Anthem Cider Pear

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One of four in the standard selection from Anthem — the slight more modish and accessible kid sister cider label…

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The final frontier: visuals for the state of Montana are often illustrated by snow-capped mountains, rushing rivers, lackadaisical bison and burly, bearded men rocking plaid attire at all times. But another image is also cropping up in Montana’s picturesque landscape: apples. With the Bitterroot Valley leading the charge on growing culinary and heirloom apples, Montana has eight registered apple orchards and five cideries, with two more on the way in 2017.

The Methow Valley (pronounced met-how) is burrowed in the foothills of the North Cascade mountain range, a popular recreational destination in north-central Washington State and one of the region’s main apple-growing regions. Many late-season varieties grow in these steep riverside orchards that see shorter growing days and cooler temperature. On the banks of the Methow River, outside the town of Twisp, is the family farm and cidery of Sixknot Cider.

Few American cider producers have received as many nods as Foggy Ridge in Dugspur, Virginia. The 12-year-old cidery might not be the oldest, biggest or boldest on the block, but it is one of the most respected, courtesy of orchardist and cidermaker Diane Flynt’s staunch dedication to apples and the craft of cider.

In pursuit of the ideal cider to appease the masses this Thanksgiving, give a semi-sweet cider a go. While a drier style might win over your Cabernet-staunch uncle or a sweeter cider could make Grandma sing, a semi-sweet or semi-dry will help bring the family together.

Simple and straightforward, landmark long-term producer Vermont Cider Co. will release its first “ultra-premium” line of ciders. You might know them better as the house of tenured producer Woodchuck; immigrant by way of Vancouver, Canada, Wyder’s Cider; and importers of both Magners Irish Cider and Blackthorn.

It’s becoming less of a rarity to see hopped ciders across the country, from the variation’s native Oregon to Virginia and Michigan. However, the odds are sparse for finding a traditional method sparkling hopped cider. Enter MAWBY, the Great Lakes State’s resident house of bubbles that recently swooped onto the cider scene.

Time and time again, in this world of immediate excellence and innovation, we see creators of other ferments come to cider. Such is the case with Starcut Ciders in Northern Michigan, the fresh juiced progeny of Short’s Brewing in Bellaire. The two-year-old cidery sources apples from its own property as well as across the state, including other tree fruit goods like peaches. Phuzz, a peach-infused cider labeled as semi-sweet, does its name justice.

When bored with wine, one often turns to cider for something old, something new, something borrowed and something equally fermentable. Our words, not theirs, but when two praised Oregon winemakers, Anne Hubatch of Helioterra Wines/Whoa Nelly Wines/Guild Winemakers and Nate Wall of McMenamins Edgefield Winery, teamed up with business manager (and the latter’s wife) Kris Wall, cider was shaping up to be the traditional beverage marriage they all were looking for.

One of the first cideries in the Peach State, Treehorn Cider opened in the Atlanta suburb of Marietta, Georgia, last year to a thirsty Southern crowd. Comprised of a couple home-makers of cider and avid cocktail enthusiasts, the cidery has experimented with local mixologists on cider concoctions as well as with northern Georgia-grown fruit, committed to sourcing apples no more than 150 miles away from the production facility.

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