News from Reverend Nat: Update & Launch Party Plans

Bottles Now Available

I’ve been telling everyone that I’ll have bottles in stores on June 1st, but secretly I was hoping to get it out a month earlier. Everything came together like clockwork in these last few weeks so you can find my bottles on store shelves now. Two weeks ago, I delivered cider to eight fine establishments and this week, I added another one. Many more retailers have expressed interest so I’ve dropped off sample bottles to forty-one of them all around the Portland metro area. That should certainly result in some more retailers carrying my bottles. I have many more places to hit, and orders for cases are coming in regularly. I am self-distributing so it takes some work introducing publicans, owners and managers to my cider, but it’s been great to meet so many people and visit some neighborhoods that I don’t know very well. You can check out the full list of updated retailers carrying my cider here.

Because I’m self-distributing, I need your help finding the right places to carry my cider. Hooters? Probably not. McMenamins? No, they make their own cider. Your favorite foodie restaurant down the street specializing in regional fare? Absolutely yes! Let me know where you’d like to see my cider and I’ll work my hardest to get it there. Thank you for your help!

New Varieties Soon

Right now, the only cider available in bottles is Revival, my flagship cider. This is the cider that I launched Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider to make, but since then I’ve had so many amazing ideas for new cider blends. I’m also getting recipe help from Travis Scrivner, a neighbor and brewer who is an innovation genius. I call him my Director of Cider Research. We have experimental batches bubbling away in the basement with such crazy additions as hibiscus, saffron, lemon extract, black tea, smoked salt… not to mention all the yeast trials we’re doing like Czech pilsner, French farmhouse, Roselare… the list goes on! Most of these batches won’t see a store shelf, but some of them might be available in limited amounts from my upcoming planned tasting room. (See below!)

Starting around June 1, I’ll have my second cider available in bottles and in store coolers, Deliverance Ginger. I am very excited about this batch because it combines my favorite booze with my favorite soda! I use squeezed ginger root for a powerful ginger tang, but carefully balance it with cider so the apples really shine through. I have a double-batch of this cider ready for bottling which should last a good while. I’m thinking it’s going to be really popular, especially as the warm summer weather hits.

After Deliverance, I’ll release two single-varietal ciders in my Revelation lineup. The first one is Revelation Winesap, followed by Revelation Newtown Pippin. I have three more for release throughout the year. The idea with the Revelations is to find good apples that make good cider and teach people what a wide range of ciders can be made just by varying the apples. For each Revelation, I am using the same cultured yeast, not backsweetening at all, never pasteurizing, never adulterating with chemicals, and always finishing with an in-bottle fermentation. After Winesap and Newtown Pippin, I have Revelation Api-Lady, an ancient apple eaten by both Pliny the Elder and Julius Caesar; Revelation Granny Smith, which we all know and love as a great cooking apple but it also makes a great hard cider; and a special micro-batch of Revelation Kingston Black, arguably the world’s finest cider apple, available around Christmas. I’ll be offering four-packs of Revelation ciders for the holidays.

I have two more ciders planned for release this summer. They are really far out there: Hallelujah Hopricot, a Belgian abbey style cider mixed with hops and apricot, and Sacrilege Sour Cherry, a sour cherry kreik lambic style cider fermented with lactobacillus. That’s cider-nerd-speak for awesome recipes! And I’ve even got a cider in the works for the cold gray of winter: Providence Traditional New England, a spiced oaked cider a bit like mulled wine. I can hardly wait!

Summer Events

The biggest cider event of my summer is Oregon Cider Week, June 23-31. It is presented by the Northwest Cider Association and showcases my own cider and many other excellent ciders at tastings, pairings and special events throughout the week. It all gets started on Saturday June 23rd with the Portland Cider Summit at the South Waterfront. At least 25 cideries will be present and I’m promising blue skies above while pouring delicious samples all day. There will be bottles available to take home if you find something you especially like. After the Summit I’m holding my Week-Long Mobile Launch Party. (See below!)

In addition to the Cider Summit, my cider can be found at these events:

Oregon Zoo Brew, June 1st, 5-10 PM
I will be pouring through 30 gallons of Revival at this benefit for the Oregon Zoo and a kickoff for summer.

Portland Fruit Beer Festival, June 9th & 10th at Burnside Brewing
One keg each of Sacrilege Sour Cherry and Hallelujah Hopricot will be pouring at the Specials/Rotating taps. I don’t know exactly when that will be, so you’ll have to stick around for both days.

Summer Cider Day in Port Townsend, July 7th
This annual event is a great chance to taste all the ciders made by members of the Northwest Cider Association under one roof.

Keep an eye on on this page for all the details including new events as they’re added throughout the summer.

Expanding Production Space

If you’ve been by my cider cellar, you’ve seen how, ahem, “cozy” it is. I have managed to cram 2000 gallons of cider into 200 square feet of space. As a result, I have to be a contortionist to take gravity readings and there are a few spots that only my 8 year old daughter can get to. (I’m not kidding.) And that’s just the basement! I grumble about the driveway being too rough to easily move bins around, and I grumble about the garage being full of empty bottle storage and I grumble about tripping over hoses. And my friends and neighbors grumble every time I ask them for help unloading apples. Enough is enough!

For the last few weeks, I’ve been working with a commercial real estate broker and we’re close to putting in a lease offer on a warehouse in Kenton, near the Paul Bunyan statue. It’s a big space with plenty of room to grow. My cidery square footage will increase by over 2000%! I’ll be able to bring bins inside during pressings, have plenty of room for tanks and bottling equipment, and room for bottled inventory storage. And a forklift! And what’s most exciting is that I’ll be able to open a tasting room to serve you. I’ll have the classic stuff you can get on store shelves but also special release batches too small to print labels and sell in stores. I’ll start off being open one or two days per week and see how it goes from there. I don’t want to say too much until it’s a sure thing, but right now I’m hoping for a July move-in. Of course I’ll have a grand opening party and a fall harvest party and a catered cider dinner party and all kinds of other parties. Speaking of parties…

Week-Long Mobile Launch Party!

And now to what you’ve been waiting for – my LAUNCH PARTY! I’ve had such great support from so many retailers that I couldn’t favor just one for my launch party. So here’s the deal. Each weeknight of Oregon Cider Week, June 25th through Jun 29th, I’ll be doing free tastings. I’ve also convinced the bar owners to pour cheap pints when I’m there doing tastings. $3 pints to be exact. And each night there will be a different keg on tap. So that’s five evenings, five chances to try my full lineup of ciders, and five different kegs of cheap cider. I know I’ll see you there! Find all the details here.

Talk to you soon!

This entry was posted in Cider.