Reverend Nat is a single-minded cider evangelist and craft beer revolutionary who searches the world for superior ingredients to handcraft the most unusual ciders that no one else will make.
Back in 2004, a friend of mine had a large apple tree in his back yard. We made apple pies, apple sauce, dried apples and apple butter. And still there were more apples. “Why not make cider?” I thought, having never tried cider before. I had a vague idea about bubbling airlocks and glass carboys but no idea what it would taste like. I happened to have a 20-ton house jack in the garage and some old timbers, so a half a day later, I had cobbled together a working juice press.
I clearly remember the taste of the juice of that first apple. Sweet, rich, a bit tart, a bit nutty; I was hooked. That year I made 5 gallons of hard cider. The next year, 15 gallons. The following, 40. Six years later I had 500 gallons of supremely dry hooch in my basement and I was becoming an increasingly better cidermaker. (Not to mention an increasingly popular neighbor. Friends were stopping by at all hours for a pint on the porch or a mason jar fill-up to take home.)
As a die-hard craft beer revolutionary, I experimented with beer yeasts, wild fermentations, Belgian ale spices, aromatic west coast hops and local fruit juices. My search for superior ingredients to make unusual ciders was all-consuming. As an historian of cidermaking (I have the largest cider book library in Portland), I recreated forgotten cider styles and practiced juicing and fermenting techniques long out of fashion. Permeating all these experiments was a desire to make ciders that no one else will make. I would cook a dish, eat at a restaurant, drink a beer or a cocktail, or peruse the farmer’s market, and be unable to contain my excitement for flavors. After making cider for nearly a decade, I concluded that, while apple-only ciders define cider for most of my fellow countrymen, my passion was in creative flavor combinations making cider in the spirit of craft beer geeks.
I started Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider in my basement, expanded moved into an abandoned warehouse near the Rose Quarter in 2013 and in 2023, I moved into my forever home on SE Division and 35th Place. Now I sell my ciders in Oregon, Washington, Montana, Colorado, Ohio and North Carolina, as well as British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, a little bit spread thin across Japan, and a little bit in Europe.
–Rev. Nat West