Lassen Traditional Cider was founded by Ben Nielsen. Ben's love of fermentation began when he started brewing beer in college. After brewing extensively for his adult life, around 2005 he began delving into cider in an effort to use the free fruit from a neighbor's backyard apples trees in Corvallis, OR. After a couple years, this morphed into an annual cider pressing party where all his friends would bring apples to press or just help out. So of course, the neighbor's apples weren't enough after a while. Unused trees in yards all over town, unseen apple trees in the ditch on the side of a country road, and long forgotten pioneer orchards were all sought out and utilized. A major revelation occurred when a batch of cider was produced from crab apples, and it ended up being the best he'd ever made. So, some apples that were so astringent as to be seemingly inedible actually made delicious cider. After this, an effort was undertaken to seek out varieties of apples that were good for cider instead of scavenging whatever was available. Finding Nick Botner's orchard in Yoncalla, OR, with over 4,000 apple varieties, was a godsend, allowing Ben to experiment with single varietal ciders made from unusual apples, from European bittersharps and bittersweets to an array of American heirlooms. Around 2012, when the cider craze was beginning to kick into high gear and Ben's satisfaction with his engineering job was waning in the opposite direction, he began to give more thought to starting his own cidery. A timely layoff in 2014 pushed him further in that direction. After spending a winter skiing and soul searching, the decision was solidified and the plan was put in place in mid 2015. Most of a year was spent finding a location and undertaking the permit process. Although he's still learning how to be an entrepreneur, he has a lot of pride in his cider, with a firm desire to make high quality, traditional-style cider. Come and enjoy the fruits of Ben's labor as he pours Farmhouse Dry Cider (predominantly King David apples barrel-aged, wild fermented with a mix of other American heirloom varieties), and the Single Varietals: Newtown Pippin and Winesap and the more elegant, non barrel aged (re:less 'funk') Champagne-like, modern dry style that incorporates some dessert fruit with heirloom varieties; Apple-a-day
Tasting is free and available anytime from 5:00 - 7:00. Must be at least 21 years old.