Lemongrass & Ginger Perry
8.5% ABV, 500 ml
Spicy, sparkling, and spunky, Embers lemongrass & ginger perry offers a sublime sipping experience that’s perfect for summer. And if that excessive alliteration doesn’t grab you, perhaps the off-dry sweetness and flavor notes of citrus, spicy ginger and pear drops will. Perfectly balanced and refreshing with just a hint of natural sweetness from the nonfermentable sugars in the pears, Embers takes perry to a whole new level.
What is perry, you ask? Perry is the traditional name for a fermented beverage made entirely from pears, while pear cider typically refers to an apple-pear mixture or pear-flavored apple cider. We grow 100% of the ingredients for Embers on our family farm including the ginger, lemongrass, and Bartlett pears harvested from our 60-year-old orchards. After crushing and pressing the pears, we let the juice ferment and age in neutral oak barrels for as long as it take to develop optimal flavors, in this case fifteen months.
- Spicy with notes of citrus and pear drops.
- Medium body.
- Off-dry sweetness.
- Made with 100% estate grown pears, lemongrass, and ginger.
- Crushed and pressed in house.
- Barrel-fermented and aged for fifteen months in neutral oak.
- Wild-fermented with only naturally-occurring yeast.
- Unfiltered, unpasteurized, unfined and produced with limited intervention and no industrial practices.
- Bottle conditioned to produce carbonation naturally.
Sipping Embers is better with a story. Enjoy this short fiction piece.
The ticket kiosk sat listless and cantankerous at the edge of a scrubby field. The weedy ground had dried out, hard and ragged at the edges like a dessicated and disintegrating sponge. The kiosk itself looked dated and battered, a rental that had seen one too many school carnivals and fun run finish lines. It belonged to a set of carnival structures and booths and looked as though it may have once served as a dunk tank in a previous life. Behind the greasy plexiglass window sat an equally greasy teenager who, despite his youth, looked just as ill-used as his environs. A museum diorama-worthy embodiment of the stereotype — here we see the American teenager as he might have looked at his summer job. Note the blank, bored expression and moderately soiled clothing — he smacked his gum and blew bubbles so large that, when they burst, the deflated, flabby masticate clung to the bridge of his nose and hung down below his chin.
A family approached the booth, the nervous-looking father stepping up to the window while the mother stood back, passively grasping the hands of two small children who were twisting and writhing in an unceasing attempt at freedom.
“Two adults and two kids, please?” He cleared his throat. The teenager blinked and shifted, as imperceptibly at first as a flower bud opening in a time lapse video. The father waited. He shifted from foot to foot, glanced back continually at his family, tapped out a rhythm with spindly, knobbed fingers. He glanced to the right and locked eyes with a fast-approaching man. As he quickly dropped his gaze in politeness, recognition locked into place, clamping down on his chest like the safety restraints on a roller coaster. Simultaneously as he heard his name, the ticket seller quoted him a total and one of his children slithered out of his wife’s grip and took off. His attention caught in a three-way tug-of-war, he was temporarily stunned.
“What?” he asked addressing the ticket seller, but turning toward his acquaintance. He glanced over his shoulder, but his wife had disappeared in pursuit of the escaped child and finally, his attention swung back to the smiling man before him. “Don!” he exclaimed, embarrassed. “Good to see you. Sorry, I …”
“Jason, I thought that was you,” the man said clapping him on the back. His grin was large and flashy in a way that complemented the large Rolex that glinted on his wrist. “Fancy meeting you here. I didn’t know you were … ” he cleared his throat and eyed the younger man with a sardonic curl of the mouth, “... into this kind of thing.”
Jason chuckled mirthlessly and crossed his arms. “Oh, you know, we love the arts. I’ve heard it’s a bit different, you know, but we’re open to different.”
Don’s grin melted and his mouth formed a hard, straight line. “Say, are Celia and the kids here?” The hand that had so goodnaturedly patted Jason moments before had migrated up to the nape of his neck with a grave and serious grip. “Do you really think it’s a good idea to bring kids to something like this?” His tone was low and private.
“The posters said ‘all ages welcome’” Jason began, despising the defensive undertone in his voice. “Anyway, we don’t believe in censorship. We think kids should be exposed to art, even if it’s a little controversial.”
“Yeah, but don’t you think it’ll be kind of disturbing for them?”
“Sir?” the teenager in the ticket booth finally interrupted, exaggeratedly eyeing the line that had formed. He waved the tickets through the small fist-sized hole at the base of the plexiglass window. “It’s gonna be eighteen bucks.”
“Sorry.” Embarrassed and knocked back into flustered anxiety, Jason fumbled with his wallet until a twenty fluttered from it and onto the counter. “Keep the change.”
He stepped sideways putting the queue of irritated ticket-seekers between himself and Don. “I’ve got to go find Celia,” he shouted, waving. “Maybe I’ll see you after the show. Have fun!”
Jason wandered aimlessly between blankets and beach towels, stepping over crossed ankles and pausing for crawling babies. At last, he located his wife and kids who had laid their ratty picnic blanket out at the edge of the crowd next to a thicket of city park scrub brush and haggard, drought-stressed trees. The kids darted around her like gnats, occasionally jumping into her lap or onto her back and hanging from her arms. They looked as though they belonged to the tangle of plants that served them for a backdrop rather than to the seated woman who calmly and disinterestedly tolerated the frenetic activity.
“Who was that?” she asked when he sat down.
“Don Wilson. You met him at the Christmas party, remember? Upper management.” He tented his legs and leaned back on his hands. “He’s a dick.”
She nodded sleepily.
As the sun began to set behind them and long shadows stretched across the field, the crowd quieted instinctively. Even the kids were uncharacteristically subdued. Without warning or an announcement of any kind a spotlight blinked on and roved across the seated patrons. It steadied itself on a black sheet that had been strung up on a PVC frame. The light and the audience sat in stillness for a long time; long enough that people began to shift in their seats, looking around and tittering or whispering when they made eye contact with their skeptical neighbors. At last, two sets of hands reached through and parted the curtain. The spotlight flicked off and the audience could just make out a large, dark shape as it emerged slowly from behind the curtain.
When the spotlight flashed on again, the audience gasped. Later, when they would attempt to describe it, words would fail them — beautiful, majestic, stunning — nothing in the English lexicon felt adequate. The creature moved with a grace that was hard to comprehend and while the audience was riveted, it seemed not to notice them at all. They watched in awe as it spread its wings and rose up. The spotlight glinted off iridescent feathers as the phoenix arched back, stretched its long neck toward the sky and became engulfed in a flame of its own making.
Afterward, Jason felt floaty and inspired. There was life before and there was life after the phoenix, and he wondered how he would ever return to life before. He had trouble sleeping that night, his mind filled with newly-sparked ideas and rekindled dreams. But by the time he returned to work on Monday, the awe he had felt witnessing the phoenix’s dazzling self-immolation and rebirth had waned. While he brushed his teeth that morning, he had closed his eyes and desperately tried to recall the experience, once vivid and transcendent, but now dulled at the edges and faint. Coffee would help, he hoped, but when he arrived at his office and tried to recount the experience to his coworkers, including Don, all that came out was, “It was great. Loved it. Just, great.”
With resignation, he turned to head to his desk. “Well, I’m sure I’ve got a mountain of email waiting for me.”
Don winked and raised his coffee mug in a mock toast. “At least the coffee’s flowing right? Have a good Monday, everyone.”