Bishop Cider Co. is a cozy spot in the popular Bishop Arts district in Dallas. On a recent cold and rainy Friday, I spent a delightful afternoon tasting cider and enjoying the company of Bishop Cider Co. staff and other guests. This friendly spot was busy with both locals and out of town visitors.
Tucked into a strip center on Bishop Avenue, Bishop Cider Co. is located in a very walkable and popular neighborhood for dining, drinking, and shopping. The cider is made at another Bishop Cider Co. property, The Cidercade, which is also an award-winning arcade. More about that later!
I opted for The Ultimate, a sampling of all eight current cider offerings. The flavors vary by season and availability. Alcohol level on cider ranges from 5-7% by volume, so it is slightly more alcoholic than beer. The sweetness level varies based on the sweetness of the apples and other fruit used in production.
My order arrived in plastic cups on two labeled wooden boards. As I tasted through them, Bishop Cider Co. employee Eddie provided background on the company and the cider making process. Cidermaking has some similarities to winemaking, but there are differences too. Both must determine whether or not to filter, how much and which type of oak barrels, and how much fizziness to add to make the final product.
My favorite cider flavors included Crackberry, a tart cranberry-blackberry blend, and Tigers Blood, a cranberry and coconut concoction. My mouth watered as Eddie described some seasonal flavors including guava ginger, coffee, cranberry-spearmint and cinnamon-mango. He explained how the apples used in production are from Oregon and Washington, and the flavoring comes from all-natural fruit purees. Bishop Cider Co. feels strongly about using natural ingredients in its ciders, and no sugar (other than what is in the fruit) is added.
Like other cider houses, growlers are popular for taking home ciders. Bishop Cider Co. offers a small and a large growler, and refills are priced by the ounce. The four most popular flavors – Crackberry, Apple Pineapple, The O.G., and Blood Orange – can also be purchased in cans as a mixed 4-pack or in a 12-pack. The ciders are widely available across Texas, and a helpful website locates nearby retailers. You can find Bishop Cider Co. ciders at Whole Foods, Spec’s, Central Market, and Total Wine, among other locations.
In order to have more space for production, Bishop Cider Co. expanded into a building about five miles north in the Dallas Design District. The Cidercade features a whopping 24 ciders on tap. Go for a tour of the cider production facility on the first Saturday of the month at 12:30 pm. The big draw for most people, though, is the arcade. The Cidercade has over 170 arcade games that are all free after paying the admission fee (currently $10/day).
A 2018 USA Today readers’ poll named The Cidercade America’s best cider bar, and it certainly appeared so when I visited. The Cidercade is a popular place for parties for kids of all ages. Although it is adults only after 8 p.m., afternoons are busy with families. Food can be brought in from the outside or purchased from food trucks on weekends. Be sure to check The Cidercade’s website for special events including a January 20 Feisty Fiesta & Mango Habanero release party. Warning: the chili pepper eating competition will surely detract from your cider tasting!