Hello! Happy Thursday to you. Did you enjoy the long weekend? I sure was excited to find out that I got an extra day – getting MLK day off is a new thing for Intel so it was a fun surprise.
I celebrated my friend Meredith‘s birthday at Muse Wine Bar on NW 23rd – I’m totally digging this place, so check it out if you haven’t been there yet! Then consequently, Sunday morning consisted of nursing a mild hangover over Pumpkin Porridge from Kure, while catching up with a friend (perhaps I shouldn’t have had that final glass of wine…whoops).
So it was even better to get an additional weekend day to actually be productive and do things like laundry, grocery shopping and blogging. What were you up to?!
As mentioned on my December recap, a few weeks back Brice and I partook in a little cider tour around Portland. I first discovered good quality cider when visiting a friend in London a couple years ago. The Brits were way ahead of us on providing dry, not intensely sweet ciders, unlike the kind that hurt your teeth and just taste like alcoholic Martinelli’s.
I loved both the taste and the fact that it was better to drink in a pub or sports bar when I don’t really like beer. So it’s made me really excited that ciders have become such a hit in the US in the last few years, with sales tripling in the past five years!
Brice and I love sampling lots of different ciders – we even have a Google doc tracking our favorites. Just like beer or wine, there are so many varietals and flavor profiles out there. With the increased popularity of ciders these days, there are a number of bars catering just to ciders.
From Reverend Nat’s which is a taproom for their namesake and canned Cascadia cider, to Bushwhacker’s which kicked off the cider bar revolution, there are a lot to choose from. In fact, we didn’t even make it to our full list of places. By hour 8, we had had our fill and needed to return home! Guess that just means, we’ll have to have Cider Tour 2.0 sometime soon!
The Portland cider bars are a bit spread out but that just means you get a good tour of Portland, right? We selected our route, both based on the locations to make it most direct and wanting to start off at Rev Nat’s since that was new to both of us. Here’s a Google Maps to help you get the lay of the land.
With Uber and Lyft being in Portland, it makes the cider tour even easier! We did spend about $40 on transportation but that was well worth not having to worry about parking or who will be DD (you can all have fun!).
PDX Cider Tour:
- Reverend Nat’s: This is a great place to start to get in mood of cider. The bar overlooks the giant tanks brewing up cider and you can see the bottling line in the back. The bartender was super friendly and happily shared how the cider making process works and in true Portland fashion, his favorite other cideries around town. Rev Nat’s typically only have their own ciders however, but they have a fun selection of their seasonals and their Tepache pineapple cider.
- Portland Cider House: With 28 ciders on tap, they can keep you entertained all day. They serve up around 10 of their own ciders (which are some of my favorite), while the rest are all guest taps which rotate. I really love that they use Digital Pour so you can see their taplist on the wall showing how much of the keg is left and what’s coming up next. Internet of Things at its finest!
- Loyal Legion: Midway through a drinking tour, it is of course necessary to refuel with some food! Loyal Legion has stepped up their food game since they first opened. Their burgers are particularly good now, as they are served on Philippe’s Bread pretzel bun. And don’t even try missing out on their warm soft pretzels. Not only are the carbs perfect to offset all the cider drinking, they are fantastically delicious. But of course you don’t want to stop the drinks, so this is the perfect combo. They’ve got 99 taps, mostly with Oregon beers of course, but a good number of rotating ciders like one of my favorites Atlas Cider from Bend, Oregon.
- Bushwhacker Cider: This little cider bar off SE Powell is pretty nondescript but it started the cider bar trend and it’s easy to see why when you enter. They’ve got a small tap selection but their bottles are outrageous. From Oregon and Washington to Spain and France, if you are looking for a unique cider to try, this is the place to do it. Their staff is really helpful and knows there stuff, so they can point you in the right direction if you aren’t sure what to get. Enjoy the bottles there or take ’em home.
- Cider Bite: This new spot in the Pearl District is still getting its feet under them a bit. While they aren’t always that busy yet so the vibe is often quiet, they have an awesome line-up of rotating taps and really knowledgeable staff. I hope people on the west side of the river start heading over there soon because it is great having them in the neighborhood!
- McMennamin’s 23rd Ave Bottle Shop: The Oregon chain recently took over the slightly decrepit market on the corner of NW 23rd and Thurman and turned it into a cozy bottle shop. They include 3-4 ciders on their tap, both of their own (which are surprisingly good!) and guest cidermakers, plus they’ve got a decent selection of bottles. With a few high-top tables, you can enjoy the drinks right there.
Coming soon: Cider Riot‘s taproom to be opened in early 2016.
Any other places in Portland you love to get cider?