Cider Riot (stylized as Cider Riot!) was an American cider producer[1] with a cider house in the Kerns neighborhood in Northeast Portland, Oregon,[2] from 2016[3] until November 2019.[4]

Cider Riot!
The cider house's exterior in 2019
Restaurant information
EstablishedAugust 2016 (2016-08) (taproom)
ClosedNovember 10, 2019 (2019-11-10)
Food typeHard apple cider
Street address807 NE Couch Street
Postal/ZIP Code97232
CountryUnited States
Coordinates45°31′25.7″N 122°39′26.4″W / 45.523806°N 122.657333°W / 45.523806; -122.657333

Production of cider began in 2013 and grew to a peak of one thousand barrels annually. Cider Riot earned four International Cider Championship medals from the Royal Bath and West Show between 2017 and 2019.[5][6] The cider house, described as a "gathering place for antifascists, anarchists and other leftists",[7] was the site of a brawl between members of the far-right[8] group Patriot Prayer and the bar's patrons on May Day in 2019.



The company was founded by Abram Goldman-Armstrong, who started the business from his North Tabor home in 2013.[9] Goldman-Armstrong began experimentally fermenting cider as a college student. After setting up his cider business in Portland in 2013, he expanded distribution the following year, delivering cider around town to various pubs. Cider Riot continued to grow production and opened a taproom in August 2016.[3][6]

Goldman-Armstrong expressed that Cider Riot set out to be "a welcoming place for everybody in our community" for "people of all races, genders, and identities."[9][6] When the taproom launched in 2016, the cidery's policy was that children were welcome until seven, followed by time for adults until the pub closed at nine in the evening.[3] In 2016 the company's cider was awarded "best cider in Oregon" at the Portland International Cider Cup.[3]

Goldman-Armstrong stated that right-wing groups such as Patriot Prayer began to regularly harass the business in the summer of 2017.[10] The business owner specified that he did not set out to form a dedicated anti-fascist bar, rather his vision for the cidery was to create a sense of old Portland and an English pub.[10] By 2019, he became known as a vocal anti-fascist business owner.[11]

The pub carried a line of experimental ciders known as their Black Bloc series.[11] Following a May 2019 decision by Major League Soccer (MLS) to prohibit the display of the Iron Front symbol during soccer games,[12] Goldman-Armstrong, a long-time supporter of the Timbers Army soccer group,[13] produced a limited-edition cider variety for the pub named Tres Flechas (Three Arrows) in reference to an anti-fascist symbol.[11] The cider house owner was among those issued a three-game ban for displaying flags with the symbol at soccer games in September 2019.[14][15][10] On September 24, MLS revoked their ban on the public display of the antifascist symbol and agreed to form a working group made up from staff, supporters, and diversity and inclusion experts to update the Fan Code of Conduct for 2020.[16][17]

Cider Riot earned two bronze medals at Bath and West International Cider Championships in 2017, and two additional awards in 2019.[5][6] Plaid Pantry convenience stores carried Cider Riot's product in a six pack, but after sales trends shifted away from the cider market, moving towards hard seltzer by early 2020, their stores stopped carrying it.[18] Once the cidery was fully established, the company produced one thousand barrels of cider annually.[18]

May Day brawl


On May Day 2019, a brawl between far-right protesters Patriot Prayer and anti-fascist cider house patrons took place outside Cider Riot in the early evening.[19][20][21] The Oregonian reported that the situation erupted after some 20 right-wing protesters arrived at Cider Riot and confronted antifa members sitting on the patio.[22] A police detective described video of the group's leader, Joey Gibson, "taunting" and threatening members of antifa and later “physically pushing” a woman before she was hit with a baton and knocked unconscious by someone else.[22]

The company filed a US$1 million lawsuit against Patriot Prayer and Gibson.[23][24] Six participants of the brawl were accused of inciting a riot[22] and were indicted by the Multnomah County District Attorney on charges of felony riot in August of 2019.[25][22] Five of the men were connected to Patriot Prayer, including Gibson.[26] Two of the men, both of whom were members of Patriot Prayer,[27] pleaded guilty in January 2020.[22] A third man with ties to Patriot Prayer pleaded guilty in May 2021 to one count each of riot, second-degree assault, and unlawful use of a weapon.[28][29] Gibson was acquitted of felony riot charges in July 2022, and the judge rebuked the district attorney's office for pursuing a trial on the evidence presented.[30]

