807 NE Couch St., 503-662-8275, ciderriot.com.
The Cider Riot taproom is not only the one place you're currently guaranteed to get ahold of a bottle of truly stellar 1763 cider—a farmy and beautiful number made with traditional English cider apples, judged the best cider in Oregon at this year's Portland International Cider Cup—it's actually a pretty damn good bar, serving up Portland's driest ciders that still taste sweet, from cranberry-hibiscus Rudy's to lavender to a blood-orange Chaos de Tejas.
1813 NE 2nd Ave., 503-567-2221, reverendnatshardcider.com.
Reverend Nat's was the first cidery to make people who don't like cider like cider, and it's not an accident. Nat West brings out the weird, the interesting, the experimental and the nerdy single varietal, whether Pippin or Kingston Black cider—whirling between ciders made with coffee and orange peels and an unholy number of hop experiments. And yet the simple mass-market Revival remains probably the best simple dessert-apple cider you'll find tapped, not just in Portland but anywhere.
Portland Cider House
3638 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-206-6283, portlandcider.com.
Until Schilling rolls in from Seattle with its new huge ciderhouse in the Goat Blocks, Portland Cider House remains the place for the biggest cider draft selection in Portland and one of the biggest in the nation—with $7 five-deep taster kits that might include such lovelies as EZ Orchards' Roman Beauty or Hawk Haus, and Baird and Dewar's Farmhouse. Among the full complement of sweeter ciders from Portland Cider Co., the new sangria is like an adult fruit cup, but the juniper-plum is pleasantly complex.
1212-D SE Powell Blvd., 503-445-0577, bushwhackercider.com.
Bushwhacker claims the title of America's first cider bar. It's still the one with the finest selection of dry and funky Euro ciders in Portland, the only one to offer a guaranteed glass pour of Basque or Asturian cider, and the only one whose bottle fridges sport prices lower than New Seasons. And so here you are in a place that looks like the garage of a man who never grew up and doesn't want to, playing Ms. Pac-Man on a table console.
621 SW 19th Ave., 503-477-4621, thecivictaproom.com.
At six cider taps, Civic does not offer an extravagant selection, but it's usually excellent, whether an always-on Cider Riot or that nice blood-orange cider from Elemental. But what it does offer to mixed groups of gluten-free folks and beerhounds is a beautiful compromise among wine, cider and beer taps, including heather beer from Ex Novo and Peche from Culmination. It's also perhaps the only beer-cider-focused bar in town where young women often outnumber young men.
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