With the summer solstice just around the corner, Oregon Cider Week kicks off tomorrow to let the sunshine in — in regards to both the weather and the cider. The 11-day celebration of all things Northwest cider returns for its eighth vintage June 20-30, with events happening throughout the Beaver State. To best prepare Oregon cider drinkers — and those traveling into Oregon to drink cider — here are five things you might not have known about the state’s liquid gold.
1) Many a maker.
Though the Northwest Cider Association has 30 Oregon cidery members in its ranks, there are over 70 producers of cider in the state, including both wineries and breweries that have crossed over to apple. This makes Oregon home to one of the largest cidery populations in the country.
2) Leading the charge nationally. Again.
Oregon also plays host to half a dozen cider-specific bars and growing (like Crush Cider Cafe, Ciderlicious, Portland Cider House and Schilling Cider House), not including cideries that have expanded taprooms to feature a few guest taps they deem worthy of also checking out (see Avid Cider, Reverend Nat’s, Cider Riot! and WildCraft).
3) Many the fruit.
Roughly 31 million pounds of Northwest-grown fruit was used in 2018 to produce Northwest cider. Two-thirds of the cideries in the PNW make less than 10,000 gallons of cider annually and one-third operate their own small-scale orchards.
4) Many the locations.
80 percent of Northwest cideries own a tasting room for guests to experience their story and cider firsthand, many of which are in urban settings with open hours that make it easy to drop into.
5) All drinkers invited.
The NW cider industry professional is 65 percent male and 35 percent female, but the cider drinker is more equal opportunity, with 50-50 male to female. This gives date night a whole new apple perspective.
(Bonus: if you’re digging these stats, check out national numbers in our coverage of 2019 CiderCon.)
So during this year’s Oregon Cider Week and its myriad of event offerings, drink a bit more educated and drink a bit more cider.