By Leesy Latronica
In recent history, there has arguably never been a better time for North American beer diehards to crossover to the cider side. At what seems to be nearly every turn, cider makers are increasingly tempting IPA lovers to sip and see for themselves. With careful rhyme and reason, producers are selecting hop varieties known for their citrus, floral, earthy and mild bittering qualities—anything to complement the apples in question. What happens when two worlds—cider and beer—collide? It would seem they aren’t so separate after all. We’ve mapped out a few of the refreshing results.
1) Anthem Cider Hops (Salem, OR)
ABV: 5.5 to 6.9 percent
Highlights: Toast to the origin of bottled dry-hopped hard cider, a continually evolving experiment inspired by the Pacific Northwest’s fertile apple and hop territory. Under the guiding hands of experts at Wandering Aengus Ciderworks, the Anthem Cider line is fresh-pressed from whole dessert apples. In the case of Anthem Hops, Oregon-grown Cascade hops deliver distinct floral and citrus aromas with a mild bitter bite and classic apple tartness.
2) Colorado Cider Company Grasshop-ah (Denver, CO)
ABV: 6.95 percent
Highlights: The “ah” in this hopped cider is inherent in both its name and drinking experience—Colorado Cider Company intends to deliver a refreshing bottle worthy of a sigh of satisfaction. Need convincing? Let this variety’s GLINTCAP gold medal speak for itself. The first contender in the brand’s Botanical Series, Grasshop-ah features the flagship Glider Cider base, kicked up a few notches with bright lemongrass and late-addition hops.
3) Bull City Ciderworks Smooth Hoperator (Durham, NC)
ABV: 5.3 percent
Highlights: From a third generation family orchad, Durham’s Bull City Ciderworks is on a mission to prove that southern comfort can be found in a glassful of cider. The homesteading cidery blends apples from the state’s Perry Lowe Orchards with floral, tropical Cascade and Galaxy hops (sourced locally whenever possible) for an added punch of flavor at the finish.
4) Grizzly Ciderworks The Bruin (Woodinville, WA)
ABV: 6.9 percent
Highlights: As the Seattle area cidery startup gears up for a major re-launch set for this winter, fans across Washington and North Idaho can look forward to snazzy new bottles, increased distribution range and three new ciders, in addition to the tried-and-true original and dry-hopped favorites. The Bruin, Grizzly’s year-round “dark and dry-hopped” offering, spotlights earthy Willamette hops accompanied by deep molasses notes.
5) Harvest Moon Cidery Heritage Hops Hard Cider (Cazenovia, NY)
ABV: 6.75 percent
Highlights: Produced in small batches at central New York’s Critz Farms, Harvest Moon cultivates a varied lineup of ciders ranging from dry to sweet. Harkening back to the area’s 19th-century hop growing tradition, Heritage Hops aims to recreate the earthy flavors of the golden days, and took home the silver medal at this year’s Finger Lakes International Wine Competition.