Interview with Tim Godfrey, Cider Maker

Aug 28, 2018

At Golden State Cider, we strive to craft the highest quality cider for the United State of California. We also believe that to make the best cider, your family tree better be an apple tree. 

With our Californian apple heritage firmly rooted in Wine Country, we’ve found inspiration from our wine and beer making brethren and adopted a postmodern cider making philosophy where bench-mark quality and efficiency drive our entire process, from orchard to can. We source fruit from all over the West Coast, including from Oregon, Washington, and various regions within California, including Sonoma and Monterey Counties. With a state-of-the-art production facility overseen by Director of Production, Tim Godfrey, our natural cider making process is the heart of what we do.

Our style is to showcase the great diversity of the apple and always shine light on the unique fruit character above all else. The taste of our craft ciders speak for themselves.

You can always count on Golden State Ciders to be vegan-friendly, gluten-free, and made with no concentrates. It’s all the stuff you want and nothing you don’t.

GSC Tim Godfrey cidermaker

Title: Head Cidermaker, Golden State Cider

Hometown: Petoskey, MI

Number of working at Golden State: Three

How did you get into cider making?

I got into Cidermaking through an initial love for brewing. The first time I tried Cider I didn’t even know what it was, and mistook it for fruity beer. As small Cideries began to pop up in my native homeland of Michigan, I was exposed to complexity and terroir in Cider that was previously unknown to me, and it drove me to learn more. The exploration and creativity within Cider is what drives myself and my team every day.

Where does your inspiration come from for creating new ciders?

Golden State Cider is all about balance and showcasing the ingredients. We don’t add sugar or concentrates, and we strive to work with the highest quality ingredients in their truest form. My goal is to bring the drinker closer to those ingredients in the most authentic and genuine way possible. With that being said, I’m inspired by wineries that are able to perfectly capture a moment in a bottle, and have that message take the drinker to that place in that time.

What are some of the best foods to pair with your ciders?

Cider goes well with all food, but I find that cider and oysters are an unbeatable pair.

What are some of your favorite apple varieties to work with, and why?

I really enjoy working with dual purpose apples; those you can eat fresh, bake with, or drink as cider. It allows you to experience the same apple in many different lights and truly see the diversity of apples at large. We grow a number of varieties that fit this description, but my favorites are Arkansas Blank, Newtown Pippin, Ashmead’s Kernel, Golden Russet, and of course, the Gravenstein.

Mighty Hops cans
Golden State cider cans in ice
Devoto Orchards apples


We started our cidery in 2012 on a small organic apple farm in Northern California and sold the golden liquid exclusively at Bay Area Farmer’s Markets for the first couple of years. Soon, cider making became a full-time obsession and Golden State Cider was born from the same ethos that we started with: great cider starts with quality fruit. That’s why we let the fruit speak for itself – the cider making process starts and finishes with West Coast grown fruits from CA, OR, and/or WA.

We’re driven by quality in all aspects of the cider making process and are fascinated by the range of flavors and profiles that the apple can produce.

Golden State Cider Mighty Dry

Mighty Dry is an off-dry bright cider that is reminiscent apple champagne. Crafted with nothing but fresh-pressed West Coast apples, it’s our most versatile and tastes amazing by itself, paired with food, mixed into cocktails, and even used an ingredient in recipes. Try pairing Mighty Dry with oysters, fish tacos, paella. It’s crafted to be the perfect brunch or dining al fresco bevvy. Always gluten-free and vegan-friendly.

Golden State Cider Mighty Hops

Mighty Hops Cider is a juicy West Coast dry-hopped cider. Its hop flower aromas coat the crisp apple flavor into a juicy, structured finish. Pairs well with burritos, pizza, truffle dishes.

Golden State Cider Ginger Grass

Gingergrass Cider is is a zesty, semi-dry ginger and lemongrass infused cider. Pairs well with savory seafood dishes, ramen, sushi or green papaya salad.

Golden State Cider Bay Brut

Bay Brut Cider is a rustic, unfiltered dry cider that tastes like bay leaf, stonefruit and crisp green apple.  Goes great with outside. Pairs well with local cheeses, farm-fresh veggies and steak.

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