Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Cider Review: Cider Riot's Everybody Pogo Hoppy Cider

Hey, cider fans. I've been home from GLINTCAP for a week, but that competition is still buzzing around in my brain. Something about dig in to those categories for cider style really jives well with how I think about cider. The cider that I'm reviewing tonight got a bronze medal in the hopped/herbal cider category. That's a category I wish I could have judged, but there's always next year!

But for tonight, I'm reviewing a cider that was a gift from the kind folks at Cider Riot in Oregon. This is the last of the few they gave me in Chicago at CiderCon 2015.

I love what Abram Goldman-Armstrong says about how own impetus to make cider:
So why cider? As passionate as I am about beer and brewing, there is something magical about cider. Picking bittersweet apples in Alan Foster’s orchard at White Oak Cider on a clear autumn day. Traipsing through the wet woods of my family land in Yamhill to seek out wild seedling apples. These experiences ground me to the land. Cider challenges me, it inspires me, and there’s nothing quite like the dry tannic flavor of a well made cider.
You can find more about Cider Riot on the website here:

I have once previously reviewed something by Cider Riot, their Never Give an Inch Blackberry Cider: 

Tonight's review is for Everybody Pogo  Hoppy Cider. Here's what the website has to say about it.
Hoppy Cider 6.7% abv- A refreshingly dry cider that’s got hops. Our roughcut tribute to football terraces and punk rock shows, dry and quenching with a hint of sweet apple flavor, as organically grown Goldings hops do the pogo dance across your taste buds. A distinctly Oregonian product, Everybody Pogo mates Hood River apples and Willamette Valley hops. Unfiltered and lightly carbonated.

Appearance: Hazy, deep apricot, ring of bubbles around the rim of the glass

I can definitely see that this is an unfiltered cider by the gentle haze. The color looks like dried apricots. It pours with a little mousse, but that turns into just a ring of bubbles.

Aromas: fruity, sweet, dusty, yeast, hint of sweat

Everybody Pogo smells sweet and dusty in a way that makes me think that lot of the aromas come from the yeasts used. I can smell some apple and the hops come across in clean yet gently sweaty way. Its intriguing. 

Sweetness/dryness: off dry

This isn't a truly dry cider, but its close. I'd call it just off dry with some very prominent fruit and herb flavors.

Flavors and drinking experience: fresh apples, pears, herbs, lemon, and hops

I absolutely adore that this cider tastes like apples and a bundle of herbs. This cider is off dry, with medium acidity, and no tannins to speak of. Everybody Pogo offers up plenty of yeast and hopped character that somehow cumulatively feels like it has a menthol cooling effect. The finish fills out like a sourdough some some really fun bready flavors.
In terms of fruit, I get fresh apples, underripe green pears, and a bit of lemon. The carbonation level felt middle of the road to me, but my sampling companion found it much higher. Small sips taste especially good,  but this cider is refreshing and flavorful however you drink it.

This cider was built for food, so there's a lot of flexibility for pairing. I'd pair it with spicy tofu wings, or something else highly flavored. Let the cooling and refreshing elements do the work to make your food even better.

What do I recommend you do while drinking this cider? Not moshing as the picture on the bottle seems to imply, but listening to Beyonce's Lemonade. Everyone is talking about this album, and its put more of a smile on my face than any music in months. This cider and this music are simply perfect for taking some time for yourself. Enjoy it!