You have to respect the purity of purpose at Bushwacker Cider (1212 SE Powell Blvd., Suite D, 445-0577, bushwhackercider.com).
It would be easy to broaden the comfortable, vaguely English pub’s
appeal by tossing a few bottled Newcastles in the cooler next to 185
ciders. But it would do nothing to add to the atmosphere, which was
informed on a recent Saturday night by a high-stakes dart game, a stray
catalog for Settlers of Catan expansion packs, a man in a utility
kilt and copies of a weekly Portland-based, nerd-themed periodical.
Settle in with a taster tray of tap ciders ($6) and some gluten-free
pretzel sticks ($3). From the tasters, I was most taken with a
barrel-aged version of the supermarket staple Woodchuck, which tasted
like a well-blended but fairly syrupy bourbon cocktail. I ordered a
pint, and learned maybe there were already a few compromises on the
menu, even without any beer. “That stuff is way too sweet for me,” says
the bartender. “But I want other people to find ciders they enjoy.” In
that, he’s succeeded.