It’s been a little over a month (more like almost two, but who’s counting?) since I got back from Portland after NCxNW and I miss it already.
Since I won’t be back for another year, I thought I’d go down memory lane for a few posts and look back at some of the great things I ate, drank, and did while I was there.
First up, I’m breaking down a flight of ciders that I split with my friend, occasional reader, and fellow SJSU Quidditch alum, Gil Ortiz. I spent an afternoon hanging out with him and my favorite East Bay quidditch baes, the California Dobbys.
For our flight, Gil picked out the first half (on the left) and I picked the second half (on the right). He went for fruits beyond your typical apple cider, while I went for even more out of the box (but that I hoped would still drinkable!) options.
Considering that he’s a total sweetheart and I’m a shameless tryhard, our choices suited our personalities pretty well.
Cider 1: Pineapple Cider (Ace Cider Company, Sebastopol CA)
We started from something close to home. Ace is up in the North Bay, and I’ve had their stuff before. On this cider, the two of us were agreed: it tasted exactly like straight up pineapple, but we liked that.
Cider 2: Cot in the Act (2 Towns Ciderhouse, Corvallis OR)
I’m not big on stone fruits, but I was willing to give this apricot cider a shot. Unfortunately, it was funky in a way that I didn’t really like. (And that’s saying something, considering that I love a stanky sour.) Gil’s take? “That tastes like what urine would taste like.” It should come as no surprise that this was his least favorite of the six.
Cider 3: Sacrilege Sour Cherry (Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider, Portland OR)
This one, however, was my least favorite. It tasted straight up like cherry cough syrup. I had one drink of it and I was done. Another strikeout for Gil, too. (But he finished it off for us because waste is bad and he’s a champ.)
Cider 4: Blueberry Mint (Hi-Wheel Fizzy Wine Co., Portland OR)
We definitely tasted the mint more than the blueberry here. I found it to be more herbaceous than sweet. Or, as Gil put it, “It tastes like Alka-Seltzer, but good.” We ended up agreeing that it was okay, but far from my best choice.
Cider 5: Cold Brew Cider (12 Bridge Ciderworks, Oregon City OR)
Hi, my name is Liz Barcelos and I like all the coffee all the time. But while I drink coffee stouts and porters pretty often, a coffee cider was something new for the both of us. It was a total sensory trip. Our eyes were telling us that this was just a typical cider, but our taste buds saying coffeecoffeecoffee. We kept trying to get everyone to drink it so they could share that mindscrew experience.
Cider 6: Vanilla Bean (Locust Cider, Woodinville WA)
Sweet, creamy, and slightly bubbly, this reminded me more of cream soda than an apple cider. While I enjoyed the first few sips, it felt a little cloying by the end. I’m glad we got this in a flight than as a full size.
While Gil and I agreed on what our top and bottom three were, our specific rankings differed slightly. Almost two months later, I’m still thinking about that mindscrew of a coffee cider. If any of my readers come across it, kindly send it my way, please and thank you.
Want to split a flight and some hot takes for my blog? Let me know! Whether I’m visiting your neck of the woods or you’re coming to the Bay Area, I love sharing beers and opinions with friends. 🍻