Portland’s Cider Scene Is Bustling, Here’s What You Should Know
Portland’s drink scene may be dominated by IPAs and small batch breweries, but that doesn’t mean that cider culture isn’t still alive and well in Portland. In fact, in the past year, Portland attracted big names in the cider community, with Schilling Cider House making its new Portland outpost home of “the largest number of on-tap ciders in the world.”
But if you don’t want to pay upwards of $9 for a pint of cider, there are other places to get your cider fix in Portland. Read on to get all the latest information about which ciders to watch, and where to find them, here in Portland.
Portland’s Cider Profile
Portland’s celebrated ciders are hardly standard issue; rather, Portland cider companies are known for pushing traditional boundaries. Some of the top cider makers in Portland turn to whiskey or gin barrels to age their ciders, creating a unique product, whereas other Portland cider companies use unconventional ingredients like hibiscus or yeast found in beers.
Regardless of which cider house you visit, it’s safe to assume that you’ll be tasting something unique to Oregon’s cider scene.
Favorite Ciders to Drink in Portland
Portland is lucky to have a diverse flavor profile when it comes to local ciders; whether you’re searching for something funky or something light and refreshing, the city has something to offer your picky palette.
For something light and refreshing, Cider Riot! is known for consistently churning out “high quality ciders from Cascadian grown apples.” Our recommendation? Try the Burncider, a dry draught cider that boasts tart wild apple flavors, and a Silver Medal from Portland’s 2014 International Cider Cup 2014.
Other favorite ciders? We can’t get enough of established Portland cider joint Reverend Nat’s. We love Reverend Nat’s because their cider isn’t afraid to take chances. Last summer, the cider spot released a Spanish-style cider called Sidra Bravo.
Using ciderkin (a funky and rare cider that uses an antiquated soak and fermentation method where apple skims are pressed), the company created a cider with big flavors. Equal parts funky and fruity, this cider is a deep cup for true cider enthusiasts.
Where To Go for Top-Notch Cider in Portland
While you can visit the taprooms for Cider Riot! and Reverend Nat’s (which we highly recommend!), we understand that variety is important. So here are a few other spots where you can find an impressive array of Portland ciders:
Bushwhacker Cider — when it opened 8 years ago, Bushwhacker was the country’s first cider pub. Today, Bushwhacker Cider is still pretty impressive, as it offers guests a sample of a dozen ciders on tap, and over 280 bottles in house.
Belmont Station — this spot may advertise its impressive beer selection, but no self-respecting bottle shop of Belmont Station’s size would disregard ciders. Expect to find Cider Strawbasaurus from Oregon and Elemental Blood Orange cider from neighboring state Washington, too.
Portland Cider House – With two locations in the state (SE Hawthorne and Clackamas, the Portland Cider House has been pouring high quality ciders since 2012. The couple behind the beverage, Jeff and Lynda Parrish, bring just about a solid a background as you could bring to the world of cider: “Lynda hails from Somerset county of England, the traditional cider making region, and Jeff is a native Oregonian,” land of beer, wine and so much more.
And if you really want to be involved in the cider scene, mark your calendars for the 2018 Portland International Cider Cup. On April 9th, Widmer Brothers Brewing will host Portland’s annual cider cup, where special ciders and unique barrel options will be revealed to the public. It’s your chance to try French Cider, Heritage Dry Cider, and other specialty ciders, so don’t miss it!