Honey Moon collected more than 12,000 pounds of local fruit that would otherwise have gone unused. Contributors received vouchers for a portion of the finished cider.

“We were overwhelmed by the response,” says Murphy Evans, Honey Moon’s owner and the driving force behind the project. “People were dropping off buckets and boxes full of apples at our shop, and the phone was ringing off the hook for our crew to come and harvest trees. It’s been really fantastic.”

Six tons of apples yielded about 1000 gallons of juice, all of it pressed at Honey Moon’s facility in downtown Bellingham, which is bursting at the seams at this time of year. Evans worked with a local machinist to design and build a custom press expressly for the purpose. “The press was designed to be mobile, so we could roll it onto the patio where we have more room to work. The added bonus was that folks could watch the press in action, and even toss a few of their own apples into the hopper if they wanted to. It made the community connection that much stronger.”

The final product has been carefully tended to produce a one-of-a-kind cider that reflects the climate, terroir and spirit of Bellingham in 2016. To celebrate its release, Honey Moon will be throwing a party on Saturday, November 26. There will be tours, tastings and special apple themed treats from 5:00-8:00, with music by Bilongo Quintet starting at 8:30. 

Vouchers can be redeemed at Honey Moon any time.

The 2016 Bellingham Extra CiderHead will be available in bottles and on tap at Honey Moon as well as area stores and restaurants while supplies last. As a way of giving back to the community that helped make it possible, Honey Moon will donate a portion of the proceeds to the Bellingham Public Schools Foundation.

For more information, visit ciderhead.com or contact Honey Moon at 360-734-0728.

Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism Article on the Honey Moon by Lorraine Wilde

Check out this lovely article by Lorraine Wilde about the Honey Moon. Thanks, Lorraine! 

http://www.bellingham.org/insider-blogs/music-and-poetry-at-honey-moon-mead-and-cider/

 

Live Music and Poetry at Honey Moon Mead and Cider - Monday, October 10th, 2016

LORRAINE WILDE

Honey Moon Mead and Cider has been bringing locally-made mead and cider to Bellingham and the Pacific Northwest since it opened in 2005. A little like Superman in a phone booth, the family-owned and locally-operated Honey Moon is a mead and cider manufacturing facility by day that transforms into a cozy tasting room and intimate music and poetry venue by night. A vital part of the Downtown Bellingham community, this little speak easy is the perfect stop when you’re ready to get off the beaten path.

The story goes that more than ten years ago Bellingham Attorney Murphy Evans, his wife Anna, and Robert Arzoo of North Corner Brewing Supply  made mead together as a pass time. Just a hobby at first. But they enjoyed it so much that they decided to partner and build Honey Moon as a small-scale production space and tasting room, rather like a traditional winery. Virtually no one else in the area made mead or cider. Although Arzoo is no longer a partner and Murphy has recently retired from law, the Honey Moon has remained much the same as its humble beginnings.

Its All About the Atmosphere

If you aren’t looking, Honey Moon is a gem that’s easy to miss. Its entrance is on the alley, and not the street that sets its address. It faces the Interurban Trail and is just up the block from the bustling Bellingham Farmers Market at Depot Market SquarePepper Sisters restaurant’s outside deck seating sits just above it.

The space was once a glass factory and rumored hardware store which explains its unique look. The ceiling inside is incredibly high, with large glass windows above the entrance. The original historic brick is painted white and hung with the work of local artists. The lighting is subdued and warm yellow, adding to the cozy date-night feel with an industrial vibe.

The outside seating along the alley equals the size of the interior space, which is full at around 40 people. While sitting at your copper-topped table, sipping your mead over a twinkling candle, its hard to believe that earlier that same day, the room had been cleared to make room to process local fruit and honey into cider and mead. Just as you’d never expect that industrial space could be transformed into a room full of musicians and dancing patrons each night.

Music Both New and True

Many local bands and singer/songwriters got their start at Honey Moon and just as many come back to play even when they draw larger crowds and play much larger venues. You’ll find all ages music there six nights a week until 11 or so and amazingly, most all shows are free–although tipping the band is welcomed and encouraged. The Honey Moon loves to support local musicians and their friends. Irish and Folk Mondays with Jan Peters are followed by either a New Music Tuesday or a seasoned favorite on a Tuesday night. Open mic on Wednesdays is very popular and a great opportunity for newbies to get their start. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are full of local bands from Whatcom County, or their friends passing through. Honey Moon Marketing Director Scot Casey–former owner of the Black Drop Coffee House and a musician himself–handles the booking. Some shows are recorded and broadcast twice a week on local radio 102.3 KRME asConcerts from the Honey Moon Meadery.

