SALEM, Ore. — La Familia Cider Company was founded in 2017 by the Gonzalez family. La Familia Cider offers hard ciders inspired by aguas frescas — fresh fruit beverages popular in Latin America.
In Oregon’s thriving craft beer and cider scene Jose Gonzalez found room for innovation.
"As my wife and I were enjoying Oregon craft beer and cider, she said, 'too bad there aren’t any of the flavors we grew up with," Jose Gonzalez said.
Jose Gonzalez and his wife are Mexican-American. They grew up drinking aguas frescas but they couldn’t find those flavors in their favorite Oregon ciders. That's when Jose Gonzalez decided they could make ciders. He asked his kids JJ and Jazzelle to join and together they established La Familia Cider Company.
"With our ciders we wanted to do something a little bit different," explained JJ Gonzalez. "Change up the game a little bit."
"My parents are from Mexico like JJ mentioned, he was born here, so was I," said Jose Gonzalez. "So it’s really both cultures coming together in a bottle."
Located in downtown Salem, the company combines their love for Oregon’s craft cider scene with flavors and ingredients that reflect the family’s Mexican heritage.
"Our ciders made with NW apples, freshly picked but the flavors are really my mom’s recipes that come from Mexico," said Jose Gonzalez. "So we have to actually import some of the products because they are not available locally."
All of their cider flavors are inspired by Mexican aguas frescas
"We get a lot of positive feedback from people," said Jazzelle Gonzalez. "The fact that they tell us they feel part of the family is really awesome to hear."
The word “family” holds a lot of weight at the taproom.
"The name, that we have "la familia" means family right? to us it came with a big responsibility," said Jose Gonzalez. "When we started, that’s when families were being torn apart at the border, how could we name our company family when families are being torn apart?"
La familia Cider Company donates a portion of their profits to local charities that help families stay together and work through the immigration process.
For the Gonzalez family, it’s just another reason to raise a glass.
You can find La Familia Cider Company bottles and cans in more than 500 local stores throughout Oregon and Washington.