Beyond Washington: Other Northwest Ciders of Note
Our local cidermakers are superb, but we also have some favorites from Oregon and British Columbia.
Clearly we love Washington cidermakers. However we would be remiss if we didn't mention the many many great cideries that fall outside our borders.
Many of them ventured to Seattle for last month's Cider Summit, but they also make appearances in cider bars (Capitol Cider, Beveridge Place Pub, the Sixgill) and bottle shops (Full Throttle, 99 Bottles). Oh hey, local perk: any of these cideries would make a perfect fall weekend road trip.
So, here, some of our favorite cider destinations and their best offerings:
This renowned Canadian cidery grows its own certified organic heirloom apples, and presses, ferments, and bottles on-site. With ocean views and 1,000 young cider apple trees, this place definitely tops the list of boozy and beautiful weekend getaways.
Try Prohibition: Technically it's considered an apple wine for the whopping 12.5 percent ABV, but damn—it's good. And it's aged six months in bourbon barrels, giving this one a delightful molasses finish.
2 Towns Ciderhouse/Tradition Ciderworks
This newish cidery along the banks of the Willamette River is working on a three-year project to add 700 new cider apple trees per year to the orchard.
Try 2 Towns's Bad Apple: Bold and complex with notes of fruit and vanilla, not to mention brandy-cured and 10.5 percent ABV (hey-o)
Blue Mountain Cider
Apples are grown in the lush Walla Walla Valley region, allowing Blue Mountain (just over the state line) to add back fresh juice prior to bottling—plus a dash of carbonation, you know, for fun.
Try Dry Creek: Crisp and rounded with a dry finish, it's an excellent cider for sparkling wine lovers.
Bull Run Cider
Founded in 2009 by Pete Mulligan and Galen Williams, Bull Run produces cider (sans artificial flavors) out of the foothills of the Oregon Coast range.
Try Brambleberry: Apples infused with a blend of marion, black, and boysenberries make this a unique option for cider fans who don't want to sacrifice dryness for a touch of sweet.
Every step of the cidermaking process is done by the three founders, from the picking and crushing to the fermenting and bottling.
Try Carry Nation: Made with Willamette Valley apples, this one boasts a "hint" of sweet that is perfect for those just getting into hard cider.
EZ Orchards' decade in cidermaking follows the French methode champenoise tradition—it's time- and labor-intensive, ensuring each cider is crafted with care.
Try 2011 Cidre: Low in acidity and with a subtle sparkle, it's just plain pleasant on the palate.
Portland Cider Company
No concentrates, no colorings, no flavorings—Portland Cider Company's two cider options are honest, straightforward, and the ideal introduction to those new to the craft.
Try Kinda Dry or Sorta Sweet: With just two options, it's a simple choice according to your preference.
Reverend Nat's Hard Cider
Both cidery and taproom are in the heart of Portland, making it the go-to for urban cider drinkers. Reverend Nat's dry and off-dry ciders win the originality award, with fun names and unique flavors like Hallelujah Hopricot and Deliverance Ginger.
Try Hallelujah Hopricot: This off-dry cider made with apricot juice and hops is Rev Nat's bestseller for good reason.
Square Mile Cider Company
Both of Square Mile's ciders are made from three apple varieties—Red Delicious, Yellow Delicious, and Jonagolds—and lager beer yeast for fermentation.
Try Spur and Vine: Galaxy hops are added during cold conditioning to make a unique alternative to the crisp and balanced 'Original'.
Wandering Aengus Ciderworks/Anthem Cider
These ciders are made with 20 different heirloom apple varieties, giving them a distinct depth of flavor and body.
Try Anthem Hops: Supposedly Wandering Aengus is the first cidermaker to put hops in cider, it's still gluten-free and finishes with only a slight bitterness.