The door has barely closed on PDX Beer Week and now it's time for Oregon Cider Week. Kicking off today, June 21st, and running through Sunday, July 1st the the number and variety of official events is as impressive as Beer Week. We know we won't be able to make it to them all, nor preview them all, but what we can do is give you our take on some of the ciders and cideries.
Earlier this week we were given a preview of 20 of the cideries that will be taking part in Oregon Cider Week. Some, like Finnriver and Cider Riot!, were familiar while others, like 1859 Cider Co. and Art+Science, we hadn't even heard of before. It kind of took us back to the days when we were discovering craft breweries, somewhat overwhelming but in a wonderful, exciting way.
Before we talk about the ciders that hit the highest notes for us at the preview, we have to tell you about the special Oregon Cider Week donut that Blue Star has created. The brioche donut is frosted with a beautiful and delicious combination of Finnriver Lavender Black Currant cider, black currant puree and Bee Local Hot Honey. Available for the duration of Oregon Cider week at all of their locations, it is worth seeking out, whether it's enjoyed on its own or enjoyed with Finnriver's cider.
As we back away from the donuts, it's time to talk about the ciders that most impressed us.
Finnriver Lavender Black Currant - Staring out with a spectacular color and wine-like aroma, the berry/floral flavor is followed by a pleasant wine aftertaste.
1859 Strawberry - Both the aroma and flavor of this cider are exactly like that of fresh strawberries, with no alcohol flavor at all.
Alter Ego Guardian Angel - This combination of blueberries and pomegranates are juice, juice, all juice baby.
WildCraft Elderberry Perry - Oregon elderberries are fermented whole in a red Bartlett perry and aged for three months, resulting in a juicy brew with mild alcohol flavor.
WildCraft Trinity Pome Blend - Lovely, funky tastiness!
1859 Green Dragon - This represents the perfect balance of sweet and dry. As a bonus, it pairs wonderfully with prosciutto.
While we would be happy to belly up at one location and drink any kegs of the above ciders dry, to fully experience Oregon ciders, we recommend checking out one of the festivals or other events that feature multiple ciders and cideries. Here's a brief list with the full event list and details found here.
Oregon Cider Week Saturday Sampling
Tasting event featuring Baird & Dewar, Carlton Cyderworks and WildCraft Ciderworks
2 - 4 pm
McMenamins 23rd Avenue Bottle Shop 2290 NW Thurman Street, Portland
Happy Cider Day
11 ciders, including the 1859 Strawberry we are so enamored with
6 - 9 pm
The Westside Taphouse & Growler Fill 1594 Edgewater Street NW, SALEM
June 23 & 24
3rd Annual Fruit Cider Invitational
24 Oregon-made fruit ciders from Cider Riot! and others
2 - 8 pm
Cider Riot! 807 NE Couch Street, Portland
Dog wash at Bushwacker Cider
Charity dog wash benefitting Clackamas County Dog Control with 2 Towns Ciderhouse, Seattle Cider Co. and Bushwacker Cider, 21+
12 - 3 pm
Bushwacker Cider, 1212-D SE Powell Blvd, Portland
PDX Cideries Nite
Event features cideries located in the city of Portland
6 - 10 pm
Portland Cider House, 3638 SE Hawthorne, Portland
Oregon Cider Celebration
Draft and bottled offerings from Oregon cider companies
4 - 7 pm
Tin Bucket 3520 N Williams Avenue, Portland
OMSI After Dark: Ciderfest
Featuring 17 cideries, this 21+ event includes science demonstrations, $30 tickets
7 - 10 pm
OMSI 1945 SE Water Avenue, Portland
June 29 & June 30
Cider Summit Portland
Nearly 200 ciders from across the nation, general admission tickets $30 in advance, $35 at the door
3 - 8 pm Friday, 12 - 5 pm Saturday
The Fields 1099 NW Overton, Portland
Cider + Donuts
Donuts from Blue Star, NOLA and Delicious paired with NW ciders
11 am - 10 pm
Portland Cider House 3638 SE Hawthorne, Portland
Oregon Cider Week Pairing Menu
Curated 3-course menu pairing Baird & Dewar, WildCraft and OR/WA Cider Co-Op ciders with food, $45
5 - 9:30 pm
Ned Ludd 3925 NE MLK Jr., Portland
In addition to places to drink cider, there are a couple of retailers offering discounts on packaged ciders. To start off the week, New Seasons Market will offer 20% off all hard ciders June 22 - 24 (Friday - Sunday). Picking up the discounts a couple days later is People's Food Co-Op, with 10% off the purchase of any six ciders June 26 - July 1 (Tuesday - Sunday).
For those looking to get some education along with their cider check out:
Cider Appreciation Class
Explore 20+ ciders, many of Nat's favorite cideries from around the world and the history of the craft, $50 tickets
7 - 9:30 pm
Rev. Nat's Cidery & Taproom 1813 NE 2nd Avenue, Portland
History & Science of Cider
Enjoy 9 ciders from around the world with cider makers from Cider Riot! and Portland Cider company leading an educational class, $25 tickets
7 -10 pm
Cider Riot! 807 NE Couch, Portland
*Please note that we did not try all of the ciders at the preview, nor does this represent all of the ciders that will be at Oregon Cider Week Events. We do what we can but even we have our limits.