Lots of people who don’t drink much (or any) cider ask me what tipple they should try first. The common misconception about cider always being overly sweet is something I’m acutely aware of when answering that question. So here are five great american craft ciders that I would recommend to a first-timer or anyone looking to move on from the mass produced products.
I’ve picked these ciders in no particular order and is by no means an exhaustive list. I’ve also tried to keep in mind general availability as much as possible.
Reverend Nat’s Revival
As you may have noticed on this site I’m a big fan of Rev Nat’s Revival. It’s a fantastic all round cider and one I like to offer people who say they aren’t into cider. This one is a litmus test for me, try it and if you still don’t like it, then you probably won’t like cider at all. It’s well balanced, has no added sugar, is made by a great craft cider maker in Portland, OR and is pretty widely available (at least here in Los Angeles – good job Nathan!)
101 Cider House IPC
This is also one of my all time go-to ciders and thankfully it’s widely available here in LA as 101 are based in Woodland Hills, CA. It’s a great craft cider for people that like sour beer
and perhaps want to avoid the sweetness of a lot of commercial products or the “apple-y” taste of a lot of other ciders.
I’ll admit, this isn’t my favorite cider but I find this to be a great option when people say they drink and enjoy more commercial products like Angry Orchard or other mass produced brands. It’s sweet, reasonably low in sugar (9 grams), refreshing, widely available and not expensive. Moreover, it’s made by Wandering Aengus who make some fantastic craft ciders under their flagship name.
This one is a little harder to come by but if you see it, get it. It’s a fantastic craft Californian cider – funky, wild and complex. It’s one that I offer to people who say they typically drink white white and tend to avoid beer. This cider usually floors them and opens they up to a world of possibilities of what a cider can be!
Now this is one to get people going. A sour basque cider with a good amount of kick. This normally gets the marmite effect from people, they “either love it or hate it” but those that love it, are converted. Sour, funky and delicious!