At Austin Eastciders, traditional dry cider rules above all. Founder Ed Gibson — a former cider bar owner from the U.K. — arrived in Texas and noticed the dominance of sweet, cloying flavors in the U.S. hard cider market. As the cider world knows well, culinary apples are much more commonplace than the cider apple in the United States — partly because of the loss of cider apple orchards post-Prohibition and also due to the commercial success of the eating apple.
The Pacific Northwest, California and New York garner much attention when it comes to apple and cherry production in the United States. However, it’s the Great Lakes area that remains as the unsung hero we all need. Why? Its physical geography is similar to France: the ideal conditions for apples and cherries to thrive. In fact, the Great Lakes region has the nation’s most diverse apple crop, and Michigan leads the country in tart cherry production.