Lupine - Sold Out
8.5% ABV, 500 ml
Step with me into the forest gloom. Come on, come in. Breathe the wild musk, the damp and dank scents wafting up from the forest floor. Can you picture it? Feel it, smell it? Don’t worry if you can’t; just pour yourself a glass of Lupine Hopped Cider and you’ll find yourself immediately transported to a soggy, twilit Northwest forest.
With its earthy, strange aromas and notes of pine, warm citrus and tart apple, Lupine delivers a bottled up version of our favorite side of Oregon — the weird, wild, mysterious side; the side that attracts bigfoot enthusiasts and inspires bizarre roadside attractions. Made from Gravenstein apples, Lupine is fermented wild using only naturally occurring yeast and bacteria, and is then hopped with heirloom hops that have been growing wild on our family farm since before our grandparents’ acquired the land. The hop’s latin species name lupulus (genus Humulus) means “little wolf,” which we have found to be particularly fitting for these wild, ranging hops that give the invasive blackberry species on our farm a run for its money.
Enjoy Lupine among the trees and ferns or alongside a campfire. But if you catch a glimpse of a something large and furry behind a tree or find yourself howling at the full moon, don’t blame us, blame the Lupine.
- Notes of pine, warm citrus, and tart apple.
- Medium body.
- Made with Gravenstein apples and heirloom hops
- 100% estate grown and processed, meaning all ingredients were grown, picked, crushed, and pressed by us.
- Wild-fermented with only naturally-occurring yeast.
- Completely dry flavor with zero residual sugar.
- Unfiltered, unpasteurized, unfined and produced with limited intervention and no industrial practices.
- Bottle conditioning with no forced carbonation for a pleasant fizziness.
Enhance your cider-drinking experience with a story. Enjoy this short fiction story inspired by Lupine.
Fred had nearly reached his driveway when the grocery bag burst, and gravity did its part to further wreck an already wretched day. He swore and crouched over the mess, raking soup cans and frozen dinners and yogurt cups in toward his soiled knees, while wiping each item individually on the lawn to clean off the sticky brown sludge from a shattered syrup bottle. He was relieved to discover that the majority of the bag’s contents — a dozen tightly saran-wrapped squares of beef in a variety of cuts, their red juices seeping into the folds of the plastic and bubbling just under the surface — were perfectly intact, with the exception of the ground beef which had spurted through a small rupture in the wrapping like link sausage through its casing. He salvaged what was left in the container and scraped up the rest, his fingertips chafing against the pavement of the sidewalk. Gently, he stacked as many packages of meat as he could carry into his arms, placing the salvaged and dripping ground beef package on top.
As he stood, his neighbor Jeff drove past, head craned in Fred’s direction, and swung wide and a little too fast into his own driveway. Jeff stepped out of the car, slammed the door, and placed his hands on his hips in one swift motion. He made his way over to Fred and let out a long whistle through his teeth, his back and eyebrows arching. The muscles in Fred’s neck tightened and he shifted the load. His hands were tacky with syrup and blood and they made a velcro sound on the plastic when he adjusted his grip.
“Big plans tonight?” Jeff asked eyeing the contents of the packages in Fred’s arms with a wolfish, knowing grin.
“Oh, you know,” Fred responded with discomfort. The day was reaching its hottest point and both Fred and the meat in his arms had begun to sweat. His glasses had slipped down his nose, but he lacked a free hand to push them back up. “The usual.” He tilted his head back in an attempt to shake the glasses back into position, but the effort was futile. “Anyway, I’d better get this stuff inside.”
Jeff pivoted toward Fred’s retreating back. “Can I give you a hand?”
“No, no,” Fred shouted back. He pounded on the front door with the toe of his shoe. “I’ve got it.”
Jeff placed a hand on his brow to block the sun, but otherwise stayed motionless. “You sure?”
Fred pounded again. “Oh yeah.” At last, he heard his wife’s muffled footsteps approach. “Here’s Janine now,” he shouted over his shoulder as she swung the door open. “All good, thanks.”
Later that evening, after Fred and Janine and their two children had eaten a meaty dinner, Fred washed up in the kitchen, while Janine pestered the children into their pajamas, nagged them to brush their teeth, and hurriedly tucked them in. She brusquely kissed each one on the forehead, switched off the lights in their room and, removing a key from her pocket, locked them in with a click. She returned to the kitchen and packed a small insulated bag with the remaining packages of meat while Fred finished up with the dishes. They furtively wiped their hands and bustled out to the car with the bag of meat. Neither one spoke.
Fred allowed the needle of the speedometer to creep up seven, then ten miles per hour over the speed limit. The sun was getting dangerously close to the horizon in front of them. In the passenger seat, Janine picked at her hangnails, then flipped down the visor to check her lipstick. They wound up and around into the mountains on increasingly narrow switchback roads and eventually lost sight of the sun behind dense, towering trees. Dusk descended pre-maturely in the forest and Fred was obliged to switch on his headlights. When they at last pulled into the dusty, potholed parking lot of a long abandoned campground, their mutual relief was palpable. They took a quick scan of the other cars and realized they were the last ones to arrive. After hiking in a short way, they were greeted by the sight of two dozen or so people gathered in and around a small clearing.
“There you are!” Janine’s sister, Val, exclaimed, rushing over to embrace them. “We were beginning to worry.”
“Sorry,” said Fred, shaking his brother-in-law’s hand and handing off the insulated bag. “Just one of those days, you know.”
Janine followed Val through the underbrush and deeper into the woods where most of the women were gathered, their forms and features hazy in the gradually deepening shadows. Fred approached the circle of men in the clearing.
“Cider?” their friend Curtis asked tossing aside his own empty bottle and opening the cooler next to his camp chair. “It’s nice and dry. I’ve got beer, too. And look,” he held up a couple of miniature bottles with a smile, their necks pinched between his fingers, “I’ve got those tiny vodkas like they give you on the airplane.”
Fred held up a hand. “Not for me, thanks. You know how alcohol makes me...” He trailed off. “After the ... Change, you know.”
Curtis looked away and there was a general nodding and clearing of throats among the men. Curtis perked up once more, “John?” he asked hopefully. “Up for a shot?”
“Sure,” John conceded, making his way across the circle.
Fred turned to his brother-in-law. “How’re the kids, Rob?”
“Oh, the same,” he replied absently, rocking back and forth on his heels. His gaze shifted involuntarily, unable to focus on any one thing. “Kids are kids, you know.”
“Can someone help me with this?” a woman named Nora called from the outskirts of the clearing, bending over a pile of coolers and grocery sacks. A couple of men and a handful of women broke off from their respective groups and made their way over. Together, they began unwrapping the packages of meat and piling the contents onto a plastic, blood-stained tablecloth that had been spread over a flat spot on the ground.
Fred nodded in reply to Rob while watching the group pass the dripping hunks of meat toward the center of the tablecloth. His mouth began to water. “And Val? How’s the new job?”
“It’s an adjustment,” Rob replied. His gaze was also trained on the growing pile of meat. The sharp, metallic smell had begun to waft over to them. “I think she’s liking it though.” Both men fell silent, while other halting, half-hearted conversations took place around them in sputtering fits and spurts.
“It’s time,” someone said eventually and everyone fell silent. The darkness of the wood had deepened and the sky overhead had turned from a pale gray streaked with orange to a deep purple. Curtis chugged the rest of his cider and tossed the bottle aside. Janine made her way over to Fred, turning her back to him and raking her hair over one shoulder. He unzipped her dress and then pulled on the knot in his tie. The birds and crickets and toads and other creatures of the forest fell silent; the only sound was that of the group undressing, wordlessly and efficiently. A now fully nude Fred folded his clothes neatly and removed his watch and glasses, placing them atop the pile. He straightened and caught Janine’s eye. Reaching out to clasp her hand, he smiled gently and the corners of her mouth turned up slightly in reply.
When the Change began, their hands dropped, their focus turning inward. Energy hummed and crackled among those gathered, darting between and filling up the space around them. Hair sprang forth in areas where there typically was no hair, feet and hands elongated and narrowed, jaws protruded, teeth pointed, eyes yellowed. Some in the circle dropped to all fours, their backs rounding as ropey muscles formed around their spines and shoulder blades. Others shuddered upright, tilting their heads back as their ears grew larger and pointed and their necks lengthened.
A feeling of ecstasy coursed through Fred’s body. He flexed his clawed fingers as his eyes adjusted and the detail of the forest emerged around him; each fir needle becoming distinguishable from its neighbors; the forms of fern fronds and floating mosquitos taking shape in the soupy gloom under the tree canopy. As his sense of smell sharpened, the aromas of the forest enveloped and intoxicated him. He breathed them in, deeply and greedily, and released his breath in a long, head-tilted howl.