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Colorado Springs' first 'cidery,' and a new social-enterprise café 

Side Dish

Apple track

Last July on the IndyBlog, we told you about a local Kickstarter campaign to launch Colorado Common Cider (coloradocommon.com). Though that effort failed, it ultimately succeeded in drawing attention and attracting five private investors to the venture, says owner/brewer Matthew Bonno. So he's now renovating 4655 Town Center Drive, #130, and says we can expect CCC in hand-bottled six-packs on local liquor-store shelves and area drink-houses as early as this July.

The brewery — or "cidery," which actually operates on a winery license — won't host a taproom or be open to the public. But Bonno is interested in adding a canning line later this year and obtaining more licensing to brew beer on-site, too, as early as 2015.

"Our focus is on the craft aspect," he says. "It'll just be high-quality cider that's price-competitive" with big brands like Angry Orchard and Woodchuck, as well as Colorado brands like Denver's Colorado Cider Company.

Describing his process, Bonno says he can get "from pressed apple to bottle in about a week," yielding 10, 12-ounce bottles (gluten-free and 5.5-percent ABV) for every 15 pounds of apples. They'll be shipped from partnering farms in Washington, most likely, with Colorado "not having a large enough supply for our demand."

He hopes to produce 500 gallons weekly within 2014, and statewide distribution soon after.

Coffee and canvas

Perhaps around early June, look for a food-and-drink addition to the existing arts and social services offered by Dream Catchers (103 S. Wahsatch Ave., #106, dreamcatcherscos.com), which operates as a vocational arm of Ariel Clinical Services, an area nonprofit involved in both child placement and assisting adults with disabilities.

The art gallery and operator of the Alibi Room event space will be creating a café arm, to include a new patio that'll close the current driveway between it and the antique store to the south, according to creative director Kait Beck. A newly cut door will tie the outdoor area to the gallery.

Though Dream Catchers' current "Cork & Canvas" activities are BYOB, Beck envisions also obtaining a liquor license later for the eatery.

"I want the community to come enjoy a drink or pastry, then enjoy our open studio and paint," she says, describing somewhat of a self-guided creative session (supplies included, for around $20) versus formal C&C classes ($35). The space would offer "more of a bar atmosphere than academic."

Initially, those pastries will be joined by simple sandwiches, wraps, salads, smoothies, tea and coffee, with Ariel clients manning some of the service stations to learn job skills — a model not unlike AspenPointe Café's across town.

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