BEND, Ore. -

Chances are, you've heard it all before, Bend is Beer Town USA.

"Being here from Bend known as Beer Town USA, my wife and I always love cider, and we always had that feeling that something was missing," said Dan McCoy, the owner of Atlas Cider Company.

Atlas Cider Company was born one year ago this month.

"We felt like it was a risk, but a calculated risk," said Sam McCoy.

A risk that's paid off.

Atlas, named after the McCoys' son, distributes about 4,000 gallons a month around the state, and their blackberry cider is the only one of its kind on the market.

"People are curious and wanting to try new things, especially hand-crafted beverages," Sam McCoy said.

Ciders have been spicing up the local craft beverage industry. In Oregon, American hard cider production more than tripled from 2011 to 2013, from 9.4 million gallons to 32 million gallons.

"The same craft beer drinker that enjoys craft beer is going to look for a different type of beverage, and that's what we are doing, the same adventurous drinker," Dan McCoy said.

After a year, Atlas has made a name for itself among the big beer dogs, thanks to the local support.

"We hear a lot, 'Woah, you guys have only been around a year? We see you guys everywhere.' So that's a good sign. We've had the right people and other businesses who've been supportive of putting a local cider on," Dan said.
     
The company just announced that they have expanded and are now distributing in southern Washington, and could start hiring soon.

Their next goal is important, though.

"I think a vacation would be nice at some point," Sam said, laughing.

Then it's back to work -- and back to toasting to another year ahead.

Atlas Cider Company also will be featured in this year's Bend Brewfest.

For more information, visit http://atlascider.com/