We’re a little more than two weeks away from Oregon Cider Week — an 11-day jam-packed celebration of Oregon cider, hosted by the Northwest Cider Association (NWCA). Cider producers from all over the Beaver State come together to revel in cider, throwing a daily variety of special events like festivals, workshops, food pairings, tap takeovers and more. The festivities commence June 15 and wrap up on June 25.
One aspect of a cider drinker’s adventure is savoring ciders from where they were created. Not only is sipping ciders with scenic views and entertainment a great way to spend the afternoon, it enhances the cider experience. Pack a picnic with friends and gas up the car: these cideries are worth the extra drive.
The Gorge White House | Hood River, OR | Though nestled in the adventurous Columbia River Gorge, Hood River is not limited to outdoor recreation.
Bring the cider mill experience to your oven: Whip up wholesome hard cider donuts that’ll win all your guests over, whether they are sipping cider or not.
This donut is a slightly spiked dish that’s picture-perfect in whatever sweet situation, any time of the year. For recipe creator and Portland Cider Co. marketing director Helen Lewis, the donut especially enhances warm and breezy summer evenings.
In the 1990s, then-distributor Bruce Wright spent a good amount of his time selling wine across Michigan. But one day, as Wright recalls, a man approached him — his appearance gruff and disheveled, in dusty Carhaart pants. It seemed like he had just left a farm. The man carried one bottle of cider for Wright to try.
Wright was not a cider drinker at the time, but took the bottle home with him. He says he found the cider captivating after just one taste.
Festival season is set to begin; we know you’re more than ready. It’s time to shake off the spring and gather all seasoned and novice cider drinkers alike under the sun. Let us act as your guide. From Pennsylvania to PDX, here are some cider festivals popping up on our North American maps.
CiderWeek Hudson Valley | June 9-18 | Prices vary
CiderWeek pays homage to the vibrant Hudson Valley cider industry and its orchards for an entire week.
It’s the end of April and domestic blueberries are officially in action. Most of the southern states will begin harvesting next month and, before we know it, the superfood will be in its peak season of June through July. As we begin dreaming of sandals, barbecues and long warm evenings, here are some blushing blueberry-infused ciders to get you in that summertime state-of-mind.
At Austin Eastciders, traditional dry cider rules above all. Founder Ed Gibson — a former cider bar owner from the U.K. — arrived in Texas and noticed the dominance of sweet, cloying flavors in the U.S. hard cider market. As the cider world knows well, culinary apples are much more commonplace than the cider apple in the United States — partly because of the loss of cider apple orchards post-Prohibition and also due to the commercial success of the eating apple.
The Pacific Northwest, California and New York garner much attention when it comes to apple and cherry production in the United States. However, it’s the Great Lakes area that remains as the unsung hero we all need. Why? Its physical geography is similar to France: the ideal conditions for apples and cherries to thrive. In fact, the Great Lakes region has the nation’s most diverse apple crop, and Michigan leads the country in tart cherry production.