2005 | REGIONAL | PACIFIC NW
Report From The Vanguard : Cider Press
By Marie Oliver
Oregon's First Hard Cider Tasting Room
Acquisitions and mergers are so commonplace in the beverage
industry that well-read consumers who follow marketplace trends
may ably hedge their bets on a forthcoming strategic business
maneuver. One sure speculation is the imminent growth of the
nation's distinctive, emergent hard-cider sector. However,
not even an insider could have accurately guessed this next
Roger Mansfield, Ph.D., a central Oregon–based cider
producer who started The Traditional Company during 2000 as
a retirement activity, sold his business to former Forestry
Service analysts Nick Gunn and Mimi Casteel in Salem, Oregon.
"Our tasting room will be on the path of travel for
a growing sector in agri-tourism, and we're trying to tap
into the market emerging in our region," said Gunn. The
Traditional Company tasting room, which seats 25, including
an outdoor structure, is a restored barn-turned-cidery designed
by friend and cider-maker Wayne Van Loon. A 10-year wine industry
veteran and owner of a small architectural design business,
Van Loon worked at a premier cidery in Normandy, France, during
2003. He hopes to release his own product in spring 2005.
Fish Brewing Acquires Spire Mountain Cider
Fish Brewing Company of Olympia, Wash., recently announced
the acquisition of Spire Mountain Cider from the Washington
Wine and Beverage Company in Woodinville, Wash. All cider
production was relocated to the Fish Brewery in Olympia by
late January 2005. A statement released by Fish Brewery in
early January said the purchase will better prepare the company
to satisfy the beverage demands of its retail customers at
existing and future pubs. Head Brewer Jennifer Gridley stated,
"It is certainly a huge challenge, but at least we will
have some tasty cider to help us relax after work." Fish
Brewing installed new equipment and is redesigning product
packaging for its new hard cider.
Fox Barrel Cider Celebrates Success
In June 2004, Cider Press turned the spotlight on new cider
venture Fox Barrel Cider in California, started by Shawn Deorsey
and Bruce Nissen. Fox Barrel has sold nearly all of the 180
cases produced during 2004, and the company completed a 400-gallon
bottling at the end of December.
Nissen reports that Fox Barrel has acquired a new partner,
Martin Hartigan, Ph.D., who has a vast background in analytical
instrumentation and chemistry. His portfolio of sales and
marketing skills are a welcome addition to the Fox Barrel
team, Nissen said.
Fox Barrel has taken what Nissen described as step one in
its business model, selecting Morrow Distributing Company
of Woodland, Calif., to funnel its products into the marketplace.
A complete list of locations will be available on foxbarrel.com.
The company plans to increase the size of its production facility
to 3,000 square feet from the existing 1,200 square feet.
Happy St. Patrick's Day
Magners Original Irish Cider has maintained its U.S.
ascendancy and has been awarded "Hot Brand" status
by beverage-industry publication Market Watch two years in
a row, said Karen Pineman, assistant vice president for G.
S. Schwartz & Co., Inc., the public relations firm for
Magners U.S. During 2004, Magners launched a campaign in Boston
introducing new pint bottles with a trial of drinking cider
over ice, as is traditionally done in Ireland.
While the company has had challenges due to external forces
such as devaluation of the dollar against the euro currency,
Mark Woodard, national sales manager for Magners Original
Irish Cider, said the company exceeded projected sales goals
"The cider industry is not in a growth pattern right
now," said Woodard. "We're just trying to hold on
and support our core markets rather than take resources away
from them to expand into new territory."
Northwest Cider Society Recognizes Nine Artisan Ciders
The second North American Cider Competition held in Seattle
in November 2004 recognized nine cider-makers throughout the
United States and Canada (please see below for competition
"The overall quality of the entries was noticeably better
than last year," according to Peter Mitchell, the technical
advisor to the competition and an internationally recognized
expert in cider production. "The best of North America's
artisan ciders are now comparable to long-established products
from Britain and continental Europe."
Marie Oliver is a beer and cider enthusiast
living in Portland, Oregon, and a writer at pdxguide.com.
|NORTH AMERICAN CIDER
Three Witches Hard Cider
The Traditional Company, Culver, OR
Merridale House Cider
Merridale Ciderworks, Cobble Hill, B.C.
Oliver Winery, Bloomington, IN
Westcott Bay Orchards
Westcott Bay Orchards, Friday Harbor, WA
White Oak Traditional
White Oak Cider, Newberg, OR
||Juliet's Love Dry Sparkling
The Traditional Company, Culver, OR