Swift Cider releases the Portland Pippin into the wild this week, making it the first single-varietal, 100% Brett fermented cider on the market. Swift is an urban craft cidery known for their award-winning line of dry and semi-dry ciders made with minimally processed local ingredients.
This limited release burrows a wild yeast typically from the Lambic beer tradition and pairs it with a heritage apple from 18th Century New York. The combination of old world tradition with a new world apple produces a truly dry cider with hints of wild tartness hiding under a tropical bouquet of citrus and jackfruit.
The 2016 run of the Portland Pippin will be limited to 2000 gallons, available on draft in Oregon and Washington. According to the founder and head cider maker Aidan Currie, “this cider is for the drinkers of Portland that keep telling us how much they want a truly dry cider with clean complexity, something imminently drinkable and nuanced enough to hold your attention, something with a simple list of ingredients and a sensational pallet.” By definition, the Portland Pippin fits the classic definition of cider because it’s made with only apples and yeast. In the glass, it smells and tastes like something completely new and exotic.
Brett, short for Brettanomyces, is a wild yeast commonly found living on fruit skins. While Brett is often an acquired taste associated with funky barnyard flavors in Lambic beers, it also has the unique ability to contribute rich aromas and slight amounts of acidity to cider. For the Portland Pippin, Swift found a strain known specifically for its tropical bouquet and clean fermentation characteristics and paired it with one of the best heritage apples grown in the Northwest, the Newtown Pippin. Far from an acquired taste, the Portland Pippin is clean, fruity, spicy and almost malty on the finish. In the words of Swift’s cider maker, this is a “funky fermentation without the funked up flavor.”
As a fully dry cider, the Portland Pippin pairs best with lighter savory flavors, much a like a champagne. In honor of the harvest, we recommend a meal of rosemary salmon, cider infused risotto, roasted delicata squash, and a fresh green salad.
About Swift Cider
Swift Cider is an urban craft cider company based in Portland, Oregon. From the beginning, Swift has been dedicated to producing balanced ciders from authentic, minimally processed ingredients. All of their apples, berries and hops are grown in Oregon and Washington. The current lineup of three flagship ciders is growing to include a rotation of four seasonals and a handful of limited releases. As a small, independently-owned business, Swift supports local communities through giving, education and volunteer work. The Company also honors the impressive Vaux’s Swifts who congregate in Portland on their migration south to Central America and Venezuela. Find your flock and drink responsibly.