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SLOPESWELL’S John Metta hand-pasteurizes newly-canned Heights cider Wednesday, starting a two-day process using continually heated tubs of water. Helping is Jason Barton of Vice Canning, Inc., at the cidery on 12th Street.

“Free parking with every can,” said Operations Manager Krystin Fix of Heights cider, the fouryear- old Slopesell Cider Co.’s first foray into the realm of cans.

“Heights” cider in the pale green can is now available at Volcanic Bottle Shoppe, Slopeswell taproom and other locations. Fix said Slopeswell is now working with a distributor to get its wares — bottles and cans — to Portland, Eugene, Bend and other markets.

But the first canned product is a paean to the cidery’s own Heights neighborhood, where parking, for the time being, is free.

The word “Slopeswell” appears on the can in small print, dominated by the curlicued “Heights” name and specialized “H” logo that riffs on the cidery’s diamond-enclosed Double-S logo.

“We love being on the Heights, and wanted to create something that would draw people to anywhere they want to go on the Heights, because there is so much good happening here,” cidermaker John Metta said.

“It’s not just our branding, but a branding of where we are. “Heights cider is laid-back, just like the Heights,” he said.

Fix said they studied the market and found that people want canned cider. “Our cider has always come in 750-ml bottles, but with cans, you can take it to the beach or the mountains. It’s the same well-crafted cider. I think it will continue to bolster our brand,” Fix said.

Meanwhile, the Slopeswell team won a bronze medal for its wild-fermented farmhouse cider, Homestead, in the 2019 Portland International Cider Cup.

Of all ciders submitted in Wild/Non-Sac, Homestead was the only one to take home a medal, according to Metta. Wild and Non-Sac ciders are hard ciders fermented without the presence of a cultured beer or wine yeast, or without a saccharomyces strain.

This particular unique cider from Slopeswell is made with single-varietal Jonagold apples from Upper Valley Farms in Parkdale, where it was also slow-fermented for nine months.

“When we discovered this cider, we knew it had to have a name that reflected it’s French, farmhouse style while still paying homage to the Pacific Northwest,” Metta said.

So he looked to two friends, Derek and Amanda Lindemyer, who have been supporting Metta in his cidermaking journey long before Slopeswell even had a footprint.

In Oregon’s rich history, original farmhouses were known as homesteads with several famous homesteaders settling right here in the Columbia River Gorge. And, so they had the name: Homestead. This cider pairs well with a variety of foods, particularly items with salty or savory flavor profiles, and is strongly recommended for summertime.

Pair it with grilled halloumi cheese and a loaf of rustic bread, a fresh piece of steelhead on the barbecue, or cider-braised pork chops, which Metta said Homestead “would complement and really make shine.”

Slopeswell Cider has eight ciders, five beers, and Ferment kombucha on tap, along with Copa di Vino wine and other non-alcoholic beverages.

They are located in the Hood River Heights and are open Thursday from 5-8 p.m., Friday from 5-10 p.m., Saturday from noon-10 p.m., and Sunday from noon-4 p.m.

Homestead is available by the glass, by the growler, or in to-go bottles.

Walking Man goes lunar

Stevenson’s Walking Man Brewing has had some fun announcing two new beer releases on July 20, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing.

Of the limited release beers, Walking Man folks write, “Such a memorable event deserves a memorable beer! Both craft beers were brewed with Galaxy, Comet and Apollo hops.” 

One Small Step India Session Ale (ISA, 4.2 percent ABV 50 IBU): “A small beer with enough flavor to send you to the moon! This India Session Ale was brewed using the hop burst technique where all of the hops go in after the boil, over accentuating hop flavor and aroma over bitterness.

It is 100 percent hopped with Galaxy, Comet, and Apollo hops not only pay homage to the brave Americans who won the race to the moon but taste amazing in these pair of beers.”

One Giant Leap Imperial IPA 9.2 percent (ABV, 90 IBU) is brewed in the traditional Northwest IPA style that helped to define the Pacific Northwest as the IPA capital of the world. “Big, full malty body is accentuated by a hefty dosing of Galaxy, Apollo, and Comet hops and has a classic IPA bitter finish, the Walking Man folks say, ‘It also packs enough of a punch to fuel your own mission to space.’”

Everybody’s releases first 16-oz canned beers Everybody’s Brewing announced the release of their first 16-ounce cans: Stir It Up Hazy IPA, and Green Ice Pilsner. Look for them at Hood River’s Volcanic Bottle Shoppe. These will be the first in a new line of rotating 16-ounce cans.

The brewery plans to release two new cans quarterly. In a press release, owner Doug Ellenberger said, “The rotating cans will give us a chance to showcase some of our favorite beers. They also gives us a chance to step outside the box a little with our branding. We’ll be doing short runs of each style, so we are going to have some have fun with the artwork.”

Stir It Up Hazy IPA is 7.1 percent ABV, 30 IBUs, and pours a light yellow with a white meringue head and lacing. It’s hopped with Cashmere, Strata, and Motu. Head Brewer Adam McClure said this recipe was designed for the summer. “It’s got a nice light body by design. It’s hazy and smooth, from just a touch of wheat and oats. We wanted the hop blend to shine through.”

Green Ice Pilsner is crisp and light. It has touch of Northwest hops on top of Weyermann Premium Malt.

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