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Converting my garage into an urban cidery to share my passion for making complex, flavorful and delicious dry ciders. Read more

Portland, OR Food
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This project was successfully funded on July 25, 2013.

Converting my garage into an urban cidery to share my passion for making complex, flavorful and delicious dry ciders.

Portland, OR Food
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About this project

Why start Cider Riot!?
I’m passionate about cider. I’ve made cider each year for nearly 20 years, and Cider Riot! will enable me to share my dry, flavorful ciders with the public. Cider Riot! will be a small scale urban cidery located just off East Burnside in the North Tabor Neighborhood of Portland, Oregon. Cider Riot! uses organically grown traditional cider apples, wildcrafted seedling apples, and dessert fruit to make a range of dry ciders.

Kingston Black cider apples
Kingston Black cider apples

Initial offerings will include:

1763™, a bold tannic traditional English West Country-style cider.

Burncider™, aka the Old Main Drag- a dry draft cider blending the traditions of Johnny Appleseed and the Worzel Gummidge.

Everybody Pogo™ Dry-hopped cider, the IPA of ciders, made for the Cascadian palate with plenty of hops.

Seasonal offerings will include:

Never Give an Inch™ Oregon blackberry cider

Paddy an Irish-style cider

Tabor Neighbor™ a hyper-local urban cider made with apples grown in the North Tabor, Montavilla, and Mount Tabor neighborhoods.

Cider Riot! will involve the community with events such as pressing days for the Tabor Neighbor blend, and a traditional English wassail in January.

Jeff Ott and Abram Goldman-Armstrong pressing cider in Yamhill in 1999
Jeff Ott and Abram Goldman-Armstrong pressing cider in Yamhill in 1999

How Will Cider Riot! Become a Reality?
With the support of my friends and community, Cider Riot! will be able to grow and flourish. That’s where you come in. I have the know-how, the experience, and the contacts to translate my cidermaking hobby into a career, but it’s expensive. I will press off-site for the first few years, so I won’t have the initial investment in a press, but I will need fermentors and conditioning tanks in which to ferment and age the cider, a pump, and brewers hose.

Abram Goldman-Armstrong pressing cider in 2012
Abram Goldman-Armstrong pressing cider in 2012

Who is Cider Riot!?
Cider Riot LLC is a single member LLC formed by Abram Goldman-Armstrong, cidermaker, homebrewer, beer writer and BJCP National beer judge. My day job is in green building, as a deconstructionist and carpenter, I also edit the Northwest Brewing News, and give brewery tours at Widmer Brothers Brewing Company. I have a diverse skillset, and over a decade’s experience in the brewing industry. Check out my bio for more information about me. I’ve got a great network of friends and family to support me in areas from web and graphic design, to legal and marketing, as well as to help me pick and press apples at harvest time.

Abram and brother Eli Goldman-Armstrong pressing cider in 2012
Abram and brother Eli Goldman-Armstrong pressing cider in 2012

It’s a lot of work, but I love the intensity of it and love sharing the experience with my friends. As the company grows and hires employees I intend to keep the celebratory atmosphere of harvesting the bounty of the apple trees alive.

Where Will Cider Riot! Take Place?
Transforming a Garage into a Cidery
In order to make enough cider to share with the eager cider drinkers of Portland, I am renovating 250 square feet of my detached garage, built in 1962. The City of Portland has already signed off on using my detached garage for cider production. It needs some additional features, such as a floor drain and cleanable plastic wall panels in order to sastify the Oregon Department of Agriculture food processing requirements. Luckily, through my work as a deconstructionist and carpenter, I am quite skilled at salvaging and reusing materials and I can keep remodel costs reasonable by doing all the work myself. Kickstarter donations will be used to buy lumber and other essential construction materials, as well as the specific cidermaking equipment. A list of costs is below.

Fermentors: $3,480.00
Pump: $4,000.00
Clamps, Hoses etc: $1,871.60
3-Basin Sink: $700.00
Water heater: $258.00
C02 Tank: $400.00
Trench drain: $500.00
Kegs: $2,912.00
Equipment total: $14,121.60

Remodel: $6,453.12
OLCC: $250.00
TTB Bond: $1,000.00
Legal: $1,050.00
Total: $22,874.72

Reaching our Kickstarter goal of $17,047.00 will allow Cider Riot! to get the remodel done in time for this fall’s apple harvest. If we can raise the full $22,874.72, that will allow the company to spend money from the bank on apples, bottles, caps, and labels, enabling us to get the cider to market without running up huge amounts of interest. We've got a lot of great rewards for donors, to express our sincere thanks.

Stretch Rewards: If the project reaches $25,000.00, all donors at levels above $75 will get an “Instigator” patch in addition to their regular rewards, and donors at all levels will be invited to the "Takes to the Streets" release party.

For more information about Cider Riot! check out or follow CiderRiot on twitter and Facebook.

Thanks very much for your support. Cheers!

Risks and challenges

Cideries must obtain state and federal winery licenses, as well as pass an inspection from the Oregon Department of Agriculture. After talking to several Portland cidermakers and brewers who got licensing for their garages, I am confident that Cider Riot! will be able to pass all its inspections and receive permits from both the OLCC (state) and TTB (federal). There is still a chance that the license will be denied or that licensing will not arrive in time for this year’s harvest. If that happens I will find another location and launch or launch Cider Riot! in 2014. I have been involved in the build out stages of enough breweries to know that the permitting process is time consuming and arduous, but it will be worth it in the end.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter


  • Yes! All cider is naturally gluten free, as it is fermented from apples. All Cider Riot! ciders will be gluten free.

