Ingenuity is nothing new in the Pacific Northwest, home of Amazon, Nike, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and also the modern hopped cider movement. The Pacific Northwest was predicted to bring in nearly 96 percent of the United States’ total hop harvest for 2016 (numbers are yet to be released), with fruit-forward, citrusy varieties like Cascade, Mosaic and Galaxy topping the charts and moving into cideries as complementary adjuncts to the featured fruit.
Dressed in new packaging for 2017, Square Mile Cider Co. in Portland, Oregon, hit the hop market right out of the gate, with the release of the Spur & Vine hopped cider in 2013 when it launched. Handpicked Oregon-grown Red Delicious, Yellow Delicious and Jonagold apples are also hand-pressed then fermented with a lager beer yeast and hopped with Galaxy hops during cold-conditioning. Tart, sharp and crisp, the dual-purpose Galaxy hop (meaning it provides both bittering and aromatic agents) exudes juicy passion fruit and fresh-squeezed citrus qualities, while the apple medley meshes with citrus, white peach, juicy red apple and a touch of honey.