Cider inspired by traditional Mexican aguas fresca

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La Familia Cider was founded in 2017 by the Gonzalez family. In Oregon’s thriving craft beer and cider scene, they’ve found room for innovation.

SALEM, Oregon – The Familia Cider Company was founded in 2017 by the Gonzalez family. La Familia Cider offers hard ciders inspired by aguas frescas, fresh fruit drinks popular in Latin America.

In Oregon’s thriving craft beer and cider scene, Jose Gonzalez has found room for innovation.

“While my wife and I enjoy craft beer and Oregon cider, she said, ‘Too bad it doesn’t have 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 couldn’t find those flavors in their favorite Oregon ciders. That’s when Jose Gonzalez decided they could make ciders. He asked his children JJ and Jazzelle to join and together they created La Familia Cider Company.

“With our ciders, we wanted to do something a little different,” explained JJ Gonzalez. “Change the game a bit.”

“My parents are from Mexico, as JJ mentioned, he was born here, so was I,” Jose Gonzalez said. “So it’s really the two cultures coming together in one bottle.”

Located in downtown Salem, the company combines its love for Oregon’s craft cider scene with flavors and ingredients that reflect the family’s Mexican heritage.

“Our ciders made with freshly picked, northwest apples, but the flavors are really my mom’s recipes that come from Mexico,” Jose Gonzalez said. “So we have to import some products because they are not available locally.”

All of their cider flavors are inspired by Mexican aguas frescas

“We’re getting a lot of positive feedback from people,” Jazzelle Gonzalez said. “The fact that they tell us that they feel like family is really great to hear.”

The word “family” carries a lot of weight in the dining room.

“The name we have ‘la familia’ means family, doesn’t it? For us it was a big responsibility,” said Jose Gonzalez. “When we started, that’s when families were torn apart at the border, what could we name our corporate family when families were torn apart?”

The familia Cider Company donates a portion of its profits to local charities that help families stay together and go 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 at over 500 local stores across Oregon and Washington State.

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