We covered Oregon’s awesome BottleDrop Refill program from the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative in September of last year. The returnable bottle program was being embraced by craft breweries like Widmer Brothers, Buoy Beer and Rock Bottom. The refillable beer bottles being used are made mostly from recycled glass at the Owens-Illinois (O-I) glass manufacturing plant in northeast Portland.
But bottle recycling goes beyond beer. Just recently, Portland’s Cider Riot! rang in the New Year with the relaunch of its Burncider Pub Draught cider in Oregon’s new sustainable multi-use bottles. The locally made bottles are intended to be washed and refilled rather than crushed and recycled. Cider Riot! is the first in the state to adopt them for cider.
Cider Riot! founder and cidermaker Abram Goldman-Armstrong has been advocating the use of refillable bottles for over a decade, publishing an article on the subject in American Brewer magazine in 2008.
“As an Oregonian I grew up learning to reduce, reuse, and recycle from an very early age,” he said. “When I first started homebrewing in the 1990s, I always sought out refillable glass bottles as they were heavier and better quality than the one-way glass. When we launched Cider Riot! in 2013 we chose a bottle that was rated for multiple fills, but we did not have access to a washing facility. The Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative (OBRC) has cleared this hurdle for our cider, creating the BottleDrop Refill program so brewers and cidermakers can use bottles that are built to last over and over again.”
“The refillable bottles can be used as many as 25 times, and produce only 10 percent of the emissions of single use cans or bottles because they eliminate the energy required to melt down and recycle the glass or aluminum,” said Joel Schoening of the OBRC.
Burncider is Cider Riot!’s best selling Pub Draught Cider made with a blend of dessert apples from Yakima and Hood River and rare cider apples grown in Goldman-Armstrong’s native Yamhill County. A true heritage style cider, it boasts rich tannins from the cider fruit to support the fruity flavors of the dessert apples. Like all Cider Riot! ciders, Burncider is a natural product and contains no artificial preservatives.
“The great thing about the BottleDrop refill program, is that it integrates seamlessly into Oregon’s existing bottle deposit and return program,” said Schoening. “So, unlike other brand specific refillable bottle programs, the BottleDrop bottle has the same 10 cent deposit the consumer would pay on any single-use bottle, and can return it conveniently.”