3315 Stadelman Drive
Hood River County is renowned for its pears, apples, and cherries, with orchards sprawling over the verdant, rolling hills of this pastoral countryside. Each April, the county celebrates the blossoming of the trees—when the orchards paint the county in vibrant pinks and ivory whites—with the monthlong Hood River Valley Blossom Time. Among the many events and activities is the daylong, late-April Hood River Hard-Pressed Cider Fest, which highlights the burgeoning local cider industry and features more than two dozen cideries from the Columbia Gorge and beyond pouring more than fifty different ciders.
Hood River Hard-Pressed Cider Fest – USA Festivals Photo Gallery
Fittingly, this jovial and bustling festival is held in the heart of the orchard country, amid the blooming fruit trees, at the state-of-the-art Mount Defiance Cold Storage facility (about eight miles south of town via SR 30), which transforms into an ideal event center for the day. Craft ciders have become so popular in Oregon that this relatively new festival, launched in 2014, draws near-elbow-to-elbow crowds during the peak afternoon hours, but rows of picnic tables set up under the storage facility loading dock roof provide ample seating, and lines for samples and glass pours at the various cidery booths go quickly as likeminded enthusiasts meld in conversation. Throughout the festival, local and regional bands provide live music, and local restaurants and caterers provide delectable food options. Drinking is for the 21-and-over crowd of course, but children are welcome and a special kid’s area includes a bouncy house and other activities (dogs are not allowed).
The Hood River Hard-Pressed Cider Fest highlights one of the most intriguing aspects of the craft cider industry in the Northwest: hard ciders (alcoholic ciders) are ubiquitous of course, but Oregon cideries are fermenting just about every fruit that hangs from a tree and grows on a bush. From the well-established cideries to
Musicians entertain cider aficionados at the Hood River innovative newcomers, Hard-Pressed Cider Fest. Oregon cider-heads revel in the diversity, with hard apple ciders made in countless iterations and many other ciders made from pears, blackberries, raspberries, apricots, peaches, cherries, strawberries, citrus fruits, pineapples, and watermelon. And it gets even wilder with prickly pear cactus fruits, rhubarb, ginger, kiwi berries, and hot peppers. Creative fermenters even concoct a variety of spiced ciders, not to mentioned hopped ciders, and ciders aged in oak barrels. There’s no end in sight to the creative diversity and there’s no better place to experience it than the Hood River Hard-Pressed Cider Fest.
Source: Travels Finders
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