New Online Cider Marketplace Makes It Easier to Score Hard-to-Find Bottles
A plight long known to wine drinkers has increasingly been faced by beer and cider fans as well: You’ll read a list of amazing products you want to try only to be left lamenting, “But where can I actually get these?!” As the alcohol business has become increasingly craft-, local-, and small batch-focused, choice has gone up dramatically, but the availability of many great products can be frustrating. A new online cider marketplace called Cider in Love is hoping to help address that concern in the world of fermented apples at least.
Billed as “the first online curator of fine, heritage ciders,” Cider in Love can probably be best compared to the now-shuttered Amazon Wine Marketplace. The models are the same: Cider in Love partners with smaller cideries to work as a central hub for customers looking to purchase their products, but all the cider is shipped direct from the cideries themselves, making the site a convenient middleman for connecting shoppers to ciders.
What really sets Cider in Love apart, however, is the quality of the products handpicked by Founder and CEO Annie Bystryn. Of the ten cideries she currently works with, two landed on our list of the 30 Best Ciders (Tilted Shed Ciderworks and Redbyrd Orchard) and another popped up on our list of 10 Awesome American Ciders (Snowdrift Cider Co.). Needless to say, we think she has good taste!
“Over the course of a year, I took road trips up and down the East and West Coasts,” Bystryn told us via email. “I chose the featured cideries because I believe they embody the best of fine, heritage cider. They are talented, dedicated and creative makers who view cidermaking as an art. The art of the apple. Each of our Cider in Love partners has a passion for growing cider-specific and heirloom apples, and crafting ciders using age-old fermentation techniques, which take time and meticulous attention.”
Beyond simply finding great cideries, like most alcohol-focused online shops, Cider in Love also must contend with the difficulties of an often confusing patchwork of state-by-state shipping laws. Though the site will certainly make it easier to find many of these small-batch products, actually getting them sent to you depends on your location. For now, ciders can only ship to California, Colorado, Florida, New York, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia. And not all ciders ship to all states. However, Cider in Love plans to add another five or six states this summer, and the plan is to continue to expand—both in shipping and number of cideries.
“Our approach is slow and steady,” Bystryn says. “We want to create an excellent experience for our customers, gather momentum and then gradually expand to include new like-minded, cider-making souls….We believe in a curated experience and working with the best of the best makers. But there is absolutely room to grow!”
Even if Cider in Love doesn’t ship to your state, the site is still worth taking a quick poke around—there's a cider tasting guide and some “fun facts” about cider. “My dream is for Cider in Love to be the online meeting place for two growing communities – the new audience falling in love with fine, heritage cider, and the dedicated, talented makers,” Bystryn tells us. And hey, if you can get the ciders shipped to you for drinking, even better!