All About Bull Run Cider

Located in Forest Grove, Oregon, Bull Run Cider produces fermented apple beverages commonly known as hard cider.  Our ciders include our flagship Powerhouse Dry, Gravenstein Single Varietal, Bramble Berry Dry, Creekside Cranberry Perry and Pear Ice Wine.  We strive to develop interesting and great tasting hard cider and perry, experimenting with new fruit, techniques and processes each and every year.

We strive to make the best cider by using the highest quality ingredients. All of the fruit we use in our hard ciders and perries is grown within 100 miles of our cidery, much of it we harvest ourselves.  We do not use any artificial flavors or sweeteners in our ciders.  

We value sustainability, which includes being responsible and active in our community.


How Bull Run Cider Began:

The idea for Bull Run Cider began in 2009 when Pete Mulligan came across a some information about hard cider.  Pete gave his friend Galen Williams a call to bring up the idea of making hard cider.

After a meeting at the 1st annual Portland Fermentation festival they both found an interest in cider. After making several batches of home brew cider, Pete and Galen continued to learn everything they could about making cider and the apple varieties that make the very best hard cider. Today, several years and thousands of hours later the dream of Bull Run Cider has become a reality with the first ciders released in March of 2013.


The People:

Peter Mulligan and Galen Williams make up the partnership that is Bull Run Cider LLC. Pete comes from an operations management background and brings many years of distribution, manufacturing and logistics experience to the company. Galen’s background is in molecular biology and medical research. Together they have developed a passion for cider and enjoy talking with anyone about hard cider.


Mission statement:

The mission of Bull Run Cider LLC is to revive an early American tradition of making, sharing and enjoying hard cider.


History of Cider in America:

In colonial America, cider, as it was then called was the most common beverage. This was largely due to the poor quality and contaminated water available at the time. In addition, pressing and fermenting fresh apple juice was the easiest way to preserve the harvest for the long cold winters. European colonists planted apple trees in New England as early as 1629.  

In the early 1800’s the U.S. Government introduced the Homestead Act, which gave 160 acres of undeveloped land west of the Mississippi to any applicant with one of the stipulations being that an orchard be planted. John Chapman, more commonly known as Johnny Appleseed, saw the opportunity and began planting apple orchards ahead of the settler movement. However it wasn’t until the mid 1800’s that American farmers began selecting apple varieties specifically for cider.  

Several factors contributed to the decline of cider in America. First, the late 1800’s brought about the Industrial Revolution when people began moving to urban centers and abandoning many apple orchards. At the time, unfiltered or unpasteurized cider did not travel well from farms to population centers. Beer gradually replaced cider in the American diet as European immigrants took advantage of inexpensive grain from the Midwest.  

The temperance movement was another factor that greatly reduced cider production and consumption in the United States. Many farmers who were sympathetic to the cause took axes to their apple trees and swore off alcoholic beverages of any kind. Others started pasteurizing their pressed juice and marketing it as inoffensive apple juice. Since it can take upwards of 10 years for an apple tree to produce any fruit from seed, cider production did not rebound after Prohibition.  

We are now seeing that cider consumption and production is popular once again. It is one of the fastest growing segments of the liquor industry and we hope that it will follow the path paved in the 1990s by the microbrew revolution as small cideries are establishing strong local followings in the Pacific Northwest.


Why Bull Run?

As many Portlanders already know the Bull Run watershed supplies pure, clean and fresh drinking water to the Portland Metro area. The Bull Run watershed was selected as a pristine drinking water source in Portland’s early days and continues to be so. We chose the Bull Run name because many of the above ideals truly resonate with us and as such our ciders are made from local, clean, fresh pressed apples.