By Sarah Mausert
Fall is here (kind of) and that means it’s time for cider. Cider expert Mattie Beason is hosting Txotxfest on Saturday, November 18 from noon till 4PM in front of Beason’s Black Twig Cider House in Durham.
This year Txotxfest will actually kick off on the night of November 17th with a five-course cider paired dinner at Black Twig. Chef Steven Goff of Brinehause Meat & Provisions will be preparing courses with ciders from Noble Cider, Urban Orchard, Appalachian Mountain, and James Creek. I got to try some of Goff’s food at the Blind Pig’s Eve of the Eighth dinner, last May, and I suggest you swipe up tickets for the dinner as fast as you can. I’m sure it will be amazingly delicious.
The following day, on the 18th, Txotxfest starts at noon for VIP ticket holders ($50 thru October 17 then $60, includes a t-shirt) and 1 PM for general admission ticket holders ($30 thru October 17, then $35, the week before the event $40). Award winning regional and national ciders will be available, including ciders from North Carolina producers such as Bull City Ciderworks, Chatham Cider Works, Red Clay Cider, Fishing Creek Cider, and Molley Chomper Cidery. Also participating are beverage providers De Maison Selections, Alley Twenty Six Tonic, Crude Bitters and Sodas, and Fair Game Beverage. Tasting dishes from local restaurants will include Gocciolina (Aaron Benjamin), Juju Asian Tapas + Bar (Charlie Deal) , LaPlace (Christopher McLaurin), Mateo Bar De Tapas (Matt Kelly), Picnic (Wyatt Dickson), Primal Food & Spirits (Tim Lyons), St. James Seafood and Oyster Bar (Matt Kelly), Toast (Billy Cotter), and Watts Grocery (Amy Tornquist).
Txotx (pronounced “choach”, rhymes with “coach”) is featured during the festival; as Food & Wine put it, “The txotx is the most fun you can have pouring a drink.” TxotxFest is the first event of its kind in the Southeast with its cider focus. According to Beason, a certified cider expert, “This is such an exciting time for cider, with so many cideries producing really high-quality cider, and an overwhelming interest from consumers in ciders from the US and abroad. At TxotxFest our goal is to share our passion for cider and celebrate cider from all over the world with our community.”
For those of you who haven’t hit up Black Twig yet, I highly recommend it. My favorite day is Tamale Tuesday with $3 pork, chicken, or veggie tamales. Their sausage sandwiches are also delicious and the staff is friendly and really helpful for cider novices, like myself.