Cider is the new craft beer, or at least you might think so with the recent boom in cider makers these last few years, a trend which is not only increasing the quantity of cider on the market but also the quality and creativity of it. Here in Bend alone we have four cideries (Red Tank, Atlas, Far Afield, and Rimrock) and there are many more opened or opening in Oregon in Portland, the Willamette Valley, and elsewhere. (I don’t have a count, yet, of how many cideries are in the state, but I’d definitely be curious in those numbers.)
And in fact June is a big month for Oregon cider, as we have two big events taking place this month: Oregon Cider Week, which takes place June 18 through 28; and Cider Summit Portland, taking place June 19 and 20 as a signature event of the Week. These aren’t new events either—I’m just a bit behind the times on cider coverage! In fact it’s the fourth anniversary of Oregon Cider Week and the fifth of Cider Summit Portland.
There are in fact quite a few events taking place during Oregon Cider Week, and they make it easy to submit your own if you are hosting an event. Most of the events currently listed are taking place in Portland, with a few elsewhere—I’d love to see other events across the state on that page.
For instance, I know McMenamins is planning on celebrating the Week, with specials and a dinner event; their PR folks told me:
For just $5 a glass, McMenamins offers their Edgefield Cider in original apple and seasonal cherry at all locations in Oregon. To kick things off with panache, they’re hosting a Kennedy School Cider Dinner on Thursday, June 18, where guests can enjoy Executive Chef Chris Lawrence’s sumptuous menu paired with ciders, such as a pecan, pear & blue cheese salad with Edgefield Pomegranate Cider. [$75 per person, menu details here.]
Kennedy School is not the only location that will be aptly filled with appleheads, Tavern & Pool recently established a cider bar upstairs, making it Northwest Portland’s only cider bar. With four rotating guest ciders on tap and two Edgefield ciders, Tavern & Pool will give guests $1 off a pint of their choice during Cider Week. To give you a glimpse, here are the guest cider taps: Finnriver Fire Barrel; Foxtail Apfelwein German Cider; Anthem Cherry Cider; and Crispin Pacific Pear Cider. Whichever McMenamins gathering place folks end up in, they’ll be able to get their Oregon Cider Week stamp for their Passport!
The Cider Summit is the largest cider festival in the region (it moves around from city to city) and this year’s Portland event sound fantastic:
SBS Imports and the Seattle Beer Collective are pleased to announce the return of Cider Summit NW Festival to Portland, OR. The fifth annual event will take placeFriday, June 19 from 2p-8p and Saturday, June 20 from 12n-6p. Cider Summit will be returning to its new home in the Pearl District – The Fields Neighborhood Park at NW 10th/Overton. The event is presented by World Foods & Bushwhacker Cider.
This will be the 15th Cider Summit produced by SBS & Seattle Beer Collective, having launched the concept in Seattle in September 2010 and expanding to Portland, Chicago, and most recently San Francisco. This year’s event will feature over 150 ciders from producers around the country and around the world including regional favorites and international classics. The owners and cidermakers will be on hand to inform and guide guests through the samplings which will be available in 4-ounce tasting portions in a special 5th anniversary souvenir festival glass.
A brand new feature at the 2015 event will be the Fruit Cider Challenge sponsored by Oregon Fruit Products. Several of our 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.
I really like the idea of the Fruit Cider Challenge and I’d be very interested in the resulting ciders (there will be 14 of them). And for number in general, the info sheet I’ve seen indicates there are expected to be 190+ ciders from 49 producers, who come from seven states and six countries. (102 are from Oregon, and 37 from Washington.)
Tickets cost $30 in advance and $35 (cash only) at the door and are available online as well as a number of sponsoring physical locations a bottle shops (see the page for details where). The admission fee includes gets you a fifth anniversary souvenir tasting glass, eight tasting tickets, and a $1 donation to the event beneficiary (the Cascade Blues Association). You can get additional tasting tickets for $2 per ticket.