Portland isn't just great craft beer and food carts. Portland Cider Week features the traditional American drink and the reason that Johnny Appleseed spread orchards throughout the Mid-West. Urban winemakers Anne Hubatch, Nate Wall and Kris Wall debuted their Alter Ego Cider at Coopers Hall on June 23, 2014.
The cider will be pouring by the glass for you at Cooper's Hall and selected sites around Portland. They plan to bottle it for retail by the end of the year.
Their Apple Cider is crafted from a blend of locally-grown apples. Nate brings his cider-making expertise and Anne her winemaking skills to the task. They use cool fermentation and aim for a balance of crispness and a touch of sweetness. The result is a very pleasant cider, great for summer sipping. I enjoyed it with some bread and cheese. Cider is a good alternative to beer for those who are avoiding gluten.
Their seasonal cider will be a rotating selection. Currently they have "The Ruby S'ipper," a red raspberry cider. I was ready to buy a case of this one. It is made from both apple and raspberry. It has delicate fruit and floral notes and, again, just a little sweetness. It seems like a delightful drink for the patio.
Alter Ego Cider is mildly carbonated. They aim for the complexity of winemaking, with depth and nuance. Anne Hubatch also creates Helioterra Wines and Whoa Nelly Wines.
I enjoyed these ciders as summer drinks to pair with appetizers. They are far less sweet than the cider cocktails at St. Honore Boulangerie, but not as dry as the cider I had in Spain last year.
Drop by Coopers Hall to enjoy Alter Ego or any of the 44 taps pouring 35 wines, plus beer and cider. They are open 4 pm - 10 pm Sunday-Thursday and 4 pm - 12 am Friday-Saturday.