Worth a Visit: McMenamins' Cider Bar on NW 23rd
Little known fact: Not only has McMenamins been making cider for 25 years, the local institution is a Top 5 cider producer in Oregon with 70,000 gallons a year.
You can taste the fruits of that experience at the 30-year-old McMenamins Tavern & Pool on NW 23rd—directly across the street from another longtime neighborhood anchor, the recently shuttered Besaw's. The bar's revamped upstairs den features a dedicated cider bar to showcase a rotating selection of 8 Northwest total ciders—two house recipes brewed at Edgefield and six rotating guest taps.
On a recent visit, the tap list appeared both accessible and well-curated. In addition to pouring to easy-to-find ciders from Crispin and 2 Towns, the list included Atlas's Hard Blackberry Cider (Bend), D's Wicked Baked Apple (Kennewick, WA), and McMenamin's own Cherry Cider, each with distinct, fruity flavor profiles. The Baked Apple is worth a trip alone—like drinking warm apple pie.
"I can remember in college it was only like Hornsby's," pub manager Steve Eszterhas told me, who says the pub will do flights of cider and fill growlers for $16. "We're the only winery in the country that does cider in the offseason."
If you're looking for another reason to check it out, there's another feature that I did not have a chance to test: free pool until 5pm!
You can check out McMenamins' ciders (along 150 others from around the country) at Portland's Cider Summit on June 19 and 20. For more information, visit cidersummitnw.com.