In response to a lawsuit-related interview question by New School Beer (a beer and cider news source), Goldman-Armstrong said that if Cider Riot was awarded the asking damages, they planned to use the money to "stay open, invest in a bigger glycol chiller, more sales and marketing folks, etc."[31]

A 2019 investigation by Oregon regulators alleged that Goldman-Armstrong was aware patrons were using illegal weapons against right-wing agitators and that he refused to remove problem customers from his property. Goldman-Armstrong and a licensed security guard working the day of the brawl were "accused of providing misleading statements to state authorities during the investigation". The allegations are in a report made by a safety inspector for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC).[32][33] The OLCC report recommended charging Cider Riot's owner and staff with three state alcohol license violations: providing false statements, failure to evict, and permitting unlawful and disorderly activity.[32] OLCC investigators reported that the complaints were not from cider house patrons but were instead from “concerned citizens throughout the state" who viewed video of the brawl on the news and YouTube."[32] Lawyers for Goldman-Armstrong relayed that Gibson and Patriot Prayer had used social media to encourage supporters to report Cider Riot to state regulators.[32]

Auto collision fatality


In October 2019, the driver of an SUV struck and killed an anti-fascist activist near Cider Riot,[34][35][36] shortly after the man left the cider house.[21] The owner of Cider Riot told KPTV that the deceased, Sean Kealiher, an outspoken activist involved in Portland protests, had been at the cidery on the night of the incident.[37] The SUV involved, which had been shot at by Hyatt Eshelman, a friend of the deceased, was found abandoned with bullet holes at the Democratic Party of Oregon two blocks away from Cider Riot.[38][21] According to police, Kealiher’s death was under investigation as a homicide,[38] and by late October 2019, neither a motive nor a suspect had been identified.[39] In December 2019, The Oregonian's Andrew Theen commented that the incident was "perhaps the city’s most prominent traffic-related death".[40] A suspect, Christopher Knipe, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder on August 4, 2022.[41] In September 2023, he agreed to plead guilty to manslaughter as part of a plea deal which includes a 17-year prison sentence.[42]



Cider Riot was put up for sale for $875,000 in September 2019. Goldman-Armstrong said he hoped the buyer would "share [his] view on human rights".[43] In an interview with The Oregonian in September 2019, Goldman-Armstrong said his decision to sell the business was not related to the "clash outside Cider Riot, and the months of headlines it's generated".[44] Cider Riot closed on November 10, 2019.[4] After closing, the Cider Riot taproom was recognized as a runner-up in the "Best Cider House" category in the Willamette Week's "Best of Portland Readers' Poll 2020".[45]


