Learn What It Takes to Brew Hard Cider

Last Updated September 22, 2014
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Fermented apple juice is the drink that’s on everyone’s lips right now.

Hard cider may seem suddenly trendy, but it was actually the drink of choice back in colonial days. Early apples were too tart to eat, so our forefathers pressed them and fermented the juice to make cider. The drink was a hit, until the mid-19th century, when the agriculture-based economy gave way to industrialization, and a surge of German immigrants started popularizing beer. Today, hard cider is making a comeback: Cider brands grew by more than 60 percent in 2012, and domestic cider sales tripled between 2007 and 2012. The increased interest in hard ciders is an offshoot of craft beer’s popularity, and there are plenty of local cideries where you can get acquainted with the drink—and pick up tips for making your own. 

Apples, The Hard Way

Hard cider used to be just a subsection of craft beer, but New York City beverage directors say it’s becoming a category in its own right.

Cider Country: Hard Cider Makes a Comeback

bottle of hard cider
California cider makers say customers can’t get enough of the drink. Neil Collins, owner of Bristols Cider, increased his output 600 percent in the past two years to meet demand!
|1947 See Canyon Road, San Luis Obispo, CA, us
|5800 Adelaida Road, Paso Robles, CA, us

DRINK: From Pippins to Winesaps, the Apple Alchemy of Craft Cider

craft cider
The young artisans at Potter’s Craft pay homage to the history of hard cider—but can’t help crafting its future, too.

Diary of a farmer: The art of Lehman’s Orchard cider

Tart, aromatic, astringent. Cider maker Steve Lecklider explains how apple types yield very different ciders.
|2280 Portage Rd., Niles, MI, us

From France to Wisconsin: Island Orchard Cider Proves Fruitful

Island Orchard Pear Cider
Bob and Yannique Purman were so smitten with the ciders they tasted in France, they returned to Wisconsin and started making similar drinks under the name Island Orchard Cider.
|12040 Garrett Bay Road, Ellison Bay, WI, us

Fruit, Frost and Fermentation

Ice cider (a dessert wine with a truer apple flavor than most hard ciders) requires freezing temperatures prior to distilling. Naturally, it was the perfect thing for Vermonters Eleanor and Albert...

Liquid Gold

Marsha Lindner, an organic orchardist who recently got into hard cider making, details the items that should be in every novice’s starter kit.

A Tale of Two Cideries

The rise of hard ciders benefits orchardists, who can sell their excess crops to local cider makers.
|2280 Portage Rd., Niles, MI, us
|2170 62nd St., Fennville, MI, us
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