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10 U.S. Cideries to discover in 2019

The American cider renaissance is in full swing. What was once lost is being rediscovered and innovative cider makers are elevating cider to places it’s never been before. The number of American cider producers is on the rise. Heirloom and proper cider apples are returning to orchards that were focused on supermarket dessert varieties. Most importantly, consumers are learning that cider doesn’t have to be sickly sweet.

All of this is great news, and I’d go as far to say that the only problem one might find when finding cider in America is deciding where to start. For this reason, I’ve put together a list (in no particular order) of 10 US Cideries to discover in 2019.

Some of big and some are small, but ALL make cider worth drinking.

1. The Cidery for Everyone: Shacksbury – Vergennes, Vermont

 

 

With a tasting room at the cidery in Vergennes, another in Burlington, VT, and fairly wide distribution, Shacksbury may not be the hardest to find, but that doesn’t make them any less worth seeking out. They are doing just about everything right and it shows. Their ciders are complex without being off-putting to non-cider drinkers, but their special releases are a treat for the cider aficionado.

Website: www.shacksbury.com

2. The Cidery for Beer Drinkers: OK Cider Co – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

 

 

OK Cider Co. has been serving up their beer-inspired ciders from their mobile taps at events in and around Oklahoma City for a while now. In 2019, they’ll be opening their taproom. With ciders inspired by American Pale Ales, Saisons, Wits, and more, they’re a great bet for introducing your beer-loving friends to cider.

Website: okciderco.com

3. The Cidery for Wine Drinkers: Wölffer Estate – Sagaponack, New York

 

 

Wölffer Estate is not a cidery, but This modern winery knows a thing or two about fermenting the juice of pressed fruit. While their primary business is wine, their No. 139 line of Red, Rose and White ciders are a great option for wine drinkers looking to branch into cider. UK readers: Don’t let “white cider” scare you away – it’s in reference to the wine style, not the white cider you may be familiar with.

Website: https://www.wolffer.com

4. The Cidery for the Adventurous Palate: Graft – Newburgh, New York

 

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If you enjoy dry, sour ciders (or Gose style beer) and interesting adjuncts, Graft makes the cider for you. They do not have a taproom, but their cider is distributed all over the Northeastern US, In Canada, Japan, and recently the UK. Grafts ciders are not unapproachable, but you’ll want to either enjoy funky, sour and salty cider or at least keep an open mind when trying them!

Website: www.graftcidery.com

5. The Cidery for the Purist: Anxo – Washington, DC

 

 

Anxo (pronounced AHN-choh) proudly uses no adjuncts in their cider – they prefer to let the apples and yeast take the spotlight. Their ciders from complex and clean to rustic Sidra to rosé (made by blending in red-flashed apples). Whether you’re grabbing a pack of their latest collaboration with Tom Oliver or stopping by the Pintxos Bar for a bite and a flight, do not visit the US Capitol without visiting Anxo.

Website: www.anxodc.com

6. The Cidery to Find in the Eastern US: Farnum Hill Cider – Lebanon, New Hampshire

 

 

Poverty Lane Orchards and Farnum Hill Cider is dedicated to using old, heirloom varieties and proper cider apples are grown in their own orchards to craft no-nonsense fine ciders. They can be found in and around New Hampshire and New York, but are definitely worth a visit. Their Dooryard series is made with apples grown at other orchards, but it’s no less enjoyable.

Website: www.povertylaneorchards.com/farnum-hill-ciders

7. The Cidery to Find in the Western US: E. Z. Orchards – Salem, Oregon

us-cider-makers-2019

You won’t find much about E.Z. Orchards Cider online, but that’s all the more reason to find it in person. They have been growing apples for 80 years and focus on French, English, and Early American varieties for their cider. The Pacific Northwest is full of fantastic cideries but this one is definitely worth a visit, especially if your trip lines up with their annual Harvestfest during the month of October.

Website: www.ezorchards.com

8. The Cidery to Find Between the Coasts: Griffin Cider Works – Lakewood, Ohio

 

 

Griffin Cider is close to my heart and close to me geographically. The owner is an Englishman who was dissