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Alter Ego Cider Will Close Its Southeast Portland Taphouse

The business plans to refocus on distribution, and Helioterra Wines will take over the tasting room in mid-September.

After opening its first taphouse in Hosford-Abernathy two years ago, Alter Ego Cider now prepares to pour its last hard-pressed beverage from that location.

The tasting room, which launched in June of 2019 at SE 7th Ave., announced the closure on its Facebook page this afternoon. The New School website was first to post the news.

Fans of its signature semi-dry concoctions—as well as gluten-free drinkers in general—need not fear they’re losing the entire brand. Alter Ego plans to use this as an opportunity to turn its attention to outside sales and canning.

“Unfortunately, Alter Ego hasn’t been able to achieve its goals with the space and we have decided to focus our efforts around growing our distribution instead of our retail presence,” co-owners Anne Hubatch and Kevin Bates stated on the business’ social media account.

Alter Ego first began making cider in the facility adjacent to its current taphouse in 2018, which it still shares with Helioterra Wines—an operation that is fully owned by Hubatch. She says that having the two businesses under the same roof ultimately helped both grow initially. Later, it helped them simply survive the downturn and slate of closures brought on by the pandemic.

Helioterra will take over the tasting room and production building by mid-September. Customers can expect to find six-packs and cases of Alter Ego at that space even after the transition, though cider will no longer be on draft.

Celebrate one last hurrah for Alter Ego from 3-6 pm on Saturday, Sept. 4. Both Hubatch and Bates will be in attendance to say goodbye to longtime patrons, who can share a glass with them before departing with a growler, filled at a discount.

Related: Whatever Your Drink of Choice, Alter Ego Cider’s New Taphouse Will Make You Feel Welcome