  1. ^ Ramakrishnan, Jayati (2019-11-01). "Portland's Cider Riot pub to close Nov. 10". The Oregonian. Archived from the original on 2020-10-09. Retrieved 2020-10-10.
  2. ^ Cizmar, Martin (May 20, 2014). "Drank: Burncider (Cider Riot)". Willamette Week. Archived from the original on August 23, 2019. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d Korfhage, Matthew (August 16, 2016). "Portland's Best Cider Finally Has a Home Pub". Willamette Week. Archived from the original on August 23, 2019. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "NE Portland's Cider Riot! closes its doors Sunday". KPTV. November 10, 2019. Archived from the original on 2019-11-11. Retrieved 2019-11-11.
  5. ^ a b Prewitt, Andi (June 7, 2019). "Cider Riot! Wins Big at World's Biggest Cider Competition While Alter Ego Opens Its First Taproom". Willamette Week. Archived from the original on August 23, 2019. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d Giegerich, Andy (June 12, 2019). "For Portland cider maker, life is a riot". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 2020-10-09.
  7. ^ Goodykoontz, Emily; Kavanaugh, Shane Dixon; Ryan, Jim (2019-10-12). "Activist dies after being hit by SUV near Cider Riot, Portland left-wing hangout". The Oregonian. Archived from the original on 2019-10-13. Retrieved 2019-10-13.
  8. ^ Brown, Karina (February 26, 2021). "Judge Rejects Far Right Leader's Claims of 'Political Persecution'". Courthouse News Service. Archived from the original on 2021-02-27. Retrieved 2021-09-14.
  9. ^ a b Giegerich, Andy (November 7, 2019). "As Patriot Prayer legal battle continues, Cider Riot sets closing date". KGW8. Archived from the original on 2019-11-08. Retrieved 2020-10-09.
  10. ^ a b c Herron, Elise (October 1, 2019). "This Portland Cider Maker Fights Fascists. We Asked How His Business Became the Antifascist Pub and Whether or Not It Was Worth It". Willamette Week. Archived from the original on 2021-03-28. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  11. ^ a b c Herron, Elise (August 30, 2019). "Cider Riot Releases Iron Front Cider in Protest of the Portland Timbers' Ban of the Antifascist Symbol". Willamette Week. Archived from the original on 2021-01-17. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  12. ^ Peterson, Anne M. (2019-09-05). "Several Timbers fans banned for Iron Front displays". AP NEWS. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  13. ^ Nguyen, Tyler (September 7, 2019). "After Fan Bans, Timbers Army Posts Defiant Banners in Protest—But Keeps On Cheering". Willamette Week. Archived from the original on 2021-01-22. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  14. ^ "Cider Riot owner among Timbers fans banned for flying anti-fascist banner at game". KGW8. September 8, 2019. Archived from the original on 2021-03-08. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  15. ^ Dixon Kavanaugh, Shane (2019-09-07). "Cider Riot owner among Portland Timbers fans banned for waving antifa symbol". The Oregonian. Archived from the original on 2021-03-02. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  16. ^ "MLS lifts ban on Iron Front flag after working with Sounders supporters groups and others". Seattle Times. September 24, 2019. Archived from the original on April 14, 2021. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  17. ^ Herron, Elise (September 24, 2019). "After Meetings With Timbers Army, Major League Soccer Executives Agree to Suspend Ban on Flags Bearing Antifascist Symbol". Willamette Week. Archived from the original on 2021-01-22. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  18. ^ a b Davidson, Kate (January 2, 2020). "Northwest Cider Battles Hard Seltzer For The Beer Case". OPB. Archived from the original on 2020-01-03. Retrieved 2020-01-07.
  19. ^ Ramakrishnan, Jayati (2019-05-02). "Scores of antifa, far-right group members clash outside NE Portland bar". The Oregonian. Archived from the original on 2021-01-18. Retrieved 2019-10-02.
  20. ^ Sparling, Zane (May 1, 2019). "Antifa, Patriot Prayer brawl outside Cider Riot". Portland Tribune. Archived from the original on October 20, 2020. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  21. ^ a b c Kavanaugh, Shane Dixon (2019-10-29). "Fatal clash near Portland left-wing hangout followed random argument, not political attack, lawyers say". The Oregonian. Archived from the original on 2021-03-02. Retrieved 2019-11-11.
  22. ^ a b c d e Bernstein, Maxine (2020-09-12). "Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson sues Multnomah County DA Mike Schmidt in federal court". The Oregonian. Archived from the original on 2021-03-23. Retrieved 2020-10-09.
