A local restaurant and 10 cideries from near and far will gather Saturday at Onion Creek Cafe, 3106 White Oak Drive, for a fundraiser benefiting a local nonprofit with a mission of helping young adults with intellectual disabilities.
Fresh Press Cider Fest, scheduled for 1-5 p.m. Saturday, will feature 15 brands, nine flights of cider paired with grilled sausage and a cider cocktail bar.
The Journey Agents, a local funk band, and DJ Muskratch will perform. Children and dogs are both welcome at the event, and all of the proceeds will benefit Summerhouse Houston, according to Judie Cross, Summerhouse Houston’s community relations director.
Summerhouse provides group housing and career assistance for young adults with intellectual disabilities who are largely high-functioning and independent.
“If you have Autism, you can work in a restaurant, depending where you are on the spectrum,” Cross said. “Every one of our members is employable.”
Justin Ingle, the director of operations for Heights-based Houston Cider Co., said his company is proud to support a local cause and the event will be a great showcase of local and regional ciders.
“I think this festival is going to help people explore ciders and explore their taste in ciders,” Ingle said.
He said his brand will feature a cider called Paradigm Shift, which is reminiscent of a citrusy and fruity IPA.
City Orchard and Saint Arnold Brewing Company are the other local participants, and Austin Eastciders, Bishop Cider of Dallas and Texas Keeper Cider from Manchaca also will represent the Lone Star State.
Angry Orchard from Boston, Stem Cidery of Denver, Anxo Cidery of Washington and Bold Rock Hard Cider of Nellysford, Virginia, round out the rest of the cideries that will be on tap.
Shakti Baum of the Creek Group, which operates Onion Creek, said guests will have the opportunity to sample seasonal cider flavors like lavender and plum and order them in a bottle, can or on tap.
Gary Mosley, owner of the Creek Group, previously served on the board of Summerhouse, a connection he made through Summerhouse Houston founder Donna Fruge and her husband, Paul Fruge, former longtime Heights residents.
Mosley said he’s known Summer, the organization’s namesake and daughter of the Fruges, since she was a little girl.
Cross said over the years, Mosley has helped Summerhouse save thousands of dollars in catering expenses at their events because of Onion Creek Cafe and the Creek Group.
Mosley is a big supporter of one of Summerhouse’s main initiatives, which is to help its members find jobs with local businesses and live productive lives.
“I think it’s fantastic to give kids a sense of direction when society might not give them that,” Mosley said. “We have people out there who are hiring some of the Summerhouse participants, and that’s so gratifying to see.”
Tickets for Fresh Press Cider Fest are $25. To order them online, visit onioncreekcafe.com.