FAQ: Ciders

FAQ: Cider


What is a cider?

Cider is an alcoholic beverage that ferments using the sugars from the pressed juice of apples. There can also be other juices, like pears or kumquats.


How is cider different from beer?

Beer is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as an alcoholic beverage usually made from malted cereal grain (as barley), flavored with hops, and brewed by slow fermentation.

Cider ferments solely from the sugars within the juice itself, and can use naturally occurring yeasts or be inoculated, either with wine or champagne yeast.


Where does cider come from?

Cider has been enjoyed since the early Roman times, but we can thank the French, English, and Spanish for perfecting the art of fermenting and distilling.

Apples have an extreme amount of DNA in them (twice as many as humans!) and have only been wrangled into varieties thanks to grafting and many efforts on our parts. Any apple tree grown from a seedling can be extremely different than its parents!

Luckily, even the most tart and acidic fruit could be turned into alcohol, and many of these hard to eat apples were used for cider. Through grafting and careful selection by Europeans, we were able to start creating apple varieties. Race forward to the 1500's and Normandy is the predominant cider producer, with over 65 different varieties of apples!

You may notice that many American apples and ciders are quite different than their European counterparts. That is thanks to one man in particular, John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed. He planted orchards all along the edge of the frontier in the early 1900's, refusing to graft any trees because he deemed it 'wicked'. Thus, we got our very own unique mix of American apples.

Are all ciders sweet?

Not at all! While most ciders were sweet 5 years ago, it is certainly not the case now. Many are being fermented completely dry, leaving no sugar left at all. Some ciders have also begun dry hopping, giving a nice bitter touch to the beverage. Especially when blended with other juices (like pears), ciders can become extremely delicate and crisp.


When is the best time to drink cider?

Every season is cider season! My personal favorite time to enjoy a refreshing cider is when I am outside. With so many ciders being canned, it’s a natural choice to quench my thirst while I listen to music at Ballard park, or while I’m chilling by the pool. Summer sounds nice, doesn’t it?


Why are ciders becoming so popular?

Ciders are a great choice for people who cannot drink beer! Know anyone with gluten allergies? Cider may be the next option! Because they do not use any barley to ferment, ciders are gluten free. And with many atypical brews coming out, ciders are quickly becoming a standard.

What ciders should I try?

There are some amazing options out right now, with more coming to the market every month. Some of my favorites include:

Citizen Cider Lake Hopper - Burlington Vermont
Downeast Cider House - Boston, Massachusetts
Gurutzeta Basque Cider - Astigarraga. Spain
Pilton Somerset Keeved Cider - Somerset, England
Ciderboys First Press - Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Bad Seed - Highland, New York


As always, if you have any questions relating to beer, ciders, or just want to say hi, you can reach me at Julia@anconaswines.com.


Thanks for reading! 

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Austin Eastciders Original Dry Cider 12 Oz 6 Pack Cans (od)
Austin Eastciders Original Dry Cider 12 Oz 6 Pack Cans (od) (6 pack 12oz cans)
Cider Wine 
Eastciders Original is a blend of American dessert apples and European bittersweets, available in 16oz cans. It’s dry and light, fresh and fruity, the perfect cider any time of year. --Brewery Notes
Price:   $11.99
Bad Seed Dry Hard Cider Cans (d)
Bad Seed Dry Hard Cider Cans (d) (4 pack 12oz cans)
Cider Wine 
Each bottle of Bad Seed Dry Cider is hand crafted in small batches never filtered, bottle conditioned and made from apples grown in the Hudson Valley. A Dry Cider that s really dry. Yeah that s right buttercup this isn t your... Read More
Price:   $11.49
Christian Drouin Poire Cidre (od)
Christian Drouin Poire Cidre (od) (750ml)
Cider Wine 

Unfiltered & Unpasteurized. Pear is a fruit of patience! A pear tree needs 50 years to reach its maturity but will live for more than 200 years. Its typical lightness and elegance make Christian Drouin Poire a traditional drink... Read More

Price:   $13.99
Save 6% on Six, 12% on Twelve "Mix and Match"
Discount applies to 750ml only, and does not apply to sale items.
Citizen Cider Lake Hopper Dry Hopped 16 Oz Four Pack Cans (od) (415)
Citizen Cider Lake Hopper Dry Hopped 16 Oz Four Pack Cans (od) (4 pack 16oz cans)

The Lake divides us. The Lake connects us. Citizen Cider is proud to work with the good growers on both sides of mighty Lake Champlain, Vermont and New York. Made entirely with apples and cascade hops from the same landscape,... Read More

Price:   $15.99
Downeast Cider House Original 4pk Cans (s)
Downeast Cider House Original 4pk Cans (s) (4 pack 12oz cans)
Cider Wine 

Inspired by the classic farm-fresh cider New Englanders know and love. Original Blend is the Auerbach to our Celtics, the Satisfaction to our Stones, the Agent K to our Men In Black: our foundation. From its humble beginnings... Read More

Price:   $10.99
Etienne Dupont Pommeau(d) (750)
Etienne Dupont Pommeau(d) (750ml)

Pommeau is a mix of at least one year old Calvados and apple must. The apple must is obtained just after pressing and before fermentation. Calvados and must are mixed with a specific pouring technique. Proportion of Calvados and... Read More

Price:   $22.99


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