Son of Man Sagardo at a glance:

  • Sagardo is a Basque-style cider made in the Columbia River Gorge in Cascade Locks, Oregon.
  • It’s made from apples grown in the Hood River and Willamette Valleys and is spontaneously fermented.
  • Sagardo is available in 750ml clear glass bottle.
  • The cider is 6% ABV and is an effervescent, dry, funky cider that pairs exceptionally well with food.

Why You Should Bring Cider to Thanksgiving:

Alright, I know it sounds crazy. A craft beer publication suggesting you bring a cider to Thanksgiving dinner? We even have a whole article dedicated to the beers you should be drinking on Thanksgiving! But hear us out. We’re not suggesting that Son of Man Sagardo is the only thing you should drink this Thursday. However, if you had to pick one beverage to share, we think it should be this one.

Son of Man does one thing and one thing only: Basque cider. Founder Jasper Smith, whose background was in the culinary world, found a deep appreciation for all things Basque cider and, after a lot of planning and several trips to Basque country, Smith created Son of Man in partnership with cidermaker Guillermo Castaños of San Sebastian, Spain. Despite working closely with Casatańos in Spain, Smith has set up camp for Son of Man in the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and makes use of native yeasts as well as fruit local to the Pacific Northwest.

As the modern American craft cider movement has boomed, Smith took cues from traditional Basque cidermakers and contemporary natural winemakers for his Sagardo. The cider is spontaneously fermented, unfined, unfiltered, and bottle-conditioned. The end result is a lively, dry, tart, and lightly funky cider with a touch of astringency and a subtle note of vinegar–typical of Basque cider.

Unlike a bottle of natty wine, or even some large format funky beers, Son of Man Sagardo is relatively affordable at about $15/750ml bottle. Like many of the offerings from Shacksbury or even Cider/Cider from Leif Sundstrom, Sagardo is meant to be an unfussy, accessible cider with the elegance and quality of a top-shelf product.

The dryness, plus its effervescence, makes Son of Man Sagardo the perfect cider for just about any meal. It’ll be a welcome beverage to kick off the day on Thanksgiving, plus it’s funky and flavorful enough to withstand even the heartiest of turkey/sweet potato/stuffing combos.

Traditionally, Basque cider is poured into the glass from a great height to aerate and carbonate the cider. So, we recommend starting your pour close the glass and gradually lifting to get a healthy cider stream going. No judgment if you spill a drop or two.

We wouldn’t dare stop you from serving your favorite oak-fermented saison or crisp lager at Thanksgiving dinner; I’ll be bringing a few bottles of The Referend and Forest + Main to our holiday party. But, if you want a beverage that will win over the most obstinate of drinkers and that will pair perfectly with whatever dish you’re serving, bring a bottle of Son of Man Sagardo.

What Sagardo is like:

  • Pours a bubbly hazy straw yellow/gold color. After pouring from high up, the head disappates quickly.
  • Smells like ripe apples and fresh cut grass.
  • Tastes refreshing with funky apple notes and a touch of earthiness.
  • Dry.

Final Thoughts:

Founder Jasper Smith crafted a product that looks just as good as it tastes. The stylish label design and clear bottle lured us in and the dry Basque cider kept us wanting more. Holiday parties call for something special but that doesn’t mean you have to shell out a lot of money or pop open that kriek that no one else likes. (But we’re here for Thanksgiving krieks.)

Son of Man Sagardo is a delightful cider that’ll be enjoyed by all at the dinner table. We’d highly recommend snagging a few bottles to portion out during the day. And we insist that you go for the Basque long pour. And then send us those pics.

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