Cider Riot owner Abram Goldman-Armstrong has notified investors that they will close on November 10th. In September, Goldman-Armstrong announced that the Portland cidery was for sale, and needed a buyer to stay open.
Though Cider Riot have had a very public battle with far-right groups like the Proud Boys, and hosted Antifa events, Goldman-Armstrong has said they are closing because of too much debt. (Read our article at the time that featured an interview with Goldman-Armstrong.)
Sales have been in decline for cider over the last year. According to Abram the 39% growth in 2015-2016 has now fizzled. In an email notifying investors of the closure, he apologized for having to default on a payment of $2054.83 due tomorrow, Nov. 1st, 2019.
“We have simply run out of time to find an investor or buyer to keep the business afloat,” says Goldman-Armstrong.
Belmont Station partial owner and brewery investor Carl Singmaster is a major Cider Riot lender and is owed $153,000, and is reportedly in the first position to be paid back. According to the emailed statement, Singmaster has expressed intent to sell the cidery equipment at auction. If the sale of Cider Riot equipment earns more than the money due Singmaster, it will go to paying the defaulted payment to smaller investors.
Goldman-Armstrong wrote thanks to his investors, saying that he would not have made it through their first winter at the Burnside location without them. The expansion from nano cidery in Goldman-Armstrong’s converted garage in NE Portland into full-fledged production facility and taproom is what got them into trouble.
“I am deeply sorry and embarrassed that the company was not able to reach profitability in the new location, and that it cannot meet its obligations to you.”
Cider Riot will have a closing party on November 9th, details are yet to be announced. The taproom and cidery is located at 807 NE Couch St, Portland, OR 97232.
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.