It’s not every day you’re able to explore your wildest dreams in cider form. Luckily for us, Portland regularly hosts events dedicated to the most specific of beverages often and we were able to dive into the fruity spirits one early Saturday afternoon.
Cider Rite of Spring, a new festival hosted by the Northwest Cider Association brought together ^5 Cider, 1859 Cider Co., 2 Towns Cider House, 7Bev Corp., Alter Ego Cider, Baird & Dewar Farmhouse, Bandon Rain, Bauman’s Cider, Bull Run Cider, Cider Riot!, Dragon’s Head Cider, Elk Horn Brewery & Cider House, Finnriver Farm & Cidery, Locust Cider, McMenamins Edgefield, New West Cider, Pear UP, Portland Cider Co., Red Tank Cider, Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider, Runcible Cider Co., Schilling Cider, Seattle Cider Co., Snowdrift Cider Co., Spire Mountain Ciders, Square Mile Cider, Steelhead Cider, Swift Cider, Tieton Cider Works, Tumalo Cider Co., and Woodbox Cider at the Evergreen, a beautiful bright space tucked away in SE Portland. Before walking in, we were entranced by a glorious tiny home being offered as a prize by Square Mile Cider (it appears that they run this contest every so often, so keep an eye out for further details on their website).
A mesh of conversations could be heard while climbing the stairs to the ballroom, and once we ascended it was overstimulating yet wonderful. Each cider booth hosted a few offerings and were tucked away from the large group of drinkers in the middle of the room. The bustling environment made it a bit difficult to navigate and the event was at capacity within the hour, so we took refuge in the VIP area upstairs where cheese plates and exclusive pourings were presented. While we had the pleasure of being surprised by the profiles of some ciders, some proved to be too ambitious and bizarre or completely lacked any flavor at all. Bauman’s Spring Cranberry and Peach Raspberry ended up being our favorite offering of the event, despite all of the wonderful ginger apple ciders in attendance.
For those planning on attending the event next year, and you should, research and study the cider houses prior and find out who is pouring at what time. This is not an event to miss and definitely sets some expectations for future cider festivals to come.