Drink Review: Cider Riot!

April 29, 2015

Everybody Pogo Hoppy Cider 6.7% abv, Burncider Dry Draught Cider 6.8% abv, Never Give An Inch Oregon Blackberry Cider 6.9%

This Punky Portland cider screams at me in with its ransom-style lettering and crafty illustrations on the label. Although I should never judge a book by its cover, I find it hard not to when Cider Riot! looks so damn good. I just had to do a drink review on it.

Cider Riot! is a small urban cidery from the West Country of Oregon who have jumped on the craft bandwagon with three distinctive flavours. A man by the name of Abram Goldman-Armstrong owns and makes the cider with his lengthy background in beer. I feel beer is a strong influence when I taste these drinks.

I begin with the Burncider which is influenced by English pub dry draught ciders. I have an extensive knowledge of this type of cider after growing up in the world’s largest cider producing region; the south-west of England, so it takes a lot to impress me. Naturally, I know it will taste different after being made from locally grown American cider apples so I will be open-minded. The colour is a slightly luminous yellow and gives off a strong smell of fizzy apple. That smell is carried with the taste that contains a hint of dessert apples but overwhelmed by the yeast that it is fermented in. This acidic but dry drink has won a Silver Medal at the Portland International Cider Cup and I can see why. It’s the perfect pint for an after-work smooze but those who prefer sweet ciders should steer clear.

Part of the American craft revolution has brought many new ideas including combining beer hops with cider. Cider Riot! has decided to join in with their aptly titled Everybody Pogo Hoppy Cider. The hops are organically grown Goldings that are combined with Hood River apples. This results in a ale-like cider, the colour of sewage water. Despite its physique, it tastes pleasant enough. The hops slightly mask the statement apple flavour which is great for hoppy fans, shit if you have allergies.

Like every good cider brand, Cider Riot! has a berry option for those fruity individuals out there. Never Give an Inch is their take on blackberry cider. Again, it’s fermented in ale yeast which gives it that beer-like character but the Oregon blackberries and blackcurrant have turned the cider a brilliant ruby-red. It smells slightly of cherry and rosé wine which gives it some aromatic quality. Sadly, Never Give An Inch doesn’t taste as fruity as it looks and smells. It’s very much like the Dry Draught but instead of a hint of apple, you can get an ever so subtle swirl of berries. Cider Riot! recommend mulling this one and adding a few spices to give that flavour more of a punch, which it desperately needs.

I would love to see a bar in London selling the Burncider on tap because it was so unique compared to any other cider I’ve tasted. The Cider Riot! collection will certainly put hairs on your chest, and give your taste buds a thrash while it’s at it.

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