Really Hard Cider


The name Wooden Hellfire is accurate for a naturally fermented cider that uses three key ingredients, apple juice, yeast and Kentucky Bourbon Barrels.

Oh and one other thing, instead of icing out the water to concentrate the sugar, Nat West from Reverend Nat’s Cider boiled the apple juice instead. Creating caramelized notes along with the apples.

Maybe, we can get some of this style of cider in LA, Please. Or any of the Tent Show Series of ciders.

NW Cidery # 2 – Portland Cider Co.

During my last Portland visit, I was finally able to sneak in some time at a cider tap room. In this case the satellite for Portland Cider Co. on Hawthorne. They lead with their own ciders including ciders with fresh hops (First Crop), cider with a Hawaiian twist (Maui Cruiser) and a cider aged in used gin barrels (London Dry). They also have ciders from other producers on tap as well so you can easily compare and contrast styles and apples.

I suggest going for the weirder ones but you could also start with their mainline offerings:

Kinda Dry
“Traditional English cider is dry, lightly carbonated, has very subtle apple flavors, and a lingering fresh finish. It is in the spirit of this traditional cider that we blend our Kinda Dry. We use fresh pressed juice from a blend of NW grown culinary apples such as Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Jonagold, Gala, Golden and Red Delicious, carefully ferment them with a yeast that preserves their subtle characteristics, give the cider time to develop to its full potential, then bottle or keg at just the right time. Just off dry, light, clean, refreshing, with a pleasant finish, Kinda Dry is the cider to always have on hand.”

Sorta Sweet
“If we had to describe this cider in a word it would be YUM! Blended with similar varieties of apples as our Kinda Dry, Sorta Sweet will hit you with apple flavor right from the start. Balancing the higher levels of residual sugars with just the right amount of tartness gives Sorta Sweet a fresh flavor that tastes like biting into your favorite apple. A nice long finish follows that makes sipping a pint something not to be rushed. We ferment it with the same care and give it the same attention to detail as our other ciders. Also lightly carbonated, pair a glass of Sorta Sweet with your favorite curry or any spicy dish and you cannot go wrong.”

Pearfect Perry
“Made from nothing but a blend of Bartlett and D’Anjou pear juice. This light perry is medium sweet and bursting with pear notes. Like all our ciders it is balanced and refreshing. Available on draft and in 22oz bottles, ask for it at your favorite growler station or pub.”

“Take a balanced dry cider, infuse it with the fragrant Citra variety of hops, then double down on the citrus notes of those hops by throwing in some bitter orange peel, and the result is an outrageously refreshing hopped cider that can only be described as Hop’rageous! With equal notes of bitter hop and tangy citrus, this unexpected combination pairs well with anything coming off the grill.”

1/2 Cider & 1/2 IPA = gluten free


I don’t know about this experiment but I really like that it is tabbed as an experiment.  So many beer releases have fancy, dressed up names but this one I may try because of the fact that they own up to their testing. Kudos to Harvester Brewing!

“Apple IPA features the wonderful characteristics of a dry cider crossed with a classicly-hopped Northwest IPA. It starts with an IPA base brewed with buckwheat and chestnuts and kettle hopped with three large aroma additions of Centennial hops. Then apple must is added to create a mixture of 51% IPA and 49% cider. The blend is fermented with an American ale yeast, and is finished by dry- hopping with 10 lbs. of Centennial hops.”