Frequently overlooked in many bottle shops: Cider! It's the fastest growing sector of the alcohol market, yet only accounts for about 1-2% of the industry. Cider can range from incredibly sweet to bone dry, from wine-like to beer-esque. With so many options, I’ve narrowed it down to my current favorites listed below:
1. Mission Trail Cider
A new label established in 2014 in Monterey County, CA, the brothers at Mission Trail are making some amazing ciders! Using their own orchards, they create amazing apple ciders as well as other fruit ciders. Whether it is the Champagne-Style Apple Cider, Perry Pear Cider, or the Plum Cider, Mission Trail has proven itself a master of the craft. Fairly unknown, I’m thrilled to see Mission Trail showing up more and more in bars around the Bay area!
2. 2 Towns Ciderhouse
Started by three childhood friends in 2010, this Oregon cider house uses only fresh, Northwest apples! 2 Towns is a growing force in the cider world, creating both traditional ciders and edgier spins on the classics. The Made Marion cider is a mix of fresh pressed apples and marion berries, resulting in a beautifully tart, semi-sweet cider. Along with the uber crisp and clean Bright Cider, all your cider needs will be fulfilled by 2 Towns!
3. Finnriver Farm & Cidery
Founded in 2008 by three friends on the north Olympic Peninsula of Washington State, Finnriver loves pushing the boundaries of cider-making. The Habanero Cider, will tickle the toes of all heat-seeking spice lovers with its unmistakeable habanero notes shinning through. And while the heat is evident, it somehow does not overtake the cider - it’s definitely a must-try! Along with special releases, like the Black Oak Aged Cider, their is something for everyone at this innovative cidery.
So when you are looking for something refreshing, instead of grabbing a beer on autopilot, shake things up and impress your friends by knowing the latest on cider!
Allegra “Ari” Zimmerman
Templar of Tonics
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