Nothing says “fall” in the Pacific Northwest like fresh, crisp apples. But if trudging through a field for U-pick fruit is not your ideal autumn day, here’s an adults-only alternative: hard cider. Unlike the fresh fruit, apples in cider form are available to enjoy year-round — and unlike beer, this brew is naturally gluten-free. Follow our guide to enjoy a tour of Portland’s best cider houses, plus plenty of food and other fun.
Start off at this storied German deli and grocer, which serves up some of Portland’s best sausages, meats and hard-to-find Bavarian goodies. Stock up on to-go items, or make this your lunch stop and grab a freshly cooked bratwurst piled high with sauerkraut and a side of authentic German potato salad.
If you’re not hungry yet (or if cased meats aren’t your thing), head north to your first cider destination. Portland Cider Company crafts their fresh-pressed hard cider from Northwest-grown apples and pours them at this cozy Hawthorne pub, which boasts a whopping 28 taps from cider producers near and far. A sizable portion of the drink menu is dedicated to Portland Cider Co.’s own brews, including the always satisfying “Kinda Dry” style, intriguing blends and seasonal treats like fresh hop and passionfruit varieties. Opt for a tasting flight to make the most of that extensive tap list.
Hungry? Stop at this micro-restaurant pod on Northeast Glisan, which offers plenty of options for all palates. (Think vegan Indian eats at the Sudra, meaty tacos at Uno Mas and saucy sliders at 24th & Meatballs.) This is an apple cider tour, after all, so stick with the theme and try the Pie Spot’s brandy apple crumble Pie Hole (an adorable mini pie for one).
Rest your stomach (and liver) at a must-see local art gallery. Eutectic Gallery is a contemporary ceramic exhibition space that spotlights ceramic works from both local up-and-comers and national icons.
It’s time to head north to cider’s holiest destination. Nat gives locally-sourced apples the craft beer treatment, producing award-winning handcrafted ciders that are unique and complex, like Hallelujah Hopricot and Deliverance Ginger Tonic. The taproom is located at the cidery, offering an inside look at the brewing process and access to special cider varieties served only on-site.
Hop in a car for a special bonus stop in Southeast Portland. This much-loved neighborhood bottle shop stocks a mind-boggling 1,400 beverage varieties, including plenty of cider from producers in Oregon, Ireland, France and just about everywhere in between. Stop in and stock up on cider to take home as a gift for your future self.