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Durham’s Northern Spy cider house is throwing a party with free barbecue, cider floats

Denver-based Stem Ciders has bought Black Twig Cider House in Durham. It will rename the bar the Northern Spy. It’s their first bar outside Colorado.
Denver-based Stem Ciders has bought Black Twig Cider House in Durham. It will rename the bar the Northern Spy. It’s their first bar outside Colorado.

The transformation from Black Twig Cider House to The Northern Spy is complete.

Denver cider maker Stem Ciders bought Black Twig earlier this year as the company looks to move into the North Carolina and Southeast markets. Black Twig was a Triangle pioneer, led by cider evangelist Mattie Beason, and one of the first places locally to showcase the world of cider beyond the sweet, to tart, dry and funky.

The name The Northern Spy comes from a variety of cider-making apple. In taking over the Black Twig space, Stem put a lineup of its ciders on tap, added a bottle shop with a variety of ciders and beer and redesigned the food menu. The new food menu includes cider-pairing snacks like heirloom popcorn and fried pickles, and larger plates like a burger, macaroni and cheese au gratin and a fried bologna sandwich.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of the Durham community in a tangible way and have the opportunity to introduce the cider house experience to North Carolina,” said Stem CEO and founder, Eric Foster. “The warm welcome we’ve received from the community so far has been amazing, we are looking forward to celebrating the opening and giving back to the community that has been so supportive of us.”

The Northern Spy has been in soft opening mode for a few weeks and will hold a grand opening party Thursday, May 23 from 4 to 8 p.m.

For the grand opening, there will be free barbecue sandwiches from Picnic, ice cream and cider floats from The Parlour and $5 draft cocktails.

The company said there would be future collaborations with Botanist and Barrel and Fullsteam Brewery.

The Northern Spy is at 2812 Erwin Road in Durham. For more information, visit northernspync.com.

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Drew Jackson writes about restaurants and dining for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun, covering the food scene in the Triangle and North Carolina.
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