cider

Oregon Cider Week Kicks Off Today

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Oregon Cider Week starts Thursday, June 15, kicking off a packed week (which stretches nearly a fortnight, to June 25) of cider events. From pub crawls and tap takeovers to pairing dinners and excursions on the BrewBarge, everyone from the most hardcore lover of ciders to more casual fans will able to find an excuse to get out and partake of some amazing Oregon-made cider. The Northwest Cider Association has done a fantastic job lining up a slate of events that centers on Portland, but also includes a few in Salem, Astoria, and the metro suburbs. Now in its sixth year, Oregon Cider Week is becoming a summertime institution in the Rose City.

 

Cider in its natural habitat at Ford Farm.

In anticipation of Oregon Cider Week, I was invited along on a media tour on the Brewvana bus. We began at Ford Farm on Sauvie Island, which is definitely high on the list of pleasant places to spend time on a sunny June afternoon. The small orchard packs over 30 varieties of heirloom cider apples (mostly French and English varieties) into just 3.5 acres. Here we were met by representatives of 1859 Cider Co. from Salem; Elk Horn Brewery & Ciderhouse from Eugene; and Portland’s Swift Cider. All provided samples of excellent craft cider. 1859’s Impeachment stood out not only for its delicious peach-apricot aroma and flavor, but also for its stated political cause, while Elk Horn’s raspberry cider had a wonderful yet subdued aroma of–yep–raspberries. Yet the most outstanding thing we were offered will likely not be consumed again by anyone who doesn’t already own a bottle. Ford Farm’s estate blend featured all 30+ varieties of apples grown on the farm and was fermented using only the wild yeast on the skin of the fruit. Aged for several years, this one-of-a-kind estate blend is no longer produced (not that there was all that much to begin with). It’s a shame, because it was a wonderfully complex concoction that was perfectly in its place in the orchard.

Tasting flight at the McMenamins 23rd Avenue Bottle Shop.

Next up was a stop at McMenamins 23rd Avenue Bottle Shop, where we were met by reps from Portland’s New West Cider and 12 Bridges Ciderworks from Oregon City–which coincidentally just opened up its taproom to the public this past week–in addition to some cider from our hosts’ Edgefield cidery, one of the oldest producers in Oregon. New West is an offshoot of Sasquatch Brewing and will have bottles available in July. Particularly of note in the tasting tray was the 2016 Barrel-Aged Perry from McMenamins, which was complex and somewhat savory palate and delightfully dry on the finish.

A quick trip into the Pearl District brought us to Cider Bite Taproom, where we sampled ciders speed-dating style with reps from Eden Valley Orchards in Medford, Portland’s Alter Ego Cider, and the juggernaut of Oregon’s cider scene, 2 Towns Ciderhouse from Corvallis. An award-winning perry from Eden Valley was exceptionally balanced and dry, while the Prickle Me Pink^2 from 2 Towns was an eye-catching neon pink color derived from its contents of prickly pear and watermelon.

Our final stop was Portland Cider Company‘s Portland Cider House on SE Hawthorne Blvd. In addition to the wide variety of standard and fruited ciders provided by our hosts at this stop (don’t miss the pineapple or sangria flavors), we were also greeted by reps from Bauman Cider in Gervais and Portland’s ^Five Cider. Bauman’s poured an excellent blood orange cider that was infused with pineapple puree (the cidery’s only product not made with all estate-grown ingredients), and it was a sweet and refreshing concoction that was more than a little reminiscent of San Pellegrino’s Aranciata soda. In addition to featuring adorable Japanese-inspired cartoon creatures on its labels, ^Five gets major points for the Strawbasaurus Hop, which featured–you guessed it–strawberries and Sorachi Ace hops to provide a bit of a bitter, citrusy edge.

 

PRESS RELEASE


THE NORTHWEST CIDER ASSOCIATION’S 
OREGON CIDER WEEK BEGINS JUNE 15
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Sixth annual event series designed to educate and celebrate all things cider around the state and beyond

PORTLAND – (June 12, 2017) – The sixth annual Oregon Cider Week, celebrating all things cider, starts Thursday, June 15 and continues through the 25th. This 11-day celebration, sponsored by Davis, Wright, Tremaine LLP and the Oregon Department of Agriculture, highlights our locally crafted cider. The week kicks off with the awards announcement from the Northwest Cider Association’s Portland International Cider Cup, sponsored by Grandstand Glassware. The competition winner –the best cider in the Pacific Northwest—will be announced Thursday night at an industry ceremony along with medalists in each category, from hopped ciders to barrel aged to heritage ciders and more.

Throughout the week, more than 70 fantastic events will wet your whistle including Cider Summit PDX–Oregon Cider Week’s largest event–which provides a chance to sample more than 150 selections from around the world, June 16 and 17.

Portland’s Pearl District cider bar, Cider Bite, is hosting the official Summit After Party. Throughout the week, Oregonians can enjoy hikes through Forest Park that end with a cider BBQ, a Snakebite (beer + cider) Showdown, OMSI After Dark Ciderfest, a special cider week tour by Brewvana, meet the maker events, anniversary parties, grand openings, and much more.

More details and a full list of events are available at www.nwcider.com/orciderweek.

About Northwest Cider Association:

Founded in 2010, the Northwest Cider Association (NWCA) brings cideries and cider lovers together to learn, experience and enjoy the Northwest cider culture. Representing 80 commercial cidermakers from throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and British Columbia, the group is dedicated to supporting, promoting and growing this thriving industry. NWCA hosts cider-themed events including Cider Rite of Spring, and Cider Weeks in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. For more information about the Northwest Cider Association, visit www.nwcider.com or follow on Facebook and Twitter.

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