Cider Riot!

Cider Riot! is dedicated to producing high quality ciders from Cascadian grown apples. With tradition as our guide and our roots firmly planted in the rich soils of our bioregion, our urban cidery produces refreshing, flavorful ciders.

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Frequently Asked Questions


What is Cider?abram_golman-armstrong01.jpg

Cider is the fermented juice of apples. Some people, predominately on the East Coast, call it "Hard Cider" - I don't. Maybe it's the English major in me, or maybe I just don't like to be associated with "Hard Rock" but I go by the Oxford English Dictionary definition of cider: "A beverage made from the juice of apples expressed and fermented."

What are cider apples?

I touch on this in the KickStarter! video, but as it's a question I get a lot, I thought a fuller explanation would be a good thing to add. Cider apples are apples that are grown specifically for making cider, and often taste terrible when eaten raw, due to their high tannin and acid content, which are what make them ideal for fermentation. Just as you wouldn't want to snack on Pinot Noir grapes, cider apples benefit from the fermentation process before consumption.

Heirloom cider varieties such as Dabinett, Yarlington Mill, Tremlett's Bitter, Peau de Vache (translates as cow hide), and Brown's Apple were developed in England and France specifically for cider production. Most North Americans couldn't name any of the varieties, as there are so few grown here. The common dessert varieties such as Gala, Pink Lady, and Red and Yellow Delicious are high in sugar, but don't have the tannic and acidic backbone of cider fruit.

There are four classes of cider fruit:

• Sweets - High sugars, Low in acids, low in tannins, varieties include Sweet Coppin, Taylor’s Sweet
• Bittersweets - which are the classic English cider apple, they have High tannins, High sugars-Yarlington Mill and Dabinett are two of my favorites
• Bittersharps - are high in tannins and acids and can be used to make excellent single varietal ciders. Kingston Black and Bulmer’s are bittersharps.
• Sharps - are high in acids, but low in tannins Brown’s Apple, and Cox’s Orange Pippin are two types of sharps.

Traditionally cidermakers blend different types of apples to get good cider.

What are seedling apples?

Commercial apple trees are made exclusively by grafting, much like wine grapes. A specific desirable type of tree is grafted onto a hardy rootstock and planted in an orchard. Seedling apples, which sprout from apple seeds generally do not have the same characteristics as the "parent" apples. The farm where I grew up in rural Yamhill has an abundance of "wild" seedling apple trees, some may have been planted by early settlers, some were dropped by birds, some were undoubtedly the result of my brother and I chucking cores of eating apples out the car window on the way to school as kids. Over the years I have been picking these seedling apples for cider, and have found that blending them with cider fruit produces pretty remarkable cider. As Cider Riot! grows I may graft some of the best of the seedling apples onto rootstock and plant more of them, thereby developing my own indigenous Yamhill County cider apple varieties.

Is your cider gluten-free?

Yes! All cider is naturally gluten free, as it is fermented from apples. All Cider Riot! ciders will be gluten free.

Will Your Ciders Be Organic?

Not at First. Though we will use apples that are grown organically, some of the orchards we source the apples from do not have organic certification. As a lifetime member of the Oregon Tilth, I am personally committed to organic agriculture and hope to achieve organic certification for Cider Riot! within 5 years.


The Impetus for Cider Riot!

So why cider? As passionate as I am about beer and brewing, there is something magical about cider. Picking bittersweet apples in Alan Foster’s orchard at White Oak Cider on a clear autumn day. Traipsing through the wet woods of my family land in Yamhill to seek out wild seedling apples. These experiences ground me to the land. Cider challenges me, it inspires me, and there’s nothing quite like the dry tannic flavor of a well made cider.

Raise a glass of Cider Riot! cider and I think you’ll agree. Cheers! Abram Goldman-Armstrong: Cidermaker and Owner

The Process

Cider Riot! is an urban cidery dedicated to the production of dry ciders. We use a variety of apples grown in Cascadia, including rare English and French cider variety apples, wild apples from Yamhill County, Oregon, and dessert apples from the Yakima and Hood River Valleys. Thanks for visiting Cider Riot!

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