ESTACADA, Ore. -- Move over Oregon wine, there's another beverage in town.
Cider is a fast growing business in Oregon. And a change in the law will allow cider houses to function much like wineries do.
Dan Lawrence has been making cider, commonly referred to as hard cider, for three years now. In fact, he moved to Estacada and bought a farm to do so. His business is called Stone Circle Cider.
And soon, he'll be doing more than just making cider. Lawrence has plans to build a tasting room and event area on the property.
"We're really hoping to have a park-like atmosphere where people can listen to music, have a pint, and maybe enjoy a picnic lunch," said Lawrence.
Oregon lawmakers just passed a bill that will allow Lawrence to do all this.
The bill allows businesses with 15 or more acres of apples to produce and sell cider on their land. It also lets them serve food and host other tourist activities on site.
Sound familiar? It should. It's basically what Oregon wineries are already doing.
"From a process standpoint and regulation standpoint cider, and wine are almost identical," said Lawrence.
While wine is a billion-dollar industry in Oregon, cider is a growing industry.
"If you look at it in terms of category for beverage sales, it's second only to IPAs," Lawrence said.
According to the Northwest Cider Association sales of hard cider in the U.S. have more than tripled in the last six years.
Oregon is leading the charge.
"I think it's very likely you'll see cider regions pop up much the same way you've seen wine regions pop up," said Lawrence.
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