Cider is made by fermenting apple juice and is an extremely popular drink in the UK and in the Normandy and Brittany regions of France, though it is also made in many other countries. In the U.S. there are two types of cider. In all other countries, cider is by default an alcoholic beverage, but in the U.S. non-alcoholic apple juice is also called cider, with the alcoholic variety typically called hard cider to distinguish it from the juice variety. U.S. sales of cider are slowly increasing, with an expansion in the numbers of craft cideries and improved quality, but it still lags a very long way behind beer. Cider has also traditionally been a local drink, varying regionally with the type of apples grown, although today apples are more easily imported. Most U.S. cider apples originate in Washington state, regardless of where the cider is made, and increasingly ciders are being barrel-aged or flavored with herbs, spices, or other fruit.

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Review: Wines and Cider of Dutton Estate, Early 2022 Releases

By Christopher Null | February 27, 2022 |

Dutton Estate is one of the more unsung, high-quality wineries in California’s Russian River area, and recently the operation made a bold move that’s highly unusual in these parts: They launched a cider, born from 200 acres of organic apple orchards in the region. Today we look at a collection of five newly released wines…

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Review: 1911 Established Hard Cider – Shandy, Tropical and Blueberry

By Monica Uhm | July 8, 2021 |

1911 Established is the spirits project of Beak & Skiff, a five-generation family-owned and operated apple orchard in upstate New York. It was founded by George Skiff (originally an onion farmer) and has since become a destination with a full service tavern and music festivals hosted on premises. The distillery has become prolific, experimenting and…

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Review: Citizen Seltzer, Complete Lineup

By Christopher Null | September 2, 2020 |

The folks at Citizen Cider are stretching their wings, moving — sort of — into the hard seltzer category. The twist? This trio is essentially a (more) sparkling, (slightly) flavored version of Citizen’s apple ciders — all with no added sugar — rather than the more traditional malt beverage or raw alcohol + sparkling water…

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Review: Claim by Brannland Cider

By Christopher Null | December 8, 2019 |

Claim is made by Brannland Cider, but it’s not a traditional cider. It’s a “new generation ice wine,” or ice cider, made from nothing but apples, with a lower sugar level than traditional ciders. I’ll let the Swedish cidermeisters explain: Every year since its inception the final blend of Brännland Iscider has held a wide…

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Review: Citizen Cider For Shore

By Christopher Null | September 3, 2019 |

Citizen Cider’s latest is called For Shore, a “Gose inspired cider finished with coriander seeds and sea salt.” Citizen Cider is donating a portion of proceeds from sales of the cider to preserve and protect our home waters of Lake Champlain. For Shore pours a deceptively pale yellow, and has the appearance of little more…

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Review: Virtue Cider Rose and Mezzo Spritz

By Christopher Null | July 2, 2019 |

Today it’s time for cider, with a visit to Michigan’s Virtue Cider. Specifically, we’re looking at one of the company’s oldest offerings (the Rose) — and its newest (Mezzo Spritz). Thoughts follow. Virtue Cider Rose – “A blend of hand-pressed heirloom Michigan apples aged in French oak barrels,” with added botanicals to give it color…

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Review: Citizen Cider bRose

By Christopher Null | April 23, 2019 |

Silly me. I thought the “bro” in bRose meant this was rose for bros… not that it was made with blueberries along with the apples in the fermentation. This pink number is certainly berry-forward. While not immediately evident as blueberry — if you told me this was made with raspberry or blackberry I may well…

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Review: Woodchuck 802 Collection Lil’ Dry Hard Cider

By Christopher Null | March 18, 2019 |

Woodchuck Hard Cider’s latest foray into boozy appledom is a planned collection of ciders called the 802 Collection. The concept: All ciders in the lineup will be made with only Vermont-grown apples. All varieties in this collection will be traditional ciders made with only fresh pressed Vermont juice from our orchard partners. One of our…

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Review: Rekorderlig Hard Apple Cider

By Christopher Null | January 9, 2019 |

Sweden’s Rekorderlig is known(ish) for its pear ciders, and now it’s out with a new expression built around the more familiar apple — this one with a “hard” twist. “Higher alcohol, lower sugar” is the sell here: At 6.5% abv, it’s considerably higher than the typical 4.5% or 5% abv that’s typical of the category.…

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Review: Original Sin Unfiltered McIntosh Cider

By Mike Gerrard | January 2, 2019 |

Who knew that the Apple Macintosh computer was named after a variety of apple? Well if you’re Canadian, maybe you did, as the McIntosh is the country’s national apple. Did you know you had a national apple? The variety was first discovered by one John McIntosh, growing in his orchard near the U.S. border in…

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