Its not unusual to sing along old Sea Shanty tunes with The Good Time Girls or hear a five piece string band on a Tuesday night. I recently saw a Hot Damn Scandal show on a Thursday night. Their friends from New Orleans opened the show because they were passing through the Pacific Northwest. Rag jazz band Jocose Bird featured incredible clarinet and fiddle with lonesome vocals, peppy accordion, and spunky banjo. There is no green room so the performers of both bands were part of the audience until they walked to the performance area and began to play. Once Hot Damn Scandal began their tipsy American gypsy blues, the patrons cleared the tables to create a dance floor, and Jocose Bird started to swing dance with the audience.

I felt like I was in a friend’s living room; as if I had a personal experience with the musicians that I won’t soon forget.

Positively Poetry

Murphy and Anna are as committed to the literary art form as they are to local music. Their support of the local poetry scene comes in the form of special events, like the complete reading of Beowulf and the appreciation of the sonnet, as well as parties for local literary magazines, readings, and poetry slams. Server Erica Reed is deeply involved in the Whatcom County poetry community, who also spend time at the Honey Moon.

Mead, Cider, and More

According to Casey, Bellingham does beer and coffee very well, but the Honey Moon is the place for mead and cider. They make all of theirs, on site, with local fruit including cider apples from Bellingham’s Bellewood Acres. Meadmaker Sam Maxwell and Murphy develop the meads and cider heads with the help of their loyal crew. The rhubarb and quince used to to make two popular meads are grown in Murphy’s back yard.

What is a cider head you may ask? Its an English style cider made from fresh local apples with no added sugar or concentrate. Or a person who loves hard cider–a lot.

I’ve always enjoyed hard cider, but had little experience with mead beyond knowing that it was the ancient beverage drunk since the medieval times. Mead is a fermented beverage made from honey and a variety of other ingredients including fruit or spice. That’s why I ordered the Taster Tray, which is like a beer flight, and comes in sizes 6 and 12 tastes. Mine included three meads–the reserve, traditional, and rhubarb–and three cider heads–dry, semi-sweet, and cranberry. My inexperienced pallet told me that ciders were sweeter but the meads slightly more syrupy with more of an after taste. It would make sense that medieval ruffians would prefer something more substantial than a crisp, light cider. I enjoyed sampling multiples of both to compare.

In October Honey Moon puts out a call to the community to bring their local apples from throughout the county, old school style, to be blended together into the mead called Bellingham Extra. Many area businesses carry Honey Moon’s meads and ciders and their products are also distributed up and down Washington’s I-5 corridor.

It’s okay if you don’t feel adventurous about mead though. They also serve local beer and wine as well as light fare at affordable prices with vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. Cider is naturally gluten-free of course. The server generously agreed to make my hummus platter vegan without even a blink.

Although Honey Moon has had many opportunities to grow beyond their modest beginnings, they’ve chosen to remain small and local. That dedication to quality and community has built loyalty and support from employees, musicians, poets, and patrons alike.

Cascadia Weekly Article about our Bellingham Extra CiderHead Project!

Check out the nice article by Amy Kepferle in this week's Cascadia Weekly about our second annual Bellingham Extra CiderHead Project! And, yes, please, give us all the apples! Thanks, Amy!

 

Glean Scene
HOW DO YOU LIKE THEM APPLES?

By Amy Kepferle · Wednesday, August 3, 2016


I recently came to the realization that the three giant bags of frozen Italian plums that are in my freezer from last summer’s harvest will have to be moved soon to make way for the plums that are currently ripening on the fruit tree.

I’ve made plans to give the still-viable produce to friends—which is likely what I’ll also do with the frozen blackberries from last year, the zucchini I once again over-planted and whatever else is currently growing at accelerated rates.

Judging by the responses I received on my Facebook page concerning the Great Plum Giveaway, a lot of people are in the same boat regarding the amount of fruit and vegetables they have in their possession in ratio to how much they can consume. (“We’ll put them with the 10,000 Italian plums we already have,” one friend commented.)

I don’t have any apple trees on my property, but if I did I’d be giving serious consideration to Honey Moon Mead & Cider’s second annual Bellingham Extra CiderHead Project, which asks residents to contribute apples to the craft cider project from now through the end of September. In return, they’ll receive a voucher for a portion of the finished product—which is expected to be released in mid-October.

“Part community service, part pomological adventure, the goal of this project is to produce a quintessentially local hard cider from fruit that would otherwise go unharvested or unused—the ‘extra’ apples that are growing quite literally in our own backyards,” Honey Moon’s Anna Evans says.

Those who want to donate their orbs to the cause can either drop off the fruit at Honey Moon’s tasting room in the alley behind Pepper Sisters or contact the mead headquarters to have a crew come pluck the fruit.

Even if you’re not sure what kind of apples you have, Evans says they’ll take them—whether they’re crab apples, gnarly apples or fruit from unidentified trees. In fact, last year’s vintage contained juice from dozens of different varieties, including “mystery” fruit, “all of which can add complexity and boost the acid profile of the finished cider,” she says.

In its first year, the finished product sold out quickly, and organizers are hoping to at least double the volume of this year’s offering. So keep an eye on your apples, and consider sipping on the fruits of your labor.

http://www.cascadiaweekly.com/currents/how_do_you_like_them_apples

The Second Annual “Bellingham Extra CiderHead” Project

Honey Moon Introduces the Second Annual “Bellingham Extra CiderHead” Project

As local apples begin to ripen in the late summer sun, the folks at Honey Moon Mead & Cider are gearing up for their second annual Bellingham Extra CiderHead project.  Part community service, part pomological adventure, the goal of this project is to produce a quintessentially local hard cider from fruit that would otherwise go unharvested or unused – the “extra” apples that are growing quite literally in our own backyards.  Sustainable, delicious, fermentable and fun, the Bellingham Extra CiderHead project aims to capture the essence of our fair city in a bottle.  

Local residents with an abundance of apples on their hands are invited to be part of this one-of-a-kind craft cider project by contributing their extra fruit to the blend.  Contributors will receive a voucher for a portion of the finished product, which is expected to be released in mid-October.  From now through the end of September, Honey Moon will be collecting surplus apples at their tasting room; they also have dispatch crews available to harvest unwanted fruit.  All apple varieties are welcome, including crab apples, gnarly apples and fruit from unidentified “wild” trees, all of which can add complexity and boost the acid profile of the finished cider.  The 2015 vintage contained juice from dozens of different varieties, many of them “mystery” fruit.  It proved extremely popular, selling out within a few weeks of its release.  Organizers hope to at least double the volume of this year’s offering.

If your backyard trees are yielding more fruit than you can use, or if you know of a tree in your neighborhood that is likely to go unharvested, give Honey Moon a call at 360-734-0728.  Or send them an email at info@honeymoonmeads.com.  Apples can be dropped off any time at Honey Moon, 1053 North State Street Alley, in downtown Bellingham.  The entrance is located on the alley just south of the Depot Market Square, behind Pepper Sisters restaurant.

The Official Wine and Cider of the Northwest Raspberry Festival

We at Honey Moon are delighted to be the Official Wine and Cider of the Northwest Raspberry Festival in Lynden.

We have redesigned the labels of our popular Raspberry Mead to commemorate the Festival. And have also introduced our Raspberry CiderHead in a sweet 500 ml bottle, also with a commemorative Festival label..

The Lynden area is one of the greatest raspberry producing areas in the world. What better way to celebrate this than with a bottle of Raspberry Mead or Raspberry CiderHead?

You can find Honey Moon Mead and CiderHead for the Northwest Raspberry Festival at these fine establishments:

Lynden Food Pavilion
Lynden Wine & Spirits
Green Barn Grocers
Costcutter Blaine
Haggen Barkley
Haggen Sehome
Haggen Mt Vernon

Skagit Valley Coop

Haggen Ferndale

The Festival is happening this weekend on July 15 and 16, Friday and Saturday. 12 pm to 8 pm.

Go here for more information: http://lynden.org/northwest-raspberry-festival/

Irish & Folk Mondays

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The Honey Moon is now open Mondays! And not only open but with music! Irish and Folk Mondays at the Honey Moon hosted by the legendary Jan Peters starts this Monday - February 1st. There is an Open Irish Session from 6 to 8. Then a Feature performance from 8 to 9: 30. A $5 suggested donation at the door to support the performers. Come on down and try one our delicious meads or ciders and listen to some of the finest Bellingham musicians performing Irish and Folk music. Cheers!

The February Line Up:
Feb 1 - Lindsay Street - Pan Celtic Beauty & Mirth http://artistecard.com/lindsaystreet
Feb 8 - Countercurrent - Superb Irish & Then Some http://www.countercurrentmusic.com
Feb 15 - Evan Ingalls - The Boy With The Golden Voice
Feb 22 - Flattery - Rollicking Irish & Honeyed Harmonies
Feb 29 - Puirt na Gael - Ripping Scottish & Some Irish Too (for good measure)