All things cider: Schilling Cider House opens in Portland with 50 craft brands on tap
Portland is known for its craft beer and its heady wine scene.
But it's time to add craft cider to that list.
That's according to the CEO of Schilling's Cider House, which will have its grand opening Friday at Southeast Tenth Avenue and Belmont Street.
In a sleek new building in the Goat Blocks - named in honor of the Belmont goats that used to graze there - is a new bar dedicated to all things cider.
But not just any cider, craft-brewed cider.
“We have more taps of craft cider than anywhere else in the world,” said Colin Schilling as workers busied to get the bar open on time Friday morning. We'll have 50 rotating ciders they'll rotate all the time.”
The chalkboard behind him featured 10 Schilling cider varieties next to 40 more guest taps from the US and even imports from Europe.
“You won't find anything here with high fructose corn syrup, fake flavorings, colorings, things like that,” Schilling said. “It's all very high end, curated cider if you will.”
Schilling grew up making cider in northern Idaho (his great-great grandfather founded the Schilling Spice Co. in San Francisco in 1881)and continued into adulthood. He opened Schilling's Cider in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle in 2014.
Cider is popular there, but Schilling says it's even hotter here.
“Portland drinks more cider per person than any other city in the country,” he said. “So it makes sense that the largest cider bar in the world is here in Portland.
the cider house will also offer food like blueberry russian boar sausage, tater tots, sweet potato and corn dogs. once a month the bar will offer five to seven course dinners paired with cider.
and we're talking unique cider varieties from dry to sweet and a lot in between.
“So we've got our dry cider, our pomegranate, our rhubarb cider, our pineapple passion fruit cider, grapefruit cider and this is the strawberry sour,” he said, filling a tasting board (made from reclaimed timbers). “Anything we carry here is a hundred percent fresh pressed juice, and the vast majority of those apples for all those producers in the US are coming from Washington and Oregon. Here in the Northwest we grow about 90 percent of the country's apples.”
Schilling did most of the interior wood-working, crafting much of it from 100-year-old Douglas fir reclaimed from an old building torn down to make room for Schilling and the adjacent Market of Choice.
The inside of the keg room is jammed with kegs and piping that stretches across the ceiling and into the taps.
It's a testament to just how the cider scene has exploded.
“Even 10 years ago you wouldn’t have been able to find 50 craft ciders made in the U.S.,” Schilling said.
Schilling Cider House opens its doors to its first customers at 11 a.m. Friday.
The first 500 people through the door get a free goat blocks 64-ounce growler with the purchase of cider.