June is steadily creeping by and while this may be a bit scary, as time seems to steadily increase its pace with every year, it also means we just days away from the statewide extravaganza that is Oregon Cider Week. This is a week dedicated to celebrating all things cider, all throughout the state. As official sponsors of the event, along with our sister pub, CIDERCRAFT, we are here to guide you with our comprehensive list of recommended events taking place throughout the week.
- To get things started, on the first day of Cider Week, June 18, Apple Outlaw will be hosting a Meet the Maker event at Bushwhacker Cider in Portland. They will have many of their varieties up for grabs, as well as a special ginger peach cider just for the event.
- On June 19 and the 20, be sure to attend the Cider Summit Portland to taste more than 150 ciders from producers around the country and around the world. Owners and cidermakers will be in attendance to discuss all things cider for this fifth annual event. A brand new feature is the Fruit Cider Challenge, sponsored by Oregon Fruit Products, where several of the participating cideries will brew pilot batches specifically for the event. Consumers will vote for their favorite during the festival with the winner of the first annual Fruit Cider Challenge announced on Monday, June 22.
- On June 21, Reverend Nat’s Cidery and Tasting Room will be hosting the 3rd Annual Portland International Cider Cup. The blind-tasting judges hail from all around the Northwest and they all know a thing or two about cider. So when the decision is made, you will know which cider is the best to try.
- After that exciting competition, you might want to try to make some cider yourself. Well, luckily for you, if you are part of the Oregon Bartenders Guild, The Rookery Bar will be hosting a Cider Class on June 22 for those interested in the process.
- Head to Plew’s Brews on June 23 and sit in on their Cider Tasting 101 class to learn how to properly distinguish between ciders, talk about the beverage and the basics on how it is made.
- On June 24, OMSI will be hosting an After Dark Ciderfest for all those late-night cider drinkers wanting to learn even more about the drink.
- Throughout the entire week there will be Tap-Takeovers at various bars and pubs that you must attend, such as WildCraft’s takeover at the Portland Cider House, or 2 Towns’ takeover at Whirled Pies.
- Although the Cider Week Festival goes until June 28, there will be a wrap up party at the Portland Cider House on June 26. It will feature live music and a huge variety of many of the ciders that were featured throughout the week.
Here is our list of ciders that you absolutely must try during the cider week celebration.
- McMenamins’ Edgefield Hard Cider: The “classic” year-round option for Edgefield and on tap at all McMenamins’ watering hoels, this cider is comprised primarily of Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Granny Smith for a fruity but tart and refreshing concoction.
- New West Ciders Citra-Hop: The latest cider from this new Portland cidery is the Citra-Hop, is a well-balanced blend of Oregon hops and dessert apples. Crisp and quaffable, tasters get aromas and flavors of citrus, pine, honeysuckle and apple.
- Reverend Nat’s Barrel-Aged releases: A special release for this week and collab with the brilliantly spirited Dave Shenaut of Raven&Rose, Reverend Nat’s releases the Eagle Rare Bourbon Barrel Aged Revival Cider and Eagle Rare Bourbon Barrel Aged Sacrilage Sour Cherry Cider. Firsts of their kind, these ciders are aged in Eagle Rare Bourbon barrels that Shenaut selected among others as part of Raven&Rose’s single barrel program. These exclusive ciders are only available at the cidery and at the bar.
- Alter Ego The Brute: Cider born of three winemakers, The Brute is the flagship cider for this team and is bold, complex and only found on tap in Portland.
- Rogue Fruit Salad Cider: Made of Rogue Farms cherries, plums, apples, pears, marionberries, peaches and apricots, this farm-to-table cider has a bright berry nose which is followed by a tart and juicy fruit flavor. A touch of sweetness makes this tangy cider supple and refreshing.
- Cider Riot! Burncider: This draught cider, a pub-style cider for chugging and listening to West Country dialect and music, uses Oregon-grown traditional English cider apples, tart wild apples and dessert apples from Hood River for a tannic, crisp and daring cider.
- Carlton Cyderwork Citizen: An ode to the founding fathers, this is blend of more than a dozen varieties of traditional bittersweet and bittersharp cider apples, for a deliciously dry, tannic and refreshing cider.
- Red Tank Happy Cider: A cider aimed at making folks happy, this juicy, tried-and-true apple profile also brings in a crisp, clean acid background and touch of sweetness for balance.
- Finnegan Dry Cider: Completely dry and “candidly presents the classic profile of authentic cider apples”—acid, fruit, and phenolics. This cider spends some time in oak and goes through secondary fermentation in bottle for its natural effervescence.