Last night, while attending Willamette Week’s Best Of Portland party, I was re-introduced to Stella Artois’s cidre (that’s cider in the U.S.) for the second time. My initial reaction was one of disappointment, as I didn’t understand how a party allegedly meant to celebrate Portland featured a mass-produced drink that isn’t even from this country.
After bitching to Martin Cizmar, who likely regretted inviting me, I figured “cidre” was still a better option than the beer or boxed/bagged wine available at the other drink stations. Four bottles later, I was pleasantly buzzed on a cider made from concentrate, sorbate and other preservatives I can’t remember or likely pronounce.
My verdict? It was better than regular beer and the wine, but a long, long ways from the local offerings I’m fortunate enough to regularly imbibe. Cut to this morning, as I’m now making regular trips to the restroom as my stomach rejects the overly sweet, chemically laden Stella Artois cidre just as it does Diet Coke. Even my digestive system is eliticist now.
As much as I dislike mass-produced cider, it still wreaks less havoc on my body than any non gluten-free beer, doesn’t give me hangovers like wine, and doesn’t help me black out like liquor does. Oh, and cider, especially fresh stuff without a bunch of added chemicals, taste fantastic.
That’s really why I drink cider: it tastes great and it makes my head buzzy and fun. Like I said in HipCider, I don’t care about notes, aroma or legs, I just want to enjoy alcohol in a form my digestive system loves as much as my tastebuds do.
But I still don’t understand why people drink anything but the fresh, local cider available at Bushwhacker’s or Rev Nat’s. Portland is craft beer central, so why hasn’t the knowledge that smaller batch beer tastes better filtered through to the type of person who wouldn’t be caught dead drinking Bud Light but will still suck down a Barrel Aged Woodchuck?
I don’t know, but I’m going to make it my mission to convert these people to any other brand of cider. Well, except for Square Mile, that is.