While Portland is known for having more breweries than any other city in the world, amazing wines from the nearby Willamette Valley and a host of craft distilleries, the latest beverage trend in town is hard cider.
Since the tart beverage is made from fermented apples, Oregon cider makers have plenty of raw material from the apple-growing regions of the state and neighboring Washington. Cider making draws from techniques typically used in brewing and winemaking, such as using oak barrels to age the brew or adding hops to increase its bitterness, making it a perfect fit for Portland.
Some Portland companies push the traditional boundaries, using gin or whiskey barrels to age some of their products, along with other unorthodox techniques. Others, such as Portland Cider Company, focus on traditional semi-sweet and dry options. Reverend Nat’s Cidery makes traditional dry and off-dry varieties but is also known for non-traditional versions, such as the Hibiscus Hymnal, which uses hibiscus, raspberry and a Czech yeast often found in Pilsner beers.
In addition to these new makers, cider from other Oregon makers such as Wandering Aengus, EZ Orchards and Blue Mountain can be found on tap and in bottles throughout the city. It is common to see several ciders offered alongside numerous craft beers at many of the city’s taprooms and bottle shops, including favorites like Apex and Saraveza, or highlighted at restaurants like St. Honore on Division.
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