Before GYST opened in Uptown, I met with sisters Mel and Ky Guse for a RedCurrent article and it was fun to learn about their background and why they wanted to open a fermentation bar. I had also supported their Kickstarter campaign… like I wasn’t going to support a wine bar in my then-neighborhood. GYST also offers beer, kombucha and other drinks along with a selection food.
On Saturday, they welcomed Keepsake Cidery into the bar for an all-day preview tasting so I met my friends Sarah and Jason there to enjoy some flights. Keepsake is a new cidery based in Dundas, MN and you can read their story here. A flight of all three ciders cost $15 and we each got our own. The following is how Keepsake describes their ciders.
Heartwood: This is Keepsake’s driest cider, crisp and refreshing with a clean finish. Nothing is taken out and only the basic ingredients are added – no sugar, no acids, and only minimal sulfites at the beginning of the fermentation process.
Woodskeep: Medium. Fermentation is controlled in order to preserve the natural sugars from the apple. Once bottled, these sugars will convert to CO2, producing a slightly effervescent cider that will drink slightly drier with just a hint of natural sweetness.
Wild: This is Keepsake’s most adventurous cider. No sulfites added, no yeast added, just cider. The indigenous yeasts present on the apples and in the cidery did all of the work of fermentation, resulting in a product that truly reflects its origins. This is a dry and very complex cider.
I assumed the Heartwood would be my favorite since it’s dry, but Jason and I both decided the Woodskeep was our favorite. The little bit of carbonation edged it out – it was just the right amount. We all enjoyed the Wild, and as it states, it’s very complex. The three of us kept finding new things to say about it as we sipped. They all have a little sweetness to them but not overly so.
You can join Keepsake’s Cider Club, kind of like a CSA but for cider. A full share is 26 bottles for $360, and a half share is 13 bottles for $185. The website says it will officially start this summer, and purchase is already available online. Don’t say you’re not tempted. I know I absolutely am.
Jason is into fermenting (he just finished his first batch of kimchi and it’s delish!!) so we got the Pickle & Fermented Plate. The beets were a little spicy and hands down my favorite. I also enjoyed the turnips, and I like that this dish can change from day to day depending on what they have available.
GYST has such a nice, laid back atmosphere and it’s only one block away from Eat Street with plenty of street parking nearby. You can sit at the bar or grab a table. They support many local companies and host classes and events from time to time. So round up some friends and go see what GYST is all about!
GYST Fermentation Bar
25 East 26th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55404