Owner, Argus Cidery
Inside the tasting room at Argus Cidery, Wes Mickel’s handiwork is abundant. From the custom-built picnic-style tables to the overhead centerpiece light fixture, Mickel had a hand in the creation of most all the elements in the space, including the mirrors behind the bar, which he stripped and treated to achieve a vintage look. “We knew we wanted to have sort of an industrial feel to it with touches of wood,” Mickel explains of the tasting room, which opened in April and comfortably holds about 50 people. With the help of interior designer Lilianne Steckel, Mickel took a DIY approach to customizing the 1600-square-foot space. “We wanted it to feel like a place where you could come with your friends and relax for the afternoon,” Mickel says.
A chef by training, the Little Rock, Arkansas, native spent four and a half years in the Bay Area before relocating to Austin. He says it was trying Texas apples that persuaded him to start the cidery. “The apples here in Texas are amazing and the juice they produce is really special,” Mickel explains. “To other people it might just be apple juice, but to me it’s really, really incredible.”
Mickel experimented with making his first cider while still in high school, though he admits, “It tasted terrible.” Since then he’s had time to refine his process, with Argus producing three sparkling ciders and three or four still apple wines per year since the launch in 2010. “I’d always just been interested in the manipulation of flavors and cooking and fermentation,” Mickel says. To produce his ciders Mickel sources apples from farmers across Texas, choosing dessert apples for their high sugar concentration. “We’ve found that people really like something closer to champagne,” he says. “Part of the reason people like our ciders is because they’re dry and they’re slightly oaked. People really like the bubbles too.”
Tasting room visitors can experience the ciders for themselves Saturday afternoons, along with a small “breads and spreads” menu, or a rotating, cookbook-inspired picnic menu, by appointment. Mickel says he wanted to open the tasting room to be able to interact with customers directly. “It’s really special for us to be able to connect with people and hear what they like and what they don’t like, and that helps us figure out what direction we’re going to take next.” For more information about Argus Cidery, visit arguscidery.com.
by Joanna Steblay
As the warm weather begins to set in and patio parties hit our calendars, we can’t help but embrace that summertime has returned to Austin. If you’re anything like us, you’ll be celebrating the return of the season with decadent ice cream, healthy smoothies and icy cocktails from your favorite local spots.
For those days when it’s too hot to venture out, we went to Austin’s sweet treat professionals and compiled the ultimate collection of DIY recipes to make from your home. Click through the galleries below to learn how to make everything icy and sweet, from poptails for date night to ice cream sandwiches for a dinner party.more
The spring edition of the Renegade Craft Fair returns for its seventh year in Austin May 14-15 at Fair Market. With over 125 makers on the roster, the scene is sure to be bustling with local artisans and DIYers slinging their unique, one-of-a-kind wares. In addition to great shopping, the RCF offers activities, special showcases and plenty of food and drink options for visitors. This year, celebrate your hard work shopping with a snack from Burro Cheese Kitchen and Lucky Lab Coffee Co. before commemorating the afternoon with some snapshots from Magnolia Photo Booth Co. But before...more
by James Ruiz
Inspired by the beautiful outdoor living spaces featured in our May feature The Space Between, we went window shopping and found some great outdoor furniture and accessories to liven up your outdoor patio, porch and pool. Flip through the galleries below to see how you can add a pop of color and style to your outdoor hideaway.more
Hundreds of people are moving to Austin each day, and downtown is one of the major hubs of growth for the city. Local real estate expert Jude Galligan discusses smart urban growth and what to expect this year as the skyline continues to evolve.
Your blog keeps Austin updated on the latest news in downtown. What is the most exciting development happening right now?
From my point of view, the most exciting development is the Waller Creek District Master Plan. Decades in the making, this transformative project came to life after designers competed for the contract. It is finally coming to downtown, bringing an imaginative chain of parks,...more
by James Ruiz
As you flip through the pages of our February Love Issue, one thing you’ll notice is the beautiful blooms that pop up throughout the magazine. We got some major googly eyes for the bouquets featured in our "Real Weddings" features, and earmarked the TRIBEZA Wedding Guide for even more Pinterest-worthy petals.
Instead of letting all that inspiration go to waste, we tried our hand at flower arranging to see what we could create. Since we consider ourselves floral design novices, we asked a few top designers...more