Monday, February 1, 2016

CiderCon Takes Portland

Tom Oliver (l) and Jarek Kuzelka (r)
For the past few years, the cider world's annual conference has been hosted by the Windy (and snowy and frozen) City. Someone realized that there are far better February choices, and so this week balmy, sunny Portland takes over.* Actually, it probably has more to do with the fact that Wandering Aengus' James Kohn is a bigwig with the organizing body. And also, we're a pretty good cider town.

Apropos of that last point, CiderCon offers quite a lot of opportunities for Portlanders to scratch their apple itch over the next weekend. There will be events happening all over the city, starting today. (Even the cannabis crowd is getting in on the action.) Here's a full run-down of all the events. If you click on an item, a dropdown menu appears with more details--it's a handy list. There are tons of tap takeovers and tasting events. There are some special events worth checking out.
  • On Wednesday, Feb 3 at 8pm, Nat West will host Tom Oliver at his taproom (Reverend Nat's/1813 NE 2nd Ave). Tom is one of the most accomplished English cider-makers, and almost certainly its best perry-maker. He's a charming and very smart guy. He is also featured centrally in my book Cider Made Simple.
  • On Thursday at 5:30 there's a meetup of the Pomme Boots Society--a group devoted to promoting women in cider-making. It was inspired by the Pink Boots Society, which does the same thing for women in beer (and was also formed here in PDX). That will be at the Portland Hilton's Hop City Tavern, 921 SW 6th Ave.
  • On Friday at 8pm, Abram Goldman-Armstrong is hosting a party at the site of the future (but as yet-unrenovated) Cider Riot at 807 NE Couch. A west-country cider band, the Skimmity Hitchers, will be rockin' out.
If you have any interest in cider at all, you should have a look at the listings and find your way to a tap takeover, special tasting, or something cool. This is an opportunity not to be missed.

Finally, if you want to tune up your cider knowledge in advance of the events (aside from buying a copy of Cider Made Simple, which of course you should do), here's a great primer, if I do say so myself.

*Weather humor: only marginally less annoying than puns. Mid-forties and rainy--welcome to the Rose City, everyone!


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