  23. ^ Ramakrishnan, Jayati (2019-05-04). "Owner of Cider Riot sues Patriot Prayer, Joey Gibson for $1 million after May Day clash outside Portland bar". The Oregonian. Archived from the original on 2019-08-24. Retrieved 2019-10-02.
  24. ^ Zielinski, Alex (Aug 22, 2019). "New Evidence Shows Joey Gibson's Role in Planning May Day Attack at Cider Riot". Portland Mercury. Archived from the original on August 23, 2019. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  25. ^ Ryan, Jim; Theen, Andrew; Kavanaugh, Shane Dixon (2019-08-15). "Joey Gibson faces felony charge in fight at NE Portland's Cider Riot, preparing to turn self in". The Oregonian. Archived from the original on 2019-09-26. Retrieved 2019-10-02.
  26. ^ Ellis, Rebecca (August 22, 2019). "6 Men Indicted For May's Cider Riot! Brawl In Portland". OPB. Archived from the original on 2019-09-13. Retrieved 2019-10-02.
  27. ^ Wilson, Conrad (January 14, 2020). "Patriot Prayer's Tusitala 'Tiny' Toese Pleads Guilty To Assault Charge". OPB. Archived from the original on 2020-01-14. Retrieved 2021-09-14.
  28. ^ Ramakrishnan, Jayati (2021-05-22). "Suspect pleads guilty to assaulting woman during May 2019 riot outside NE Portland bar". The Oregonian. Archived from the original on 2021-05-22. Retrieved 2021-09-14.
  29. ^ "Man pleads guilty to charges from 2019 Cider Riot brawl". KOIN. 2021-05-23. Archived from the original on 2021-05-24. Retrieved 2021-09-14.
  30. ^ "Judge acquits Patriot Prayer founder, one other, in riot trial". Statesman Journal. Associated Press. July 20, 2022. Retrieved 18 September 2022.
  31. ^ Johnson-Greenough, Ezra (September 20, 2019). "Cider Riot is For Sale, Abram Goldman-Armstrong Tells Us Why". New School Beer. Archived from the original on September 23, 2019. Retrieved 2019-10-16.
  32. ^ a b c d Kavanaugh, Shane Dixon (2019-09-21). "Patriot Prayer-antifa clash lands Cider Riot in state regulator's crosshairs". The Oregonian. Archived from the original on 2019-10-04. Retrieved 2019-10-02.
  33. ^ Stimson, Brie (September 21, 2019). "Owner of Antifa-friendly Portland bar let patrons use 'illegal weapons' against conservative activists, state probe says". Fox News. Archived from the original on October 20, 2019. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  34. ^ Ellis, Rebecca (October 14, 2019). "Portland Anti-Fascist Activist Killed In Hit And Run Outside Cider Riot". OPB. Archived from the original on September 30, 2020. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  35. ^ Monahan, Rachel; Mesh, Aaron (October 12, 2019). "A Patron Was Hit and Killed By an SUV Last Night Near Cider Riot". Willamette Week. Archived from the original on October 13, 2019. Retrieved October 13, 2019.
  36. ^ Henriksen, Erik; Zielinski, Alex (Oct 14, 2019). "UPDATE: Portland Activist Killed After SUV Collision Near Cider Riot". Portland Mercury. Archived from the original on October 13, 2019. Retrieved October 13, 2019.
  37. ^ Kelly, Brenna (October 14, 2019). "Graffiti covers Democratic Party of Oregon office in NE Portland where known activist was killed". KPTV. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  38. ^ a b Monahan, Rachel; Peel, Sophie (October 15, 2019). "Three Nights Later, Questions Still Swirl Around a Portland Antifascist's Killing". Willamette Week. Archived from the original on 2019-10-17. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  39. ^ Thomas, Keaton (2019-10-26). "Crowd gathers to remember Sean Kealiher, activist who died after crash and gunfire". KATU. Archived from the original on 2019-11-11. Retrieved 2019-11-11.
  40. ^ Theen, Andrew (December 20, 2019). "Vision Zero: Portland saw most traffic deaths since 1997, many 'out of our control'". The Oregonian. Archived from the original on December 20, 2019. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  41. ^ Sparling, Zane (2022-08-05). "Arrest made in 2019 homicide of Portland anti-fascist activist Sean Kealiher, police say". oregonlive. Retrieved 2022-08-05.
  42. ^ Haas, Ryan; Wilson, Conrad; Levinson, Jonathan (21 September 2023). "Man charged with killing Portland antifascist protester in 2019 agrees to guilty plea". Oregon Public Broadcasting.
  43. ^ Herron, Elise (September 19, 2019). "Owner of Antifascist Cidery Cider Riot Hopes to Sell to Someone Who Shares His "View on Human Rights"". Willamette Week. Archived from the original on September 23, 2019. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  44. ^ Kavanaugh, Shane Dixon (2019-09-19). "Cider Riot, scene of Patriot Prayer-antifa clash, for sale in NE Portland". oregonlive. Archived from the original on 2019-09-27. Retrieved 2019-10-16.
  45. ^ "Bars + Nightlife: Congratulations to the winners + finalists of Best of Portland Readers' Poll 2020". Willamette Week. July 21, 2020. Archived from the original on August 11, 2020. Retrieved September 4, 2020.