Monday, June 26th, 2023

Peaks and Pints Monday Cider Flight: Portland Oregon


It’s Monday, which means Peaks and Pints celebrates the taking of apples and pears and making them alcoholic and drinkable via a cider flight. Today, we focus on Portland, Oregon. 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. Sure, the city has a penchant for drinking, but maybe also because of Portland’s proximity to some of the world’s best apples that it’s quickly become the place to go for the country’s fastest-growing booze option: cider. Also, 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. That’s all fine and dandy, but let’s get to drinking. Enjoy Peaks and Pints Monday Cider Flight: Portland Oregon.

Peaks and Pints Monday Cider Flight: Portland Oregon

Swift Blueberry

4.6% ABV

Swift Cider, an urban craft cidery based in Portland, Oregon, is the reincarnation of Outcider, which was originally founded in spring 2012. Founding owner and head small-batch cidermaker Aidan Currie continued to dedicate his life to small batches made with fresh-pressed apples, local ingredients, slow-and-cold fermentation, and wild yeasts when he rebranded as Swift Cider in the Spring of 2014. Swift’s Blueberry cider medaled at the Portland International Cider Cup with its apple and blueberry juice combo. This semi-sweet cider hits the tongue with jammy blueberries, light citrus, and floral notes with medium tartness and a clean finish.

Portland Crangerine

5.1% ABV, can

Oregonian Jeff and British Lydia launched Portland Cider Company in 2012 with the intent of marrying English cider traditions with the innovative Northwest micro-brewing culture.  It all started from a desire to make the clean, dry cider Lynda grew to love in England, and Jeff yearned to find in Oregon. A medium sweet, crimson cider, Crangerine highlights tart and juicy tangerines complemented by fruity Oregon-grown cranberries. The citrus zest of the tangerines interacts with the fruitiness of the rich red cranberries for a playful spin on a fall classic.

Reverend Nat’s Saint Citron

5.2% ABV

When his North Portland neighbor begged him to take his backyard apples off his hand in 2004, Nat West began experimenting with fermentation, turning the small green apples into hard cider. His friends went nuts. West would go on to hold weekly free cider parties at his house, experimenting on his friends, which ended up at 50 or so people. In the summer of 2011, West launched Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider, most likely the only cidery in Portland. West’s Saint Citron is inspired by mid-century Italian cocktails and combines the flavors of citrus and salt to quench any thirst. Dried black Persian limes, lemon zest, kumquats and French sea salt evoke memories of salted lemonade, gose-style beer.

Reverend Nat’s Viva La Pineapple

6% ABV

In early 2020, Reverend Nat’s on-premise sales comprised 60 percent of its sales, so the COVID-19 quarantine was a dagger. The taproom shut down. In March 2023, Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider opened a new taproom, this time at 2425 S.E. 35th Place, at Division Street, in Southeast Portland’s Richmond neighborhood. Their Viva La Pineapple is a blend of fermented fresh apple juice sourced from Eastern Washington and unfermented fresh pineapple juice. A touch of cinnamon, cloves and allspice is added. The spice and pineapple hit the nose and tongue with notes of green apples and pear. Delicious.

Double Mountain Little Spy

7.5% ABV

The Hood River-based Double Mountain Brewery and Cidery will expand into North Portland this summer. It will move into the North Killingsworth Street space formerly occupied by Lucky Labrador Brewing, which closed in late 2021. The new location will be Double Mountain’s third overall and second in Portland. Double Mountain first arrived in Portland in 2016, serving its craft beers and pizza at a SE Woodstock Boulevard taproom. Double Mountain macerates the finest American heirloom cider apples from the Hood River Valley and allows their juice to rest on the skins and seeds before pressing, producing just a hint of additional tannic character in their Little Spy cider. The pet nat-style cider is fermented slow and low to maximize the fruit’s nuanced expression, highlighting notes of citron, Riesling grape, and ripe pear. Carbonation is the result of careful fermentation monitoring and racking accordingly.

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