Hard Ciders for the True Fans
Hard ciders have been around for quite a long time but they really became popular over the last decade, partially because of the gluten-free trend. Obviously, cider is good for more than a wheat-less brewed beverage but that is definitely one of its main draws.
Unfortunately, many people hear the word “cider” and think of those mass-manufactured bottles that have the funny commercials and are cheap and easy to find, but those are only known for being too sweet and tasting like juice.
The real beauty of a truly delicious cider is in the apples, as well as the interesting flavor notes that a cidery may choose to add. Below is a list of just some of the amazing ciders that are out there and waiting to be experienced. They are the true heroes of the cider world and deserve some of the spotlight.
Angry Orchard The Old Fashioned: Angry Orchard is one of the most well-known brands of hard cider, and generally, their reputation is for being too sweet and lacking in flavor. However, that’s because only a couple of their ciders get exposed to the public in the bars and restaurants. The Old Fashioned brings new and interesting flavors to a cider, like charred bourbon barrel staves, tart cherries, and orange peels- just like an Old Fashioned.
Crispin Cider: Honeycrisp: Like Angry Orchard, Crispin has a reputation of being inexpensive and easy to find, but not always the first for flavor or individuality. However, also like Angry Orchard, they have other models that are a little harder to find but definitely worth the search. The Honeycrisp is exactly what it sounds like- made from those incredible Honeycrisp apples- with a creamy mouthfeel, smooth honey flavor, and a nice lemony bite.
Nektar: Slice of Life: B. Nektar flies a little below the radar as far as wide generic knowledge of ciders but their line of ciders proves to be more interesting and unique. The Slice of Life has a zesty bit of ginger and a large slice of lemon acidity that cuts the usually expected sweetness of a cider. B. Nektar also makes beer and mead, so these guys really know how to brew.
Downeast Cider House Original Blend: Started by some dudes in college, Downeast is a popular craft cider from New England. These guys don’t mess around with weird fruits or hipster flavors- they keep it simple and delicious. The Original Blend is nothing but apples, so it’s straight up tasty and refreshing. Check out their infused fruit blends too for something a little more interesting.
Square Mile The Original: The folks at Square Mile are keeping it simple with their semi-dry Original and Hopped Apple Ciders. Their whole goal is to make cider that is true to its roots in the Northwest, without trying to be anything else. Made from local PNW ingredients, these guys stay true to themselves and their flavors.
Yankee Folly Cider: Yankee Folly Cidery is a good ol’ New York cidery that brews its beverages from the very apples they grow on their land. There’s nothing crazy about their flavor profile, and it doesn’t have some fancy name, but it does have that gorgeous New York State apple taste that we all love. The cider contains the rare Golden Russet apple that the farm’s owner himself brought over from Germany, so you know it’s special.
Ciderboys Mad Bark Apple Cinnamon: The Ciderboys have been winning medals and awards all over the country since 2014 for their delicious beverages. Their main goal is to take cider to new heights by blending the apples with interesting fruits, and they’ve done just that. The Mad Bark is their fall seasonal flavor and it’s everything autumn should be- sweet, delicious, and full of spice.
Eve’s Cidery: Crafted right here in our great state of New York, Eve’s is producing sparkling cider from our gorgeous, world-renown apples. They’ve created a wide range of sparkling ciders in the way you might find sparkling wines, from “bone dry and bubbly” to a “dessert cider,” and all are delicious. We don’t want to tell you which is the best because they’re just all so different, you should go try them yourselves.