Portland Cider Summit 2013

June 25, 2013

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This year’s Portland Cider Summit was bigger than ever, which actually posed quite a conundrum. I shouldn’t be complaining – it is the one event a year I get to go to where I can have cider. The next best thing is to actually go to a cider bar like Bushwhacker’s. But here’s the thing: there were over 100 ciders there, and trying to taste became overwhelming.

There were more local cider producers there, and think less imports. I’m guessing a third of those producers just came online in the last year. Each cider maker also brought at least three ciders, so there was quite a bit to choose from.

I went on both days. The first day, I was with some co-workers, which was a great way to do it. For $25, we each had our 10 tickets and a good tasting glass, so between the seven of us, we probably covered 30 different ciders. The next day, my husband Burtle and I went back to cover the ciders we wanted larger tastings of or felt we didn’t cover the company well enough.

Thing is, on the second day, when people found out we had been there the previous day, they would ask us what our favorites were. Really, I only got a sip or two of about 30 different ciders, and even though I took notes, taking only a sip or two of 30 ciders is hard to pick a favorite from. Just too many. What does stand out are the ciders with adjuncts, which is kind of sad. For starters, the British cringe at the idea of adding adjuncts, and there is something to be said about having that pure cider. Secondly, sometime adding adjuncts is a sign that something wasn’t completely right with the cider, so they are masking it. Don’t get me wrong, I do like adjuncts, but when those are what you remember, it gets a little sad.

It is ironic that I’m even complaining about this – too many cider offerings. It is a whiny way of me saying I had a very wonderful time, and I can’t wait for next year!

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