Oregon Cider News

Cider Rite of Spring 2017

A roundup of some of the cider news for Oregon that has come my way of late.

The fourth annual Cider Rite of Spring returns this month, taking place on Saturday, March 25 from 12 to 6pm at The Evergreen in Portland. 30 different cider makers will be pouring nearly 100 different ciders. From the press release:

Lauded as the “Best Northwest Cider Festival” by SIP Northwest in 2015, Cider Rite of Spring offers tastings from ^5 Cider, 1859 Cider Co., 2 Towns Cider House, 7Bev Corp., Alter Ego Cider, Baird & Dewar Farmhouse, Bandon Rain, Bauman’s Cider, Bull Run Cider, Cider Riot!, Dragon’s Head Cider, Elk Horn Brewery & Cider House, Finnriver Farm & Cidery, Locust Cider, McMenamins Edgefield, New West Cider, Pear UP, Portland Cider Co., Red Tank Cider, Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider, Runcible Cider Co., Schilling Cider, Seattle Cider Co., Snowdrift Cider Co., Spire Mountain Ciders, Square Mile Cider, Steelhead Cider, Swift Cider, Tieton Cider Works, Tumalo Cider Co., and Woodbox Cider.

General Admission costs $25, which includes a tasting glass access to cider. VIP Admission cost $40 and includes a tasting glass plus access to the exclusive VIP lounge, featuring complementary cheese pairings by Whole Foods Market and one-on-one interaction with six renowned PNW cidermakers who will share special cider offerings. Tickets are available now at http://www.merctickets.com/events/40632995/cider-rite-of-spring.

Earlier this month, Portland’s Cider Riot re-released their F.X. Matthieu hopped cider, made with X-17 hops from the Oregon Hophouse organic hop farm. Here’s a pull from that press release, which also delves into the history behind F.X. Matthieu:

“We’re proud to pay tribute to an Oregonian revolutionary with a revolutionary Oregonian cider,” says Cider Riot! founder Abram Goldman-Armstrong. “We are proud to make this cider with a new variety of organic hops grown near Champoeg where the Republic of Oregon was founded.”

F. X. Matthieu was one of the pivotal votes in favor of forming the Republic of Oregon at Joe Meek’s Wolf Meeting at Champoeg in 1843. Matthieu went on to operate the Butteville Store, and served in the Oregon legislature. His parents hailed from Normandy and Brittany, the two major cider-producing regions of France, and Matthieu was involved in Quebecois independence struggle against the British before fleeing to New York state, and working his way west to Oregon in 1842.

Matthieu Road bisects Leavy’s Oregon Hophouse hop farm near Butteville, inspiring Cider Riot! to name the cider made with the X-17 experimental hops in honor of F.X. Matthieu. Only three breweries nationwide got the 2016 crop of Leavy’s X-17 hops, which lend the cider tropical fruit notes and a spicy herbaceous finish. Pat Leavy, whose grandfather began growing hops in the 1920’s, began breeding hops suited for organic cultivation methods in the Willamette Valley after struggling with disease and pest pressures to commercially available hop varieties. Cider Riot has been making F.X. Matthieu cider with the X-17 hops since 2014, starting out with a 5-gallon test batch.

Cider Riot also recently released their Plastic Paddy Dry Irish Cider just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.

2 Towns Ciderhouse in Corvallis recently released their spring seasonal, Cherried Away (and they sent me two bottles). Of this particular cider they said:

Washington-grown Montmorency sour cherries and hibiscus blossoms mingle beautifully with fresh-pressed 100 percent Northwest apples to sweep you off your feet with lofty tart and floral aromas. For the first time, Cherried Away is unfiltered, encouraging the taste of whole cherries to break through like a sunbeam shining through spring rain. With a sessionable 6% ABV, Cherried Away is a great cider to enjoy from brunch time to twilight.

It joins their Flight of the Kiwi limited-release cider released last month, an “oak-aged cider made from Northwest-grown hardy kiwi berries, fresh-pressed apples and gooseberries.”

Portland Cider Company just celebrated their four-year anniversary, and coming up in April they will celebrating the two-year anniversary of their Portland Cider House tap room. This will be a great opportunity to celebrate with Portland Cider and also sample a bunch of guest ciders.