By Brooklynn Johnson
Steer clear of the mundane and turn toward the avant garde—the unique, the original, the infused ciders. Inspired by the creativity these cideries have come up with, here are a few twists on classic ciders that demonstrate the artisanal quality and fun of the cider revolution we have found ourselves in. What will they think of next?
Black Mountain Ciderworks || Black Mountain, NC
Black Mountain totally owns the blending game. Many of the ciders at this North Carolinian cider and meadery offer guests ciders few probably knew were even possible to make. Their Cortez is a coffee mead, made from locally roasted beans, and the Scarecrow is a cider made with chai tea and honey. Their products are sold only in bars and tasting rooms throughout North Carolina.
Woodchuck Hard Cider || Middlebury, VT
Can it be true? Can you really have chocolate with your cider? In 2014 Woodchuck released the third cider in their Cellar Series line, Woodchuck Cellar Series Chocolate. The folks in the Vermont cidery pulled this off by fermenting their apple cider with crushed cocao beans. The result is surprising, the artisanal flavors of chocolate compliment the taste of apple, without having the product be overbearingly sweet.
Finnriver Farm and Cidery || Chimacum, WA
Finnriver sits on a restored salmon stream in the small town of Chimacum, and creates contemporary ciders while keeping sustainable practices. Try their Solstice Saffron, or Black Currant Lavender which is a beautiful tribute to the Pacific Northwest, made with Washington apples, black current and lavender from Sequim. It even has a purple hue.
Bishop Cider Company || Dallas, TX
When you think of Texas, your mind definitely doesn’t initially jump to its burgeoning cider scene. But places like Bishop Cider Co. are making big statements and are holding their own, creating contemporary takes on classic cider recipes. Their Cat Scratch Fever is infused with jalepenos, of all things. Don’t worry, you can take the heat of this one, it’s pretty mild in flavor.
Good Neighbor Organic || Northport, MI
Set on a 67-acre organic farm on the Leelanau Peninsula, this estate winery, brewery and cidery does it all. Including a semi-dry Chai cider infusion. Accenting the seven different spices of the Chai tea, this cider juicy fruit is met with clove, spice and everything nice.