As we move into the new year, many people choose to refrain from booze for their health, their family, their wallets, and a myriad of other reasons. Additionally, countless adults in the Gorge have been sober for years or are somewhere along the path of their own recovery.

As an establishment that celebrates community, Slopeswell Cider Co. has chosen to host a series of alcohol-free nights for adults in their Heights Taproom, said Operations Manager Kristyn Fix in a press release. She said that if “On the Wagon Wednesdays” are popular, Slopeswell intends to host them throughout the year. The premise is simple: Adults who refrain from alcohol don’t always want to spend their time around people who are drinking. The idea came to Fix when she was talking to a friend about her path through sobriety.

Local artist Melissa Chavez said, “I’ve been without alcohol for nearly eight years and I think alcohol-free bars would be a great place for other non-drinkers to connect, especially those in recovery.”

She went on to say, “A social setting and clean atmosphere is important for us to feel a sense of belonging and community, especially in the Gorge.”

With alcohol-free bars popping up all over the country, focusing on a social place for those in recovery and a general intention to be healthier, Slopeswell decided to give the idea a try.

“We host lots of different community-minded events in our intimate little taproom, so it just makes sense for us to extend our inclusivity to those refraining from alcohol,” said Fix.

She emphasized that these evenings are for 21-and-over only and that no alcohol will be served in the taproom. Rather, the staff have worked to create some non-alcohol mocktails, along with serving non-alcohol wine, beer, One Breath kombucha, and several other options.

The current calendar for “On the Wagon Wednesdays” is Jan. 15, 22, and 29 from 5-9 p.m. with live music by Megan Alder each night. Slopeswell hopes these evenings are successful so they can replicate and diversify them throughout the year. Slopeswell Cider Co. is located in the Hood River Heights neighborhood with regular business hours of Thursday to Saturday, 5-10 p.m.

Megan Alder cuts new album

Hood River singer Megan Alder will perform songs from her new EP, Megan Alder and the Woods, recorded live in October 2019 at Super Secret Studios in Portland, featuring fellow Hood River musicians Hunter Parmentier (bass) and Tim Ortlieb (drums).

All songs are written by Megan Alder (vocals/guitar).

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