Oregon's second-largest cider label has expanded outside Bend and opened a posh corner space on the ground floor of the newly constructed Couch 9 building in the Pearl. The concrete-floored pub with a massive U-shaped bar in the middle is like a giant horseshoe to be tossed at the Pearl's Patagucci crowd. Sleek, black walls are juxtaposed with mirrored finishes, and a big projector plays high-definition videos of people doing outdoorsy things in slow motion. All but one of the six housemade ciders on my visit featured added flavors, designed for overt quaffability more than elegant nuance, but it was the silky, vanilla-kissed taste of Avid's Apricot that caught my attention—it remains one of the guiltiest pleasures in cider. PARKER HALL.
Steering clear of the traditional, overly sweet American cider styles that drink more like alcoholic versions of sparkling apple juice, owner/cider maker Abram Goldman-Armstrong has dedicated his Kerns neighborhood cidery to the drier, more sophisticated English versions. Cider Riot! flagships Burncider and Everyday are simple, with just a hint of sweetness, while the cidery's super-limited Black Bloc Series kicks things up a notch with small batches that have been aged to perfection in spirit or wine barrels. Beware which night you choose to wander in to get your cider fix—the cidery hosts a wide variety of events in its punk-rock-meets-soccer-enthusiast-themed pub and its warehouse doubles as a music venue. If you don't plan accordingly, you might find yourself unknowingly walking into the middle of a Timbers rally or a slam poetry session. SHANNON ARMOUR.
Portland Cider Company
You can grab a six-pack of Portland Cider Company's basic flagships at pretty much any corner store in the city, but the 6-year-old business's real gems can only be discovered in its taprooms. The cozy spot on Hawthorne is home to 30 dedicated cider taps pouring small-batch, one-off and concept concoctions coming out of the Clackamas production facility along with guest ciders. You might catch a fancy English-style scrumpy fermented with plums and honey that's been aged in charred oak barrels or a beautifully executed wine-inspired cider hybrid like Hopped White Wine that combines the company's off-dry hopped cider with chardonnay to create a dangerously drinkable 8.9 percent ABV blend. These exclusive creations rotate out quickly, so you're almost guaranteed to find something new every time you visit. SHANNON ARMOUR.
Reverend Nat's Hard Cider
Founder Nat West actually is an ordained minister, though not a practicing one. That's good news for cider fans, because he produces an eclectic variety of ciders. It figures. West's stated mission is to create ciders no one else would dare make. Mission accomplished with concoctions like Hallelujah Hopricot, Deliverance Ginger Tonic and New Moon Mandarin. Expect to find something interesting, experimental and, very probably, bizarre on the cidery taproom board. The flagship Revival, widely available in packaged form, continues to be one of the most approachable ciders around. PETE DUNLOP.
Schilling Cider House
With 50 taps dedicated solely to cider—among the most in the city—fans of these hard-pressed beverages ought to find themselves beyond pleased at this relative newcomer. During a recent visit, 10 handles were reserved for Seattle-based Schilling, including a delightfully bright Dry Apple and Ginger, which was like drinking the plucky spirit of a Moscow mule, sans vodka. The other 40 handles are for a wide range of cideries from the Pacific Northwest and beyond. A color-coded key that indicates where a cider sits on a scale of dry to sweet helps you more quickly negotiate the long list. Take your selection to the spacious elevated patio that's pretty enough to recruit beer drinkers to team cider, at least on an 80-degree afternoon. ANDI PREWITT.