Small bites: Hard-cider ice pops from Urban Orchard and The Hop

ALL GROWN UP: The Hop’s house-made ice pops — or Hopsicles — which debuted last winter, now offer an iteration that caters to grown-ups with the addition of Urban Orchard Cider Co.’s hard-cider products. Photo by Pat Barcas

Unfazed by winter weather, Urban Orchard Cider Co. and The Hop have teamed up to create a cider-spiked line of frozen treats. The rotating selection of adult-only ice pops, sorbets and ice creams will be made at the The Hop’s Haywood Road production facility and sold at Urban Orchard’s West Asheville cidery.

“We might not sell a ton right now, [although] we are selling more than we thought we would,” says Urban Orchard’s marketing and creative director, Jeff Anderson. But “when it comes springtime, it’s nice that people know that just up the street, they can get alcoholic Popsicles.”

The Hop owners Greg and Ashley Garrison began selling their boozy “Hopsicles” from a cooler at Haywood Road’s Gas Up last year, and they’ve been using Urban Orchard’s cider for about two years to make sorbets that they sell at festivals. “They all lend themselves really well to sorbet,” Greg says of the cider flavors. But the Garrisons aren’t permitted to sell the product line at their own stores, because it contains a fair amount of alcohol.

“That’s where we come in,” Anderson says. The cidery’s freezer is stocked with a vegan ginger-Champagne sorbet plus ice pops and sorbets made with Urban Orchard’s recently released Tangerine Turnpike flavor, which was created using honey from Asheville Bee Charmer and lavender.

Because local, seasonal ingredients heavily influence Urban Orchard’s rotating menu of ciders, the selection of derivative treats will vary. Anderson expects a berry cider soon, as well as a watermelon variety for the Fourth of July.

Because the spiked desserts are individually packaged, Anderson aims to offer them to-go after ensuring compliance with the law. He’ll also ramp up production as temperatures rise, even though a mid-January Facebook post hinting at the concept generated ample excitement. “Within a couple of hours, we had 3,000 views and nearly 30 responses.

“We’re excited to see what the summer looks like,” Anderson says. “We’ve got a few other things up our sleeve, [and] we’re going to hopefully add to the fun Asheville vibe.”

Urban Orchard is at 210 Haywood Road. Hours are 3-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, noon to midnight Friday-Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday. Visit urbanorchardcider.com for details.

Foothills Meats announces new partnership and meat CSA details

A farmer and agricultural educator since 1999, Lee Menuis of Wild Turkey Farms in Rowan County has been brought on as a business partner and pastured pork provider for Foothills Meats. The company already sources from area farms like Apple Brandy Beef, Brasstown Beef, Happy Hens and Balsam Gardens. In addition to visiting Foothills’ downtown deli, customers can sign up for a community supported agriculture program with Foothills. Packages start at $35 per share and include assortments of products including boneless pork chops, shoulder roasts, sausages, ground beef and house-made deli items such as ham, bacon, roast beef, bologna, pastrami and hot dogs. When available, shares may also include meat stocks, pork lard and other extras. Foothills also plans to expand distribution into Charlotte this month.

Foothills Deli and Butchery is in Ben’s Penny Mart at 195 Hilliard Ave. Beginning Friday, Feb. 5, CSA shares are available for pickup each week or every two weeks at Ben’s Penny Mart (3-6:30 p.m. Fridays) or the company’s production kitchen at 1196 Old U.S. 70, Black Mountain (11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Fridays). Charlotte pickups are available by request.

MG Road’s Fair Game Lodge dinner

Presented by Fair Game Beverage Co. of Chatham County and the Asheville Wine & Food Festival, the upcoming Fair Game Lodge event at MG Road aims to create a wintery dining experience. “Bring your finest furs, faux or not, dust off your ski boots and toboggan, prepare a hearty appetite and enter the cozy confines of our lodge,” invites the event release. “Chef James Grogan of Chai Pani will be showing off his winter chops, cooking a four-course warming hunter’s dinner. Think rabbit and other fine game.” The night begins with a cocktail hour (cash bar) and complimentary hors d’oeuvres before a crackling fire brought to patrons via a high-definition projector. Dishes will be paired with cocktails by MG Road bartender Erin Hawley, who will use Fair Game’s fortified wine and spirits in her drinks.

Fair Game Lodge is 6-9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11, at MG Road, 19 Wall St. Tickets ($75) are available at fairgamelodge.splashthat.com.

MetroWines pitches in to fight muscular dystrophy

At MetroWines, 10 percent of sales of Cono Sur Bicicleta will benefit Parent Project for Muscular Dystrophy. “This is a mean, destructive and elusive disease. Because so few are stricken, research is limited and expensive,” writes shop co-owner Gina Trippi. “We chose Cono Sur Bicicleta, because the wines sell well and, frankly, for the bicycle on the label. That is the goal: to see these kids ride bikes.”  The fundraiser is perpetual.

MetroWines is at 169 Charlotte St. Visit metrowinesasheville.com for more information. 

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About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

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