Friday, June 22 , 2018, 2:30 am | Overcast 60º


Tara Jones: The Apiary in Carpinteria Serves Up Mead, Jun and Ciders

The house-made beverages use local ingredients and are well worth the trip

Owners Nole Cosart and Rashna Hailey’s ciders and off-the-beaten-path jun and mead beverages are worth the trip to The Apiary in Carpinteria. Click to view larger
Owners Nole Cosart and Rashna Hailey’s ciders and off-the-beaten-path jun and mead beverages are worth the trip to The Apiary in Carpinteria. (Tara Jones / Noozhawk photo)

Confession: I am a cider fanatic. And a cider snob.

If you’re making cider, I want to know about it, and I’ll probably mentally judge your product somewhat harshly. (Sorry, not sorry.)

Cider-making is the next wave in the alcohol industry these days because of the fact that it’s fairly inexpensive to make and the process is simple and quick.

Even Joe Shmoe down the street can make it in his garage.

West Coast ciders, while not new, are definitely growing in number at a quickening pace, and while California ciders are just OK in my book, the Central Coast ciders that strive for a European dryness are what I avidly seek out.

I recently visited Carpinteria’s newest watering hole, The Apiary, to try out owners Nole Cosart and Rashna Hailey’s new ciders and discovered that their off-the-beaten-path mead and jun beverages are what steal the spotlight.

Cosart, former owner of Jun Brewery in Santa Barbara, met Hailey who had an extensive background in holistic cooking at a pop-up event, and the two joined forces to create The Apiary. It opened its doors in May.

Hailey sources most of their operational ingredients from local farms such as Casitas Valley Farm and Cuyama Orchards, and hops from their neighbor, brewLAB.

With a low alcohol percentage of just 2 percent, jun is easily argued to be as healthy a beverage as kombucha and is equally as satisfying.

Mead, on the other hand, also known as honey wine, is a strange beast all its own, and Cosart and Hailey are delivering an intriguing, rotating menu of flavors that are worth driving to Carpinteria to check out, like their Hopacado and Hydromelon, fermented drinks with local avocado and watermelons.

Got a beer lover who would rather skip out on cider tasting? There’s something for them, too.

The Bitter Roots mead satisfies much like a toasty, malted beer flavor profile with a hint of coffee and smoke on the finish.

However, I would recommend requesting a tasting order if you’re to try the sampler as the varying flavors can easily compete and ruin your palate midway through your experience.

The California-style ciders on the menu were a nice introductory to the cinnamon, mulling spice, molasses and maple syrup flavors they’ll soon be serving up this winter, but I would keep my eye on the different mead flavors as those are the real showstoppers.

And with Cosart playing with pinot and bourbon barrels for some new brews to be released this spring, there’s sure to be some beverages worthy of taking home that even an old snob like me will likely deem praiseworthy.

Tara Jones leads Eat This, Shoot That! and welcomes reader tips and ideas for future columns. She can be reached at [email protected]. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >

Meet Your Realtor Sponsored by Village Properties

Photo of Dianne and Brianna Johnson
Dianne and Brianna Johnson
"We are committed to making our clients feel special by providing the concierge level service they deserve."

Full Profile >