Perennial Cider Bar + Farm Kitchen exists to provide a food and drink experience that communicates our local landscape while serving as a hub of learning and activity around topics related to cider and local food culture. We value:
Cider as Wine
While the apple is not native to northern New England, over the past few centuries it has become a prominent storyteller in our landscape. Apple trees mark the edges of abandoned fields, the place in a former pasture where cows used to rest, the edge of a road that didn’t used to be a road, maybe the dooryard of a home that disappeared many years ago, or simply a random place once visited by a deer. It’s quite possible that an apple tree I plant today will live and produce fruit for another 2-3 generations. And for that whole time, it will be absorbing the character and narrative of its place and time. By fermenting the juice from this fruit, we release the details of our story and are inspired to consider our place in it. Local history, family history, farming history, ecology, geology, soil type, the intricacies of our palates, and the full spectrum of personal associations triggered in each of us by our senses are all captured in a single glass, and no two ciders will ever be exactly the same. Just as people appreciate wine as a medium for expressing the natural qualities of a specific place, so too do we appreciate cider. It’s our goal to make sure that cider never becomes intimidating, lest we ignore its long tradition as the common person’s drink. So we invite you to slow down, join us for a glass, and consider the nuances of what’s in front of you. We’d love to hear what you find.
Perennial is a culinary workshop and showcase for people practicing traditional craft in cooking, food production, and cidermaking. We prioritize working with cideries and farmers who work at a small scale using traditional techniques and minimal intervention. Everything we do in our kitchen starts with sourcing the highest quality, most ecologically sound ingredients we can find nearby and challenging ourselves to have a creative, delicious response. We explore skills and processes with long histories that sometimes take longer or require more forethought, but produce a singularly amazing result. We are inspired by the salumiere, the innkeeper, the butcher, the cheesemaker, and other artisans of farming communities past and present. We admire the simple but profound techniques of street vendors and home cooks across the world. All of these people share a keen eye for detail, pride, and passion for making what they make in the best way they can make it. We also acknowledge that we’re skimming the surface of trades that traditionally take a lifetime to master. We humbly accept the challenge of exploring what it means to be an artisan in the 21st century, using our local fields, forests, and coastline as our guides.
Our daily food menu is 99% locally sourced and entirely organic (though not always certified). It’s an honor to be asked to cook for you and we believe you deserve real food, no exceptions. To accomplish this we source directly from local farms, most of which are within an hour’s drive. We will occasionally source cheeses or cured meats from neighboring states and we are patiently waiting for the locally grown organic cooking oil movement to blossom in Maine. We believe that by working exclusively within the constraints of what’s produced here, we can provide a taste of place that is as authentic, accurate, and inspiring as possible. Though we sometimes use the phrase “farm to table” to communicate what we do, we’re hoping we can make it obsolete by contributing to a culture shift where cooking fresh food grown locally with the highest ecological care is the standard, not the exception.
Perennial is an ongoing learning process for everyone involved. For our guests whether they are new to cider or continuing their explorations, for our staff who are constantly responding to what’s available in our area, and for the cidermakers and other producers who share their creative processes with us. By holding regular tastings, talks, and other events, Perennial provides a variety of ways for our community to meet and connect with the stories behind what we serve and even develop some new skills or interests along the way. Check our calendar regularly for upcoming tastings, talks, and other events.
By exploring these values through food and drink, Perennial seeks to be a venue for sharing the creative experimentation of cidermakers, staff, and other artisans in our area.
We consider Perennial a creative practice that is open to the public where visitors and locals alike can come into our workshop and join us in an ongoing experiment to more closely relate to the world around us and our place in it.
Khristopher Hogg, Chef/Curator
Khristopher Hogg is a cook, apple enthusiast, writer, edible landscaper, and (new) father. Over the past decade he’s managed farm-to-table kitchens in Boston, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington state where he started Perennial as a traveling supper club. He is also a certified permaculture designer with 8 seasons of organic agriculture experience. His writing on food and farming topics has appeared in The New Farmers Almanac, Horticulture, Gastronomica, and other publications. He fell in love with cider by falling in love with the endless varieties of apples, the potential for every seed to produce a completely unique fruit, and the poetic experience to be found in every glass. He also just likes how it tastes (most of the time). He is thrilled to create a public place for people to encounter and appreciate cider and enjoy creative, impeccably sourced food that expresses the local landscape. Ask him for a recommendation anytime.
Sight Unseen Woods is a 28 acre woodland homestead on the Goose River in Swanville, Maine stewarded by Khristopher and Elizabeth Hogg since 2016. We produce a variety of foods, firewood, medicine, and craft materials for home use, as well as log-grown mushrooms, herbs, and heirloom vegetables for Perennial. We are inspired by models of food production that work in harmony with natural succession and the contours of the land. We are proud to manage our edible landscape without synthetic or chemical fertilizers or pest controls, working primarily with hand tools and relying on composts, mulches, plant teas, and other preparations made on-site.
We view Perennial as an opportunity to share a taste of our landscape with our community and as we continue to plant and tend, we’re excited to add a wider and wider variety of perennial vegetables, tree fruit, berries, and lesser known crops to the Perennial larder over time.