Cider

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.

Top Cider Posts:

Martinelli’s 1868 Hard Cider
2015 Ferme de Romilly Cidre Brut and Demi-Sec
Strongbow Hard Apple Ciders

Review: Crispin Hard Cider – Original, Pacific Pear, and Bourbon Char

By Christopher Null | February 8, 2017 |

New stuff from the cider mavens at Crispin, including a new limited release called Bourbon Char, and two of the company’s primary offerings, which are now available in standard six packs. We looked at all three. Thoughts follow. Crispin Original Hard Cider – A fresh, apple-loaded classic, semisweet and fruity, but restrained with notes of crisp…

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Review: Virtue Michigan Brut Cider

By Christopher Null | January 24, 2017 |

Virtue’s Michigan Brut Cider is made from Michigan-grown apples (a blend of heirloom varietals) and, like its high-end Lapinette, is a bone-dry brut. As with Lapinette, it offers overtones of mushroom, bramble, and oxidized wine, but here, the core of the cider — the apple — is significantly dialed back. Pushing through the earth tones…

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Review: Strongbow Hard Apple Ciders

By Christopher Null | October 31, 2016 |

Heineken-owned Strongbow is a staple of the apple cider scene, particularly in England, where the brand originated some 54 years ago. Most production of the beverage still takes place in England, but the samples we’re reviewing today were actually produced in Belgium. (The company also makes cider in Australia.) Strongbow comes in numerous varieties; today…

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Review: Virtue Cider Lapinette Cidre Brut

By Christopher Null | October 24, 2016 |

Virtue Cider’s Lapinette is a “Norman-style cidre brut fermented with French yeast and patiently aged for months in French oak.” This Michigan-born cider is lightly sparkling but bone dry, which can be a bit surprising and even challenging at first but which eventually wins you over. On the tongue it offers an earthiness at first,…

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Review: Sonoma Cider The Wimble

By Christopher Null | October 9, 2016 |

This new limited edition cider from Sonoma Cider is billed as a Rhubarb Gose, a spin on the classic, slightly salty, semi-sour beer style. Sonoma’s gose-cider (gosider?) is made from organic apples, organic red rhubarb, and sea salt, coming together with a lick of sugar and salt up front, quickly fading to a light sour…

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Review: Stella Artois Cidre

By Christopher Null | August 16, 2016 |

One of the more curious line extensions in recent years comes from Stella Artois, which after decades of making pilsner decided to launch a cider. Cidre was introduced in 2011, and came to the U.S. in 2013. Today it is one of the more widely available ciders — thanks, likely, to its ownership by Anheuser-Busch as…

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Review: Woodchuck June & Juice Juniper Hard Cider

By Christopher Null | June 15, 2016 |

Woodchuck’s latest “Out on a Limb” cider is this true oddity — June & Juice — a juniper-based cider that takes the gin and tonic as its inspiration. It’s a semi-sweet apple cider made by steeping fresh juniper berries, rose buds, and orange peel into the mix. The results are better than I expected, a light…

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Review: Woodchuck Cherry Barrel Aged, Day Chaser, and Campfire Pancakes Hard Cider

By Christopher Null | April 22, 2016 |

  Three new seasonals from nonstop cider-churner Woodchuck. Let’s dive in to three very different expressions! Woodchuck Private Reserve Cherry Barrel Aged Hard Cider – Made from Michigan cherries and aged in Napa cabernet sauvignon barrels. Crisp and tart cherry from start to finish, with just a hint of nutty character and some malt for…

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Review: Woodchuck Hot Cha Cha Cha! Hard Cider

By Christopher Null | January 6, 2016 |

Not a lot of mystery in this one: Take apple cider, add some spicy peppers, and serve. Sweet-meets-spicy can often go horribly awry, but Woodchuck manages to keep both sides in check and turns in a capable, if unsurprising cider sipper. The up-front is a bit on the sugary side — more apple Jolly Ranchers…

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Review: Wildcide Hard Cider

By Christopher Null | January 5, 2016 |

You won’t find his name anywhere on the bottle, but Wildcide (and Aurum Cider Co., which makes it) comes to us from Dan Gordon, founder of Gordon Biersch. His first cider, it is pressed from Fuji, Granny Smith, Red Delicious, and Golden Delicious varieties. As ciders go, Wildcide is decidedly not wild and is instead…

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