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No forbidden fruit at Serpentine Cider

Miralani Makers District is officially hopping

Sean Harris celebrates the year of Serpentine Cider with a snake buddy
Sean Harris celebrates the year of Serpentine Cider with a snake buddy

Sean Harris was hiking in the desert with girlfriend Lish Omlid when they settled on the name of their new business: Serpentine Cider.

It happened in the desert one day. Sean Harris and Lish Omlid.

"She and I were hiking looking for tortoises," recalls Harris. They'd been discussing potential names for the cidery when Harris says he stepped on something squishy: a sidewinder rattlesnake. Fortunately, the cold-blooded creature lacked the energy to strike. "It was a really cold morning, so it was too cold to do anything except be really pissed off," he recounts. Nevertheless, the serpent made an impact. "After ten minutes of cussin’ and screaming and my heart racing, I said, ‘Well I guess Serpentine Cider is what it's going to be.’”

The couple was looking for tortoises as part of their work as desert biologists. That job originally brought Harris to San Diego. "They pretty much told me that I'll be working a couple days a week in the desert, and when I'm not, I can live by the beach," he says. "I thought that sounded like a great idea."

Serpentine Cider's exterior sports a desert-oasis aesthetic.

While San Diego is the land of the craft-beer homebrewer, the Pacific Northwest native had divergent interests and has been busy making cider at home the past seven years. "There's big craft associated with cider up there," he explains, which inspired him to work toward bringing that craft down here, to fill what had been a void.

However, when Serpentine Cider opened on October 6th, it joined a suddenly active local cider scene. Not far from Harris's cidery in Miramar, Newtopia Cyder opened early this year. In a North Park storefront Harris briefly considered for Serpentine's location, Bivouac Ciderworks plans to open by the end of 2017.

Place

Serpentine Cider

8665 Miralani Drive #100, San Diego

Ultimately, Harris, Omlid, and third partner Tom Linthicum opened Serpentine on Miralani Drive, now being referred to as the Miralani Makers District due to the high concentration of beverage businesses operating in two adjacent business parks. Neighbors include several breweries, urban wineries, and a sake brewer. Serpentine itself shares a business suite with a mead producer, Lost Cause Meadery, and a counter-service restaurant, the Good Seed Food Company.

The shared tasting room features two points of sale: order from the left side of the counter for mead and cider on the right.

Serpentine's guava cider

Serpentine's ciders range from dry to semi-sweet. Harris explains that while they all start with the same juice blend, the use of different yeasts yields different results for a variety of natural flavor infusions. Cider made with a saison yeast is spiced with the likes of lemongrass and ginger; cider made with California ale yeast lends itself to fruitier beverages featuring passion fruit or guava.

The juice used in Serpentine's cider is sourced from Washington and Oregon, but he gets a lot of other fruit locally, including from Naz Athina Kallel's Save Good Food marketplace. "She sells ugly fruit that you can't sell at farm stands or in grocery stores, but they taste the exact same," Harris explains, “so we get a lot of ugly fruit."

Ugly fruit or not, Harris splits each 15-barrel batch into five blends to maintain a varied cider selection. And in a nod to local beer fans looking to embrace craft cider, one version of Serpentine's dry, 7.5% ABV cider gets the dry-hop treatment.

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Sean Harris celebrates the year of Serpentine Cider with a snake buddy
Sean Harris celebrates the year of Serpentine Cider with a snake buddy

Sean Harris was hiking in the desert with girlfriend Lish Omlid when they settled on the name of their new business: Serpentine Cider.

It happened in the desert one day. Sean Harris and Lish Omlid.

"She and I were hiking looking for tortoises," recalls Harris. They'd been discussing potential names for the cidery when Harris says he stepped on something squishy: a sidewinder rattlesnake. Fortunately, the cold-blooded creature lacked the energy to strike. "It was a really cold morning, so it was too cold to do anything except be really pissed off," he recounts. Nevertheless, the serpent made an impact. "After ten minutes of cussin’ and screaming and my heart racing, I said, ‘Well I guess Serpentine Cider is what it's going to be.’”

The couple was looking for tortoises as part of their work as desert biologists. That job originally brought Harris to San Diego. "They pretty much told me that I'll be working a couple days a week in the desert, and when I'm not, I can live by the beach," he says. "I thought that sounded like a great idea."

Serpentine Cider's exterior sports a desert-oasis aesthetic.

While San Diego is the land of the craft-beer homebrewer, the Pacific Northwest native had divergent interests and has been busy making cider at home the past seven years. "There's big craft associated with cider up there," he explains, which inspired him to work toward bringing that craft down here, to fill what had been a void.

However, when Serpentine Cider opened on October 6th, it joined a suddenly active local cider scene. Not far from Harris's cidery in Miramar, Newtopia Cyder opened early this year. In a North Park storefront Harris briefly considered for Serpentine's location, Bivouac Ciderworks plans to open by the end of 2017.

Place

Serpentine Cider

8665 Miralani Drive #100, San Diego

Ultimately, Harris, Omlid, and third partner Tom Linthicum opened Serpentine on Miralani Drive, now being referred to as the Miralani Makers District due to the high concentration of beverage businesses operating in two adjacent business parks. Neighbors include several breweries, urban wineries, and a sake brewer. Serpentine itself shares a business suite with a mead producer, Lost Cause Meadery, and a counter-service restaurant, the Good Seed Food Company.

The shared tasting room features two points of sale: order from the left side of the counter for mead and cider on the right.

Serpentine's guava cider

Serpentine's ciders range from dry to semi-sweet. Harris explains that while they all start with the same juice blend, the use of different yeasts yields different results for a variety of natural flavor infusions. Cider made with a saison yeast is spiced with the likes of lemongrass and ginger; cider made with California ale yeast lends itself to fruitier beverages featuring passion fruit or guava.

The juice used in Serpentine's cider is sourced from Washington and Oregon, but he gets a lot of other fruit locally, including from Naz Athina Kallel's Save Good Food marketplace. "She sells ugly fruit that you can't sell at farm stands or in grocery stores, but they taste the exact same," Harris explains, “so we get a lot of ugly fruit."

Ugly fruit or not, Harris splits each 15-barrel batch into five blends to maintain a varied cider selection. And in a nod to local beer fans looking to embrace craft cider, one version of Serpentine's dry, 7.5% ABV cider gets the dry-hop treatment.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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