Did any of you see or hear that NPR story a few months back about hard cider making a comeback in the U.S.? In the news outlet's food-centric blog The Salt, writer Joel Rose calls dry hard cider "the fastest growing alcoholic beverage in America." While we were of course aware of the cider explosion occurring around us over the past few years, we wanted to give you some background on why we started making cider and how Reef Points came to be.
We came of age right around the time steady careers became harder to come by than they were for the generation before ours, and California's Central Coast, by no means the worst place to be, was still affected. We were lucky to be able to work in fields we both felt passionate about. Dane, having just graduated with a small business degree from Cal Poly, worked on the ocean as a boat captain while Patrick's career progressed in the Paso Robles wine industry. We felt the urge to expand our horizons and begin a new project of our own.
Patrick was properly introduced to cider in the southern hemisphere. It was a light, crisp and refreshing remedy for a long day's work, hot days on the beach or epic trips spent fishing or surfing. Inevitably it became tied to traveling, adventure and creative endeavor. The idea to create products that represent those memories was further excited by Dane's co-interest in starting a business. Reef Points evolved out of a desire to create quality dry, sparkling ciders that embody the adventures and the creativity of both of us.
We are both are fascinated by the "nuts and bolts" of alcohol production. Our passion for the business is spirited by its collosal number of processes and twists. The day to day tasks move quickly from formulating financial projections to creating watercolors for labels and marketing materials, corresponding with customers to racking barrels, editing photos to delivering cider from the back of our truck. It's incredibly involved and time consuming.
Reef Points began in just five barrels, after countless hours already spent on the project. In reflection, we look back at the products we've designed, the businesses who have been willing to stand by us and the people we are incredibly fortunate to have involved and it inspires us.
More than anything else, Reef Points is a creative expression of who we are, and a collaborative effort between friends. Right now, we are at the beginning. We've had a great two and half years but we can push our ciders a LOT farther. We haven't quit our day-jobs. We are thankful and excited to take what is available to us now and create products that will stand the test of time.
-Patrick and Dane
***PHOTO CREDIT: top photo by Patrick Martinez; lower three photos by Cana Outdoors