Yeah, we drink a lot of beer here at Paste drink but we’re not a one-trick pony. We like apples too. And summer feels like the right time to drink some of the hard ciders that have infiltrated our beer fridge (fall feels right too, but we’ll get to that later). So here are a handful of our favorite ciders that have come across our desk/bar stool/package store lately.
Schlafly Proper Cider
Breweries are jumping in on the cider craze at a pretty steady clip, and St. Louis’ Schlafly has entered the apple game with their Raspberry Proper Cider. It’s the first cider they’ve put into a can, but they’ve actually been making and serving cider in their taproom for 15 years. I like the addition of raspberries to this cider, which adds a tart element while the apples play second fiddle and provide a sweet, but mellow sublayer. It’s light, it’s crisp, it’s 6.8% ABV and I’m enjoying the hell out of it this summer. Look for it in four packs.
UrbanTree Cidery SoGa Blue
Photo via UrbanTree
Okay, you’re gonna need to be in Atlanta to drink this one, but we say it’s worth the trip. This limited edition cider mixes homegrown blueberries (the cider maker’s family owns a blueberry farm in South Georgia) with Stayman, Fuji and Granny Smith apples. The result is semi-sweet, so look elsewhere if you need a really dry cider. But the first reviews are pretty outstanding. The release party went down August 4th and they were supposed to serve this thing well into fall, but it’s been so popular that they’re running out of kegs, so get it while you can.
Austin Eastciders Maker’s Stash
Lemon. Ginger. That’s what’s going on inside this new cider from Austin Eastciders, the first in an experimental line of limited release ciders from the beloved brand. The lemon comes out swinging first followed quickly by the slight spice of the ginger. It’s acidic and bright and dry as hell, which is everything I like in a good cider. Austin Eastciders has a slew of flavored ciders, which I had the chance to review earlier this year, but I think things are really starting to get interesting with this new Maker’s Stash series. I’m excited to see where Austin Eastciders takes it.
Golden State Cider Company Mighty Hops
Photo via Golden State Cider
I mean with a name like “Mighty Hops,” you gotta try it, right? California-based Golden State Cider gives this cider a West Coast dry hopping from Columbus hops so you get the full bouquet of the dank hop bill before you even take a sip of the beverage. Golden State Cider started on an apple farm in 2012, and the company still predominantly uses apples from the West Coast. Mighty Hops is part of their regular releases, and you can find it in tall boy cans in four packs.
Citizen Cider Company High Tide
The state of Vermont has a solid apple pedigree, so we pay attention when there’s a cider company with a Vermont address, such as Burlington’s Citizen Cider. We haven’t had the chance to try this cider yet, but we’re intrigued by the concept. A gose cider? I’m game. Naturally, it’s a limited release so a trip to Vermont is necessary, but I can think of plenty of reasons to make a trip to Vermont a reality, so don’t let that stop you. The apple cider is finished with honey, coriander seeds and sea salt. It’s dry and highly carbonated and I want some of it now.