The Food & Wine Hard Cider Taste Test—Here Are Our 7 Top Picks
How do we like them apples? In hard cider, please. From small-production releases to larger-scale craft bottlings, America’s cider revival continues to sparkle. These seven are worth the search.
Made with eight types of apple, the unfiltered Easy Apple Less Sweet is also low in alcohol (4.2%), which makes it a great introduction to the world of cider.
The Texas Honey, which is available in cans, blends bittersweet and dessert apples with local honey for just a hint of sweetness. It makes a killer base for whiskey cocktails.
This New Hampshire producer was a pioneer in bringing back true cider-apple varieties. We love the Extra Dry, which bears a subtle resemblance to Champagne, and the gently sweet Semi-Dry, which can take you from hors d’oeuvres all the way through dessert on Thanksgiving.
Made in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, the deliciously tart First Fruit bottling is almost wine-like in its complexity. Proprietor Diane Flynt makes it with early season heirloom apples, which add a vivid tanginess.
This Vermont cidery excels at balancing complexity with drinkability, and now that some of its ciders are available in cans, they’re even more approachable—and less expensive than the larger-format bottles. Our top picks: the Semi-Dry, whose bright acidity keeps it crisp and not too sweet, and the lightly sparkling, citrusy Arlo (pictured).
The well-known Belgian beer company makes this light, easy-to-drink cider in upstate New York. Stylistically, it walks a successful line between sweet, mass-market bottles and typically more austere craft versions.
Organic heirloom apples sourced from across Oregon go into this cidery’s single-varietal bottles and blends. One standout: the tangy, floral, lightly sweet Bloom. It pairs perfectly with an Oregon cheese, such as Face Rock Creamery’s buttery Clothbound Cheddar.