Spring is here, and that means an explosion of pink and white blossoms in the orchards of the Hood River Valley. But there’s something else blooming out there too — a burgeoning craft cider scene.
In the past two years, the Hood River region has seen the birth of nine local cideries and reportedly has three more in the works. Local cider makers, many of whom have experience in beer brewing and winemaking industries, see the new trend as a natural outgrowth of the bounty of apples and pears in the region, including many heirloom varieties that are ideal for cider.
“It’s all fun with fermentation. Yeast and sugar— they are a powerful duo,” says Brian Perkey, who had a long career in beer brewing before starting Hood Valley Hard Cider in Parkdale.
Perkey also sees the cider trend as part of the local food movement. “There are a lot of folks who are interested in the product we have to offer here,” Perkey says.
Get taste of this sweet and tart new industry at the second annual Hood River Hard Pressed Cider Fest on Saturday, April 22, 2017, from noon to 7 p.m. The event is open to all ages and admission is $5 (children under 14 get in for free); it costs an additional $5 for a cider glass and 4 drink tokens. Tickets are available online.
More than 20 regional cideries will be on hand, including Rack and Cloth, Gorge Cyder House, Hood Valley Hard Cider, Foxtail, HR Ciderworks and The Gorge White House — all from Hood River, Parkdale and Mosier. Attendees will enjoy food, live music and kids’ activities at the event, which will be held south of Hood River in the orchards and fruit packing district.
The Cider Fest takes place on the first weekend of the Hood River Valley Blossom Time, which runs from through the month of April. For details about Blossom Time and Cider Fest, visit HoodRiver.org.