Note: Some items have gluten options but there is a gluten-free menu option. So make sure to still state your allergy restrictions.
Acreage — a new cider house and restaurant — opens on the hilltops of Lafayette this Saturday. It is a collaboration between some of the biggest names in the Denver and Boulder food and beverage community, bringing together Stem Ciders, Kelly Whitaker (of Basta, to consult on hospitality) and Daniel Asher (of River and Woods, to consult in the kitchen).
Sitting on a 12-acre piece of land, Acreage offers an expansive view of the (now snow-laden) front range, leaving room for a budding apple orchard and cider garden in the future. However, there’s already plenty of activity sprouting indoors.
The full facility sits at around 30,000 square feet, leaving room for production up to 60,000 barrels per year. This is a big leap for Stem Ciders, which currently produces about 4,500 barrels per year. The team does anticipate to jump to 18-20,000 this year, though.
Long, community-style tables line the space, along with a firepit-filled deck and a private dining room inside the barrel-aging cellar.
The Food & Drinks
The place will never be your typical brewery-meets-restaurant combo, though. For one, it’s not even serving beer – it’s all about cider at Acreage.
After visiting cider houses in San Sebastián — the Basque region of Spain — Whitaker knew he needed to bring a similar spot to Colorado. The rustic menu was made to match, with food prepared over an open flame. Kelly explained that there aren’t very many cider houses in the country yet, and he wanted to help shape what they could mean for us.
“I really wanted to define what an American cider house is,” he said.
Acreage has triple the number of taps as the RiNo taproom, which means more room for more cider flavors. While the team filled with the usual suspects — like pear, raspberry and other flavors that span from “real dry” to “off-dry” — they also included new and harder to find ciders, like Banjo, which they usually only serve during Stem Cider’s event CiderGrass. The bar will also feature local, Colorado wines on tap and by the bottle.
When it comes to the food, we’ll first default to chef Daniel Asher, who describes it best.
“From start to finish, we want the Acreage community to feel connected with their food and the exceptional local producers making the culinary experience possible,” he said. “It begins with guests choosing their meal from the Colorado-sourced vegetables and meats on display in our case. While guests enjoy a cider paired with spectacular mountain views, we’ll roast or grill their dish over the wood-fired flame with that aroma connecting them, once again, to their food, until it’s ready to be delivered table-side andq2 truly savored.”
Meats in said display case include wood-roasted, whole Colorado Bass stuffed with herbs and citrus, grass-fed ribeye, pastured lamb chops or a choice of three sausages including venison, Thai, Basque smoked chorizo and more. Each can be served from the grill with sides of your choice or a la carte. Perhaps most notably, everything on the menu is, or can be made, gluten-free.
“We’re not doing any baking in-house … it’s not even in the HVAC system, so if someone is extremely sensitive to gluten exposure it won’t even be on-premise,” said Asher. ” Honoring allergies and making adaptations based on guests dietary needs and preferences has been a core philosophy of mine for a couple decades. It’s just about serving people properly and taking care of the guests. To me, that is hospitality.”
That’s not all, though. The menu also includes burgers — lamb and beef — with the beef coming from Buckner Family Farms, just miles down the road in northern Boulder County.
“Connecting those dots between farmers and consumers is really important,” Asher said. “Not all food stories are tableside friendly, but ours are, and that’s really special.
And, of course, everything pairs well with a cider flight, which are $10 for four tastes.
“The experience of Acreage further elevates the Colorado craft experience and is unlike anything we’ve seen across the country,” said Eric Foster, co-founder and CEO of Stem Ciders. “By pairing the crisp apple of our ciders with the wood-fired flavors of Chef Daniel’s dishes, we’ll be bringing people together with food and drink from an exceptional, rustic menu that is both casual and approachable.”
Acreage is located at 1380 Horizon Avenue, Lafayette. It officially opens on Saturday, February 24 at 5 p.m. Regular hours will be Monday through Friday, 3 to 10 p.m. in the cider house, with a full menu available Saturday and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m.