Portland Cider Company
This weekend, April 1st and 2nd, 2016, Portland Cider Company celebrated the opening of its new and much larger location, a production facility with a roomy taproom at 8925 SE Janssen Road in Clackamas. The new space is huge, with more than 18,000 square feet of space, and there’s a bigger, welcoming taproom at the front with twelve taps, ten pouring house ciders and two pouring local craft brews.
Portland Cider Company has come a long way in a short time. Jeff and Lynda Parrish opened Portland Cider in the fall of 2012, and have been running the main cider business out of an increasingly cramped 1500 square foot space in Oregon City. In 2015, they opened Portland Cider House at 3638 SE Hawthorne Boulevard, offering 24 taps pouring a full range of Portland Cider’s apple and fruit ciders alongside a range of guest ciders. The owners were experiencing rapid growth, and still are, with demand from their ciders strong locally and down the coast in California. They were keenly aware that they had outgrown their space in Oregon City, and found a significantly larger space in a Clackamas light-industrial business park. The location offers good road access, with I-205 running right by the new location.
The opening weekend will feature a full range of ciders, and food trucks will be on-premises as well, including Right Bayou Cajun Cuisine, 808 Grinds, and Big Fat Wieners. At a media preview on March 31, there were plenty of samples on hand. Portland Cider’s range includes semi-sweet and dry ciders, all made with Oregon apple juice and other local fruit sources.
The Passion Fruit cider adds a touch of tropical-fruit flavor, a pleasant twist for semi-sweet cider fans. The Mojito emulates the bright flavors of its cocktail namesake. The London Dry Gin variation is a nice dry cider with pleasant tartness, yet somehow quite quenching. The Maui Cruiser is flavored with pineapple, but the pineapple is added post-fermentation, so don’t call this one a “tepache.” The Cherry Blossom is brilliant pink with juicy cherry flavors showing balanced tart acidity and fruit sweetness. The Mr. Tea is seemed more experimental, a cider flavored with chai tea and spices. As a bonus, a small bar-top barrel is pouring the house Scrumpy, and old-fashioned barrel-aged cider that has sherry-like color and flavor notes. This kind of variety and creativity is what has helped propel Portland Cider’s growth; currently, production stands at about 15,000 gallons per month, and the company is experiencing a significant growth phase, around 5% or so per month. As a comparison, the largest cider producers would be happy right now if they could even see 5% annually, as their cider sales have flattened or even declined in recent months.
Portland Cider’s grand opening party this weekend has already attracted a lot of attention on social media, and with a good weather forecast, there will be plenty of people visiting and drinking cider.