Setting sights on ciders

HR Ciderworks, Fox-Tail, Hood Valley all start up

Fresh cider by the glass, at The Pint Shack.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea.
Fresh cider by the glass, at The Pint Shack.

Will Hood River become the cider capital of America?

A cider loop of sorts, at least, is about to take shape, with a total of local three cideries either up-and-running or about to produce sparkling alcoholic beverages, known as hard cider, from local fruit.

The first to serve its cider is HR Ciderworks, a partnership of Steve Bickford of Mt. Hood Winery and his winemaker, Rich Cushman. Their apple cider is on keg at The Pint Shack in Hood River and across the river at Henni’s and Solstice restaurants.

This week, it will go on tap at Divots, Volcanic Bottle Shop, Brian’s Pourhouse, Celilo Restaurant and White Buffalo Wine Bar, all in Hood River.

  • Fox-Tail Ciders of Odell, created by Bob Fox and John Metta, is scheduled to be open for business this summer near Odell at Highway 35 and Ehrck Hill Road, next to Smiley’s Red Barn, which is owned by Fox and his wife, Sarah.
  • Brian Perkey of Parkdale is producing Hood Valley Ciders and will unveil them March 26 at Volcanic Bottle Shop, 6 p.m. (There will be a $12 fee to sample six Hood Valley varieties.)
  • Perkey also plans on a tasting room to be located in the former antique store building across the street from Solera Brewery.
  • Look for a fourth cider outlet, next month: Gorge White House on Highway 35. Cushman is preparing a cider specifically for the tasting room-art gallery.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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