Pour the Core: A Cider Festival Survival Guide

Pour the Core Philly

This weekend is one of my favorite fall traditions: cider fest! Every October, my Fordham friends make the trip down to Philly and we attend Pour the Core, a hard cider festival at the Navy Yard. I rarely drink beer, but cider is one of my go-to drinks when I’m out. A festival is a fun way to hang out with your friends and sample some ciders that you may not always find on draft at your corner bar.

We didn’t know what we were getting ourselves at our first cider fest, but after five years we’ve learned few things. Attending an outdoor beer or cider festival? Here are some tips so you get the most out of it!

BYOPN

The first year we went to Pour the Core Philly, we were in awe of everyone’s pretzel necklaces and tried to figure out where to find them. Well, turns out you need to make them yourself! That’s right: bring your own pretzel necklace. They’re actually pretty affordable and easy to make, and trust me, you’ll want one. You may think you’ll look silly or you won’t get hungry or you don’t really like hard pretzels, but you’re wrong. If you’re paying money to sample lots of cider or beer, you’ll want something to nibble on and something to help you differentiate between samples.

On a related note, take advantage of the food samples you find and drink plenty of water. PTC also has a food truck lineup, so take a lunch break before hitting up your favorite booths for second rounds.

Chat with the experts

PTC has over 75 ciders to sample, so it can get overwhelming fast. Don’t be afraid to ask volunteers and vendors about the drinks they have available! Sure, some may be more knowledgable than others, but life is too short to sample things you know you won’t like. By now, I know I prefer most sweet ciders over dry ones, and I avoid anything that is described as hoppy — but that might totally be your thing, and that’s okay! Not every cider can be a winner for everyone. (I learned that the hard way with Woodchuck Fall and Woodchuck Pumpkin.)

Dress for the weather — sorta

Okay, this is one of my life tips because I don’t leave my apartment without checking the forecast! When it comes to PTC though, there are some extra considerations to make. You spend a good amount of time underneath tents waiting in line for your samples, which means if it’s hot out, you’ll be even warmer than you think trapped with people in the shade. And wear the crossbody bag.

Also, don’t assume the weather will feel like fall because October in the northeast is a mystery. I’ve worn everything from a tank and shorts, dress and sneakers to a sweater and vest. (I don’t really recommend rompers because of the porta potty situation.) This Saturday’s forecast calls for some morning rain, so that’s a whole new ballgame, which brings me to…

Wear appropriate footwear

Another life lesson, but still deserving of its own section. Cider fest is not the time to wear your really cute fall boots. Wear your sneakers, wear your combat boots, wear your rain boots. There will be sticky alcohol spilled on you at one point and there will be mud.

Don’t drink and drive

Just don’t. PTC gets bonus points for offering designated driver tickets (which include admission but no sampling) as well as a shuttle bus to public transportation. Also, if you follow up cider fest with a cheesesteak, I can pretty much guarantee you won’t end up hungover.

Pour the Core also host cider festivals in Baltimore, Boston, Brooklyn and Long Island. As my friends and I say, a cider a day keeps the doctor away, so drink up (responsibly)!

~ Sarah

Things I Need To Tell You About, Vol. 5

On Monday night, I saw my blog/IRL friend Chelsea and she blog shamed me! “You haven’t blogged since mid-September!” And it’s true…I’ve been busy thinking of topics to write about without actually blogging! And now it’s somehow November?? Anyway I’m back, and catching up…

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At least it looks like fall?

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Hotaumn

I don’t know if you noticed, but this past September and October were warm. I love summer, so I didn’t mind too much, but it was weird. Especially once all the fall decorations came out. And of course, the temperatures had to go from shorts to sweaters and leggings within the span of a week. Now it’s at least feeling seasonal, but my body was not ready. So don’t be surprised if my next outfit post features bare legs…because that’s what is going to happen. Regardless of the warmth, I crossed a few things off my fall to-do list. My friend Camille and I made s’mores and enjoyed some cocktails at The Deck. I also went apple picking (in shorts) and made apple crisp and applesauce.

Navy Yard Saturdays!

Almost every October, I spend two Saturdays at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. The first tradition is Mutt Strut, part fundraiser/walk/fall festival that benefit the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society. I took Arya this year, and she had a blast. We also raised over $250, a record for us! Thank you again to everyone who contributed! The second tradition is an annual cider fest with my college friends. This year was our fourth year! We enjoy the sunshine, sample a lot of delicious (and less delicious) hard ciders, and wrap up the day with some cheesesteaks. It’s close to the perfect fall day.

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What a beautiful weekend.

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I got LASIK!

Okay, this is the most exciting/life-changing thing from the past few weeks (sorry, everyone else). I got laser eye surgery! It came together rather quickly, and while I had been hoping to get it done eventually, I wasn’t expecting that to be this year. I plan to write more about the whole experience, but being able to wake up and see without having to reach for glasses is wild. Let me know if you have any questions about it and I’ll do my best to answer them!)

Link Love

I also thought now would be a good time to share what some of my friends are blogging about!

Camille shared her favorite cruelty-free beauty products.

Chelsea wrote about adjusting to a 9-5 after her retail career.

Jess blogged about how she really paid off her credit card debt.

Unrelated to credit card debt…Melissa picked out some fun fall sweaters to add to your closet!

Chrystina wrote about her baking competition party series (attending as a judge was a great idea on my part).

~ Sarah

Thing I Need To Tell You About, Vol. 4

Holy unexpected-blog-hiatus! I’ve been having a fun summer, so no complaints here! The early part of the summer was spent hosting friends at my apartment (one of my favorite things to do — I love planning weekend itineraries) and I recently got back from a trip home. I have missed this space though, and some of blog friends have been killing it lately. So what better way to get back into the swing of things than a quick hello?

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Home Run Derby vibes. #AllRise #asg2017

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I went home!

I spent a very wonderful, not-nearly-long-enough four days back in South Florida. My dad and I went to the Home Run Derby, and while it was a little anticlimactic at the end, it was still a great experience to check off my sports bucket list. Other activities included: eating lots of Cuban food, browsing the MLB All-Star exhibition, free slurpees, browsing Publix, winning second place at a trivia night and an afternoon in Wynwood. (Speaking of Wynwood, I ended up at Federal Donuts, their first location outside of Philly, instead of Coyo Tacos and am I too Philly now?)

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West Philly walks.

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I’ve had lots of great girl talk lately.

I really value my friendships. Once we’re friends, you are basically stuck with me for life. I especially enjoy catching up with my friends in smaller groups of two or three: over brunch, happy hour, shopping or even just neighborhood walks or long drives in my car. (Some of the places I’ve hit up? Adobe, La Calaca Feliz, Philly Style Bagels [yes, really], and True Food Kitchen.)  I’m really grateful I’ve gotten a lot of hearts-to-heart in this summer. I have the best friends.

I’ve been driving a lot.

I’ve written a little bit about my driving before. It took me nine years to get my license, but I was still very apprehensive about driving as a whole. Unlike a lot of people I grew up with, I mostly learned how to drive in the city. My biggest challenge? Highways (and merging and parallel parking). This summer though, I’ve road tripped to Gettysburg (post coming soon!) and Ocean City, New Jersey. I am going to attempt to drive to Long Island next month. This is a big deal for me, and I am really proud of myself.

So that’s that for now! Even though I haven’t been blogging on here, I’ve still been working on content, so I hope to have some fun stuff up soon.

~ Sarah