Central Coast Cider Festival

Apple-major beverages are the theme in Atascadero.

A GOOD APPLE: You may have more good apples than bad in your life. Fingers crossed you have only good apples, while, only on the rarest of occasions, coming across an apple that you yourself would have left up on the tree branch. But "good apples" and "bad apples" don't just apply to those dear souls in our lives, the people we love and the people we vow to work harder with, in the bridge-building department. There can be good and bad apples in terms of to-dos, the kind of weekend gatherings we anticipate for days and days. It's generally hoped that such gatherings deliver, but let's just state, here and now, that cider festivals traditionally do, putting them very firmly in the "good apple" camp. Maybe it is because good apples are central to much of what the brewmakers do, as are other fruits and flavors and foams. And, no, it isn't just an autumn sip, hard cider; some of the biggest parties on the California calendar arrive in springtime. Including the one located in charming Atascadero, the...

CENTRAL COAST CIDER FESTIVAL: It's all bubbling up on Mother's Day Saturday at Atascadero Pavilion on the Lake. That's May 13, a grand day to be lakeside trying the offerings of places like Red Branch Cider Company of Sunnyvale, Hemly Cider out of Courtland, and Pismo Beach's Meraki Cider. Tickets range from $55 to $65, and dinner, "a traditional English pig roast," is included (as are the live tunes). Have you been getting into ciders, be their pear or apple or beyond? Be a pal and round up your own good apples for a day trip to the Central Coast for a springtime cider reverie.

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