An Apple a Day Keeps the Gamer at Play
Dec 07, 2017 09:35AM
● By Ashley Madonna
Leave it to the Bishop Arts District to take the craft brewery craze and make it craftier. The city-folk founders and cider enthusiasts Joel and Laura Malone don’t have a bachelor’s in brewing, but they do have Internet access. After launching a successful Kickstarter campaign and fishing through mounds of bureaucratic red tape, the daring duo hunted the web and gathered apples and other exciting fixings to add to their recipes. In 2014, Bishop Cider Co. (BCC) emerged as Dallas’ first cidery bringing fresh ingredients, fresh thinking and a little beginner’s luck to the craft cider world.
Those who think ciders are only super dry and tart are in for a tasty treat. Of course, BCC has their own version of the standard, which they call High & Dry. This crisp and potent (6.8% ABV) cider brings forth plenty of pucker-inducing tannins that will make your lips smack. However, the not-so-standard yet equally popular Suicider (6.5% ABV) has a precarious mixture of spices that speaks to the founder’s spirited attitude. Here, the familiar holiday flavors of cinnamon, allspice and clove combine for a playful nod to the little chemist in all of us—or as they put it, “A tasty mess.”
The Malone’s definitely tapped into the right market, and within a year BCC outgrew its original cidery. The former Bishop Avenue location has since been resurrected into a small yet noble tasting room for their creative concoctions. Upon walking in, a long wooden bar calls your name. We suggest you belly up and order a flight of the latest potions available while a friendly bartender walks you through the history of cider making. Did you know cider was a thing before Prohibition? Now you do.
Thankfully, Prohibition is no more, and today local cider fans can enjoy a myriad of hard ciders like BCC’s Crackberry, a cranberry-blackberry infusion or Cat Scratch Fever, which incorporates jalapeños (and an 8.5% ABV) to bring a bit of heat to your sweet. Six days a week (the tasting room is closed Mondays), patrons can relax at one of several small tables or fill a growler to go.
The Malone’s didn’t stop at the first sweet taste of success. To meet the increasing demand for craft ciders, the couple expanded into a larger production facility in the Dallas Design District.
It was in this space that Joel chose to portion off a few thousand square feet to turn into an arcade. Yes, that’s right. The Malone’s took a space the size of your average suburban home, added a rotating gallery of arcade classics and dubbed it as the Cidercade! Thanks to the backing of a family arcade game collector, the Cidercade boasts a wide variety of popular titles like Guitar Hero and well-worn classics like Frogger and Asteroids to keep even the biggest gamer happy.
Want some fight with your pint? Order up a Schilling Mischeif Maker (fruit-forward cranberry and pomegranate, 6% ABV) and challenge a friend to a game of Mortal Kombat over in Figher’s Row. Just beware; on Thursday nights the Cidercade invites serious gamers to take part in regular tournaments with prize pools in the thousands of dollars.
Those looking for a more classic buzz are advised to tap their inner Gene Simmons at the KISS pinball machine. Pair it with some dry-hopped Bishop Galaxy (citrus and passionfruit cider, 10% ABV) and you’ll Rock N Roll All Night!
Whatever your flavor, the Cidercade is bound to have something for you with two dozen specialty ciders on the menu. Leave the quarters at home because from noon until midnight (and 1am on Friday and Saturday) a modest $10 admission fee will have you playing all the games to your heart’s content.
The Malone’s may take their cider seriously, but at their tasting room and Cidercade, the overall vibe is laid-back with a nod to your sweet-toothed, joystick-navigating inner child. The next time you’re in Dallas, consider leveling-up for a fun night out with Bishop Cider Co.
Bishop Cider Co. Tasting Room
509 N Bishop Ave. Ste C
2777 Irving Blvd.