On a balmy day in Palo Alto during the spring of 2007, Alan Shapiro, founder of Seattle-based beer and hard cider import company SBS Importer, sat down with Mark Bronder, co-founder of Pete’s Brewing Company. The two began a quizzical discussion on how to bolster artisanal ciders in a young and emerging market.
Shapiro was encouraged by the journey beer took in the 80s when festivals would offer tastings to edify curious minds on why some beer came in dark colors, what “dry” meant, and how the oh-so magical powers of yeast, barley, and hops transformed into beer that would become a refrigerator regular. Beer jubilees became the foundational encouragement for Shapiro, and with help from the Seattle Beer Collective, Shapiro grew the slow, but humble beginnings of the 2010 Cider Summit Seattle, which expanded to Portland in 2011, Chicago in 2013, and Berkeley, CA in 2014.
The Forth Annual Cider Summit Portland is expected to draw 3,500 to 4,000 cider-curious folks and cider aficionados (and their dogs) to The Fields Neighborhood Park in the Pearl District on June 20 and 21.
“The first Portland cider gathering brought a modest 500 people. Every year the visitors have doubled,” said Shapiro. This year’s summit will feature 140 ciders, 60 of which have never been poured at a Portland event adding to the list of apple-derived, gluten-free tastiness.
Appleholic Goodness (a few of last year’s crowd favorites):
- Prohibition – a dark bourbon barrel-aged cider from Sea Cider Farm and Cider House, British Columbia
- Black Currant Sparkling Cider – an earthly fruit flavor with organic black currant from Finnriver Farm and Cidery, Washington
- Asian Pear Cider – a refreshing, spicy-noted cider made with Oregon grown pears, Carlton Cyderworks, Oregon
- Hallelujah Hopricot – an off-dry cider with coriander, bitter orange peel, apricot juice, and Amarillo hops, Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider, Oregon
- E.Z. Orchids Cidre – an elegant French style cidre made with French bitter-sweet apples grown locally, Oregon
Also enjoy delicious Mediterranean and Lebanese-style foods from World Foods and Ya Hala Restaurant, French pastries and baguette sandwiches from St. Honoré Boulangerie, and treats from 50 Licks ice cream, Masala Pop, and Smitten Artisan Truffles.
Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 (cash only) at the door and are available online via Stranger tickets and at many of the area’s leading bottle shops. Admission includes a souvenir tasting glass and eight tasting tickets (additional tickets purchased on-site). The event welcomes dogs to The Unleashed by Petco/DoveLewis dog lounge. More information can be found at cidersummit.com.
Can’t make it to the summit itself? You can still indulge in some cider fun right here during Portland’s citywide celebration of cider week:
Reverend Nat’s: Full details available online
June 19, 8 pm to 10 pm: Cider Appreciation Class
June 26, 7 pm to 9 pm: Cider & Quiz night
June 28, 12 pm to 12 am: One-year anniversary party of Rev Nat’s public taproom
St. Honoré Boulangerie: Full details available online
June 26, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm: Cider Feast 5-Course Dinner
June 27, 6 pm to 9 pm: Cider happy hour with cider makers and jazz
All week: A unique selection of six cider-inspired cocktails
Bushwhacker Cider, Salt & Straw, and Finnriver: See all Bushwhacker Cider Week Events
June 24, 6 pm to 9 pm: Bushwhacker Cider (1212-D SE Powell Blvd) to host Finnriver cider tasting and an exclusive tasting of Salt & Straw and Finnriver’s collaborative ice cream Fire Barrel Cider, featuring Finnriver Cacao Brandywine. Call Bushwhacker at