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  • I touch on this in the video, but as it's a question I get a lot, I thought a fuller explanation would be a good thing to add. Cider apples are apples that are grown specifically for making cider, and often taste terrible when eaten raw, due to their high tannin and acid content, which are what make them ideal for fermentation. Just as you wouldn't want to snack on Pinot Noir grapes, cider apples benefit from the fermentation process before consumption.
    Heirloom cider varieties such as Dabinett, Yarlington Mill, Tremlett's Bitter, Peau de Vache (translates as cow hide), and Brown's Apple were developed in England and France specifically for cider production. Most North Americans couldn't name any of the varieties, as there are so few grown here. The common dessert varieties such as Gala, Pink Lady, and Red and Yellow Delicious are high in sugar, but don't have the tannic and acidic backbone of cider fruit.

    There are four classes of cider fruit
    Sweets- High sugars, Low in acids, low in tannins, varieties include Sweet Coppin, Taylor’s Sweet
    Bittersweets which are the classic English cider apple, they have High tannins, High sugars-Yarlington Mill and Dabinett are two of my favorites
    Bittersharps are high in tannins and acids and can be used to make excellent single varietal ciders. Kingston Black and Bulmer’s are bittersharps.
    Sharps- are high in acids, but low in tannins Brown’s Apple, and Cox’s Orange Pippin are two types of sharps.
    Traditionally cidermakers blend different types of apples to get good cider.

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  • Commercial apple trees are made exclusively by grafting, much like wine grapes. A specific desirable type of tree is grafted onto a hardy rootstock and planted in an orchard. Seedling apples, which sprout from apple seeds generally do not have the same characteristics as the "parent" apples. The farm where I grew up in rural Yamhill has an abundance of "wild" seedling apple trees, some may have been planted by early settlers, some were dropped by birds, some were undoubtedly the result of my brother and I chucking cores of eating apples out the car window on the way to school as kids. Over the years I have been picking these seedling apples for cider, and have found that blending them with cider fruit produces pretty remarkable cider. As Cider Riot! grows I may graft some of the best of the seedling apples onto rootstock and plant more of them, thereby developing my own indigenous Yamhill County cider apple varieties.

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  • Not at first. As a home-based business in the city of Portland I am not allowed to have customers visit the cidery. The goal is to move Cider Riot! into a larger production space in Portland within two or three years, at which point we will certainly have a tasting room.
    Our goal is to sell most of our cider right here on the East Side of Portland, so you should be able to find it at pubs and bottleshops right here in North Tabor and the surrounding neighborhoods.

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  • Cider is the fermented juice of apples. Some people, predominately on the East Coast call it "Hard Cider" I don't. Maybe it's the English major in me, or maybe I just don't like to be associated with "Hard Rock" but I go by the Oxford English Dictionary definition of cider: "A beverage made from the juice of apples expressed and fermented."

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  • Not at First. Though we will use apples that are grown organically, some of the orchards we source the apples from do not have organic certification. As a lifetime member of the Oregon Tilth, I am personally committed to organic agriculture and hope to achieve organic certification for Cider Riot! within 5 years.

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  • No. Kickstarter prohibits giving alcohol as backer rewards.

    I think I'm allowed to say that if you pledge an amount that gets you a VIP invite to the Cider RiotTakes to the Streets release party, let's just say it will be a celebratory atmosphere and you shouldn't expect a big bartab at the end of the night.

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  • You selected
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    6 backers

    Go Raibh Maith Agat! Hiyu Mahsie! Vielen Dank! Bedankt! Muchas Gracias! Merci! and Thanks a Million!

    Which is my way of saying thank you in all the languages I know. (for those keeping track that's Gaeilge, Chinuk Wawa, Deutsch, Nederlands, Español, Français and English). Your support is truly appreciated. Hopefully we'll be able to enjoy a pint of cider together and say Slainte! Kloshe Tumtum! Prost! Proost! Salud! Sante! and Cheers!

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    15 backers

    Cider Riot! thank you postcard- We appreciate your support!

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    Pledge $20 or more

    52 backers

    The "DIY":
    Because with your help we did it ourselves.
    Hand screened Cider Riot! patch and a letter-press thank you card.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    58 backers

    The "Instigator":
    Because you helped start the Riot!
    Embroidered "Cider Riot! Instigator" patch and an invite to the Cider Riot "Takes to the Streets" release party in May 2014.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    11 backers

    The "On the Barricades":
    Because you helped build this.
    A Cider Riot! balaclava and an invite to the Cider Riot Takes to the Streets release party in May 2014. Keep warm and stylish with this black knit balaclava emblazoned with the Cider Riot! crest.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    72 backers

    The "Solidarity on the Terraces":
    Because just like at a football match-you're a loyal supporter.
    A handsome woven Cider Riot! football scarf and an invite to the Cider Riot "Takes to the Streets" release party in May 2014.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    8 backers Limited (13 left of 21)

    The "Hardcore:"
    Because you rock!
    A Cider Riot! denim punk vest (specify blue or black) with a screened back rocker, and front patch. Don't forget to tell us your size (S-XXL). Plus a VIP invite to the "Takes to the Streets" release party in May of 2014.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    3 backers Limited (3 left of 6)

    The "Joe Hill":
    Because like Joe Hill your name will be known in song and story at Cider Riot!
    So much so in fact, that we'll name one of our fermentation vessels after you, and identify it with a plaque. You also get a personalized engraved cider mug, a scarf, and VIP invite to the "Takes to the Streets" release party.

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Funding period

- (30 days)