New Latino Cidery ‘La Familia Cider’ Launches on Cinco de Mayo

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Another new cidery joins Oregon’s ranks with some Latin flavor, as La Familia Cider officially launches this Cinco de Mayo. The new cider company is based in Salem and is Latino-owned, producing ciders blended in the spirit of traditional Mexican aguas frescas. Part of the company’s goals are to play a role in the Latino community with new local craft brands, with part of its proceeds going to help local families with immigration legal costs.

La Familia joins the also Latino-owned and -inspired Xicha Brewing coming to Salem and upcoming Oregon City cidery 12 Bridge Ciderworks, two new planned 2017 openings.

Mexican/Latin cider is not something I was really familiar with, but La Familia’s products are inspired by co-founder Jose Gonzales’ mother’s homemade stuff. I asked Jose what makes his ciders unique and traditional.

“People in Mexico and Central and South America have a long tradition of enjoying fresh juice as a part of every meal. My mother would accompany her mother to the mercado (marketplace) to buy fresh fruit and use it for juices and licuados (milkshakes). Even today, every Mexican restaurant offers fresh juices (aguas frescas) based on the types of fruits available in Mexico.”

the Gonzales family behind La Familia Cider

La Familia Cider already has a distribution agreement with Maletis Beverage for the Portland-area and Portland Cider House on SE Hawthorne Boulevard is hosting the official “Launch & Cinco de Mayo Party.” This makes sense, because La Familia is partnering with Clackamas’s Portland Cider Co., which owns the Portland Cider House. La Familia’s cider will be made with the company’s own recipes/blends at Portland Cider House’s facilities; the brands are quite their own, though. The brewing and distribution partnership is mutually beneficial, as La Familia does not have its own taproom, and noting that most Mexican/Latin markets don’t carry much as far as craft products like locally-made ciders.

“We have talked about having our own taproom, but part of the reason for us beginning this company is to better engage our Latino community. Most of the restaurants, bars, and grocery stores don’t carry any craft products and we want to change that.  Having our own taproom would no doubt mean higher sales for us, but that’s not how we think.  We want as many people as possible to enjoy our ciders and it would fulfill our dream to see them benefit too,” said Jose Gonzales. Though he admits being interested in opening a taproom for the cidery sometime in the future, “Having our own taproom would no doubt mean higher sales for us, but that’s not how we think. We want as many people as possible to enjoy our ciders and it would fulfill our dream to see them benefit, too. We are open to having our own space, but only time will tell.”

The flagship year-round La Familia ciders, aka the “3 amigos,” are all semi-sweet with a base of Northwest-grown culinary apples. The flavors: Tamarindo (tamarind) at 6.9% ABV, Jamaica (hibiscus) at 6.9% ABV,  and Manzana (apple) at 4.5% ABV. La Familia is a husband and wife team of Jose & Shani Gonzalez featuring recipes inspired by Jose’s mother, a first generation Mexican immigrant to the US.

There are plans for seasonal ciders next year as well, Jose says. “We have a lot of options when it comes to future flavors (seasonal, year round). Our plan is to let the people decide! At this time, though, we may hold off until next year to focus on establishing ourselves in the market first. But we will see!”

In tribute to their family ties and community, La Familia will donate a portion of its profits to help local families with their immigration fees. “We are going to do everything we can to help keep families together,” says Jose Gonzalez. “It’s incredibly important to our mission and heritage for us to support in any way we can.”

Maletis Beverage, based in Portland, will be distributing all three cider varieties on behalf of La Familia Cider. La Familia ciders are available on draft in 1/2 barrels and 1/6 barrel kegs and in 500ml bottles at many Salem retailers in addition to the Portland market, they also have already carried at several Mexican restaurants, and soon at seven Safeway Markets.

La Familia Cinco de Mayo Launch Party
Friday, May 5th, 4-9pm
Portland Cider House
3638 SE Hawthorne Blvd. Portland, OR 97214

La Familia is taking over Portland Cider House for Cinco de Mayo, to celebrate their launch in Portland! La Familia Cider has three ciders inspired by the Aquas Frescas beverages of their childhood: Hibiscus, Tamarind, and classic Apple.

Portland Cider Co. will also be releasing their limited release cider Mojito! Together, Portland Cider & La Familia will be crafting up some cider cocktails for the day:
– Mojito (ginger & mojito cider blend with mint leaves)
– Mexican Tamarind Michelada (tomato base with tamarind candy)
– Sangria (hibiscus cider infused with a variety of fruits)

Latin American and Mexican heritage artwork will be featured on the walls at the Cider House, from a variety of local artists. Come drink cider and get your very own Art Show!

Minor friendly until 5pm. Happy Hour pricing 3-6pm.


About La Familia Cider:

La Familia Cider started in March 2017 by a husband and wife team who wanted to bring their Mexican heritage to the Oregon craft beverage movement. Jose & Shani Gonzalez, second generation Mexican immigrants, took the traditional Mexican Aguas Frescas recipes of their families to craft cider in the Northwest. For more information, visit

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact: [email protected]

1 Comment

  1. Brissenia Ramirez

    September 27, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    Any of your ciders sold in southern California??

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