NW Cidery # 1 – Cider Riot

Why cider tours of the NW this month? Well, they are in the news (see HERE for taxes and HERE for breweries making cider) + I visited one on my recent trip.

With the MLS 2016 season now underway and the Timbers of Portland attempting to defend their championship crown, it felt right to start with avowed Timber fan and Cidermaker/Owner Abram Goldman-Armstrong and his Cider Riot.

I like this one quote about cider, he says that it “challenges me, it inspires me, and there’s nothing quite like the dry tannic flavor of a well made cider.”

Here is what I would like to try:
Burncider® Dry Draught Cider 6.8% abv – Silver Medal winner in the Portland International Cider Cup 2014 – Inspired by the pub draught ciders of the English West Country, Burncider blends Oregon-grown traditional English cider apples, tart wild apples and dessert apples from Hood River. Just like Portland’s Old Main Drag™, this cider has a rich history and flavorful character.

Everybody Pogo™ Hoppy Cider 6.7% abv- A refreshingly dry cider that’s got hops. Our roughcut tribute to football terraces and punk rock shows, dry and quenching with a hint of sweet apple flavor, as organically grown Goldings hops do the pogo dance across your taste buds. A distinctly Oregonian product, Everybody Pogo mates Hood River apples and Willamette Valley hops. Unfiltered and lightly carbonated.

Never Give an Inch™ Oregon Blackberry Cider 6.9% abv – A testament to determination, hard work, and downright cussedness, Never Give an Inch celebrates the spirit of Oregon. Invasive Himalaya blackberries run riot across the fencelines and fields all across western Oregon. Fire, chemical poisons, machetes, bulldozers, even goats can only beat back their inevitable advance, as they attempt to take over every square inch of cleared land. Luckily their fruits are delicious, juicy, and plentiful, spawning the phrase “as Cascadian as blackberry pie.”In Never Give an Inch, Oregon blackberries and blackcurrants combine with Hood River and Yakima-grown apples create a tart dry cider with a fruity aroma.

Black Bloc series is our Bogman’s Cranberry Brettanomyces cider – Bogman’s is a blend of over twenty different cider and dessert apple varieties aged for a year on natural brettanomyces from the orchard where the apples were grown. Oregon cranberries were added to add a touch of acidity to balance the flavors of the brett. The cider was then allowed to bottle condition for nine months, to achieve a smooth round carbonation. It’s been a long road from the initial pressing in 2013 to your glass in 2015, so savor the complexity of this Black Bloc cider before it vanishes.

In the Tap Lines for March 2016

March has blown in for another round and this month, the Portland posts start us off and will be the featured reviews. L.A. happenings and news will start to seep in though as Phantom Carriage turns one and Brouwerij West turns One day + tickets for the 8th L.A. Beer Week Kick-Off go on sale in 4 days!

~ e-visits to three cideries from Oregon such as Portland Cider Co., Cider Riot and the Apple Outlaw.
~ special featured reviews of beers from Portland
~ Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events
~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark
~ A Book & A Beer reads the Best Food Writing of 2015
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world
~ … and Session # 109 covers the topic, “?”

Here are two events to get your March started in the Los Angeles craft beer world:
1) March 4th – The Doughroom will have (3) taps from Bend, Oregon’s Crux Fermentation on draft.
2) March 12thFirkfest at Farmer’s Park in Anaheim

Review – Snakebite From Gigantic

Many moons ago, I embarked on a month-long visit to London as a college theatre course.  My naive beer and alcohol knowledge consisted of wine information gleaned from my parents and college parties.  For some reason, I became enamored of the Snakebite a 1/2 lager – 1/2 cider concoction with black currant added.  It was not good.

But now, memories paint it in a different light and Gigantic Brewing has teamed with Cider Riot! and Beau’s All Natural Brewing to make a 2015 version of the Snakebite. The Gigantic version is Kolsch fermented with apple juice and black currant .


How will it compare to my faded recollections?  Let’s see….

Right off the bat the currant and apple flavors pop. Thankfully, it isn’t in a sweetened juice way as this ale/cider hybrid gets very dry, very quickly. There is a biscuity undertone and a bit of watery lightness on the back of the tongue to stave off a complete drying effect. This amber/red streaked colored beer still retains a beer-iness even though the aroma has a bit of mint quality to it. Like drinking a sour ale, this rewards the fan who slowly takes it in rather than as a quick refresher type of beer.

On my new (patent pending) rating scale of, Buy It! – get a bottle. Try It. – get a taster. Shy from It. – get something else first  Snakebite gets a Buy It!