It’s bubbly, it’s sweet, it’s flavorful, and it’s taking over. Hard cider has a grip on the market that isn’t letting go anytime soon. In fact, it’s only going to become stronger: according to industry analysts, the global market for hard cider is projected to reach a whopping 12.9 billion US by 2020.
In 2016, the Great Lakes International Craft and Perry Competition in Grand Rapids, Michigan, judged almost 800 entrants in its commercial division – nearly triple the number of competitors in just three years!
So why is hard cider becoming so popular?
A number of factors are at play. First off, cideries are having more fun all over the place, creating bold new flavors and interesting blends. Creating ciders that are dry-hopped and casked, with interesting flavor profiles like Thai ginger or strawberry basil, and ciders made without apples and instead from fruit like pears.
Another factor in the rise in popularity for hard cider is the gluten and wheat free trend, paired with the rise of celiac disease. Consumers are on the lookout for beer replacements, but still seeking that carbonated kick, driving demand from craft brewers up.
Finally, local cider houses are capitalizing on the “shop local” trend, meaning small breweries are gaining popularity in their towns and cities so much so that Toronto and New York City both now have cider bars. Her Father’s Cider Bar in Toronto stocks nearly one hundred craft ciders from Ontario and internationally, and Wassail in NYC creates apple-based cocktails and over ninety ciders.
With this kind of love, hard cider is sure to just keep getting bigger and better. Here are ten hard cider brands making a splash in the market today.
1. Citizen Cider The AmeriCran. No, that’s not a typo – this cran-infused cider is made with Vermont cranberries and apples for a tart and crisp beverage.
3. Toronto’s Brickworks Ciderhouse Batch: 1904 is a dry, tart cider created to commemorate the great Toronto fire of 1904 and is quickly becoming a classic Canadian cider.
4. Angry Orchard Hard Cider in Apple Ginger uses a blend of Braeburn, Fuji, Granny Smith, Gala, and French Bittersweet Apples along with spicy ginger for a drink with a smooth and warm sip!
5. Most cider drinkers are familiar with Strongbow, however Strongbow’s Gold Hard Apple Cider is made with golden delicious and honeycrisp apples for a sweet and bright take on their classic product.
6. Crispin The Saint is an unfiltered hard cider with apple-wine and pure maple syrup which makes for a cloudy, sweet, and hearty cider.
7. Made at the oldest brewery in Yorkshire, Samuel Smith’s Organic Cider is an organic, medium dry cider with light body and clean apple flavour.
8. Ontario apples are used in Pommies Farmhouse Cider for a crisp, dry, refreshing drink perfect after a long day’s work on the farm – or the office.
9. Created from fresh, heirloom apples that are juiced in the cold Vermont winter weather, Eden Ice Cider is a syrupy sweet treat unlike any other!
10. Starting with their original cider, Square Mile adds a heaping of Galaxy hops during the cold conditioning phase to their Square Mile Cider Spur & Vine Hopped Cider. The result is a flavorful and aromatic hard cider experience.
About the Author
Andrea is a Content Marketing Specialist and Editor at TouchBistro where she writes about restaurant and dining trends, restaurant management, and food culture. A self-affirmed food geek, Andrea devours cookbooks and food blogs. She also knows how to make a killer kale salad.More Content by Andrea Victory