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The 9th Annual Oregon Cider Fest Goes Virtual, and one local cider queen details her love of the bubbly beverage

Oregon's 9th Annual Cider Week kicks off June 18, and allows Oregonians the opportunity to taste to their heart's content, meet the makers, sample special releases and celebrate everything cider. The Northwest Cider Association, host of the event, has been busy making adaptations to its regular programming in light of COVID-19 restrictions. Still, the fermented apple show must go on, and Oregon Cider Week has transitioned to a virtual platform.

Cheers to the 9th Annual Oregon Cider Fest! - COURTESY OF BEND CIDER CO.
  • Courtesy of Bend Cider Co.
  • Cheers to the 9th Annual Oregon Cider Fest!

People can participate in most of the scheduled events from the comfort of their own couch (or backyard, weather permitting). 

Corvallis' 2 Towns Ciderhouse will participate on Thursday, June 25 from 5-6pm, offering up insight on its Prickly Pearadise, a 2018 vintage Cidre Bouche and a third cider yet to be announced. To participate, buy the ciders beforehand either online or at local shops, sign up for free and tune in to join via Zoom. The makers will provide a complimentary guided tasting, answer any questions and share some interesting cider-centric stories.

Many Portland cideries will offer their own virtual events, and because it's virtual, it's easier for Central Oregonians to get in on the activities.

Tamara Roark, co-owner of Bend Cider Co., explained her involvement in the unexpected transition from live and in-person to behind the screens. "I was hoping to get more people excited about cider by planning different events as a part of the Cider Fest, like the Cider Olympics and a Cider race with Cascades Relays. Central Oregon has a lot of fun ways to celebrate beer, but we really wanted to have some events that were more focused on cider. Everything was in the works, and then COVID hit and it all fell through."

While Roark and her husband had anticipated that the Bend Cider Co. tasting room would be open to the public come June, they now plan to break ground sometime in July. "We're still in the final stages of permitting, which has proven challenging," she said. "Next year we're going to open the tasting room up for tasting and pairings. We've got an outdoor stage for special events and a kid-friendly area, so parents can enjoy a beverage while the kids play. We have a nice outdoor garden that will be open for private tastings next month. We want to educate the public. This is such a new industry, and many people don't realize how many different types of ciders are out there. Legend Cider in La Pine has a great farmhouse cider. AVID has a delicious, sweet blackberry cider. In our case, we focus more on a botanical element in our ciders, which are classic and dry." Bend Cider Co. offers an Acai Mint Cider, infused with fresh spearmint, and a Mandarin Juniper Cider, which Roark noted was quickly becoming a local favorite. 

click to enlarge There are few things more beautiful than a trio of ice cold ciders relaxing by a Central Oregon lake. - COURTESY OF BEND CIDER CO.
  • Courtesy of Bend Cider Co.
  • There are few things more beautiful than a trio of ice cold ciders relaxing by a Central Oregon lake.

While Bend Cider Co. has no scheduled Cider Fest programming, they will host a virtual happy hour on July 1 via the @pnwcidergirl Instagram page.

"I encourage people to pick up a cider they haven't tried before," concluded Roark. "Just jump onto the website and find a virtual happy hour, a guided cider pairing or an educational series. The "Virtually 4 Peaks" Music Festival will be happening during the same week, so why not do a little cider drinking while listening? Support local cideries!" 

Check out the entire list of events at oregonciderweek.com/event-calendar.
Oregon Cider Week
Thu., June 18-Sun., June 28
oregonciderweek.com/
Free

About The Author

Cayla Clark

Cayla graduated from UCLA with a degree in playwriting, soon after realizing that playwriting is not a viable career option. Fortunately, this led her to journalism, and she is thrilled to be part of such a unique and fun-loving team. Upcoming local events? Send them her way!
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