written by Julie Lee | featured photo courtesy of WildCraft Cider Works
The bounty of craft brews in Oregon has inspired an aftershock: new cideries are blooming like poppies in spring. In every corner of Oregon, one can find a new spin on fruity favorites. Here are some of ours.
1859 Cider Co.
Our namesake has to be first on the list. With a back alley taproom in historic downtown Salem, seven generations of farming results in fresh full-bodied fruit ciders like Russet Pear, Autumn Strawberry and Statehood Semi-sweet. If you want to get juiced, the 1859 Bone Dry has an alcohol content of nearly 8%. This isn’t just about cider: special events happen often at the taproom, from swing dance lessons and partner paint nights to visiting food trucks, like Prologue Pastries & Sandwich Library. Get in early for Cider + Yoga, the last Sunday of each month, with space still available in March. Namaste.
249 Liberty St. NE #140, Salem | 1859cider.com
WildCraft Cider Works
Eugene has gone dry . . . cider that is. In a town busting at the seams with folks looking for the next great adult beverage, WildCraft Cider Works provides quality and innovation with their strictly seasonal, small-batch ciders. Whole Oregon-grown fruit is spontaneously wild fermented and results in some tasty cider. Current selections include Pioneer Perry, made with Oregon pears, Wild Rose, made from Mountain Rose buds, and Community Apple Drive, produced with donated apples, and 10% of sales going to the Long Tom Watershed Council.
390 Lincoln St., Eugene | wildcraftciderworks.com
Oregon Mead & Cider Co.
Located in northeast Portland, Oregon Mead & Cider Co. (formerly Stung Fermented) produces a dry sparkling cider that can change your mind about ciders if you’re not already a fan. The tasting room is open almost daily and the meads and ciders are sold in New Seasons and Market of Choice stores. The Queen meads are handcrafted from single-source honeys, fermented to a thorough dry, and come with a good buzz of 16% ABV. Meads and ciders are gluten-free, so those with dietary restrictions can sip away guiltlessly.
2117 NE Oregon St. Ste. 202, Portland | oregonmeadandcider.com
Tumalo Cider Co.
Tumalo Cider Co. in Bend started where most great Oregon-based businesses start: in a basement. Owner Kelly Roark would fill trash cans with free apples found around town, pressing them into home brewed cider. While many cider companies are creating ciders from every imaginable fruit, apples are still the core business for Tumalo years later, with ciders brewing now. Stay tuned for updates on this up-and-coming cidery.
64649 Wharton Ave., Bend | tumalocider.com
To make great cider, go straight to the source. In a region ripe with fruit sits Apple Outlaw Cidery, a vision-turned-reality for owners Blair Smith and Marcey Kelley. The couple grew weary of the corporate environment and traffic in neighboring California and settled in Applegate, Oregon amongst gorgeous apple orchards and fresh air. The land is prized at Apple Outlaw and farmed sustainably, with unused apples being donated to the Josephine County Food Bank. The flagship cider has a strong, fruity finish and the Ginger Bite packs a spicy punch. The Cranberry Jewel blends cranberry with rose hips and orange peel for a perfect marriage of sweet and tart. Apple Outlaw can be purchased in stores throughout the region and is served in many Southern Oregon restaurants.
Applegate | appleoutlaw.com