Acreage, by Stem Ciders, opened on Saturday, February 24th. The 30,000 square-foot-space sits on a 12-acre hilltop behind a tech park in Lafayette. Part cider-house, part thoughtful wood-fired restaurant, part production facility and offices for the Stem Cider team.
The Space: Upon entering the space, the views are spectacular from inside the tap room, to outside on the patio as you view the mountains to the west. The interior is filled with an open kitchen, a long wooden bar filled with their cider taps, and picnic style community tables and booths in the back that invoke community and gathering as a group over food and cider.
The combination of materials from wood, to steel, to white subway tile is really warm and rustic. It doesn’t hurt that the entire space is literally warmed by the wood and smoky flavors.
In addition, when you walk to the bathrooms they majestically overlook the large production facility, which gives patrons an opportunity to be tied to the whole process and labor of love they’re supporting.
The Food: Stem Ciders pulled in local culinary superheroes, Kelly Whitaker of Id Est Hospitality and Basta and Daniel Asher of Boulder’s River and Woods, and formerly of Edible Beats Restaurants. The food is Basque-inspired and all wood-fired. Every menu item is gluten-free (except for the burger buns) which is impressive and a nice touch for a cidery.
I love how they incorporate Stem cider into some of the menu like the house aïoli made with Big B’s apple cider vinegar from Hotchkiss, and the mussel broth which has Stem’s Real Dry Apple Cider in it.
The menu ranges from the grill items – pasture party, gone fishing, and sausages – to a preserved section, a vegetable utilization plan (Asher has always been vegetable forward), to en frites, and burgers. There’s really a little something for everyone and you notice that each dish pairs well with cider.
Be sure to try the illegal poutine with Wisconsin cheddar curds, shitake gravy, and roasted anaheim peppers, the wood roasted whole market fish stuffed with citrus and herb, gluten-free cast iron cornbread with pimento cheese, apple-cider donuts, and the venison sausage with port wine served with warm cider sauerkrat. The menu elevates their food game and truly makes it a destination.
Another big benefit of this space is that Stem Ciders is able to rapidly grow their production as they can now expand to 70,000 barrels of cider a year now. On tap, they have 24 ciders which is far more than their RiNo location.
For the future, Acreage plans to plant an orchard and farm, where they can grow the food, be an apple source for their cider, and of course a wonderful place for families and even hosting private events. This is a great addition to the Lafayette area and I know it will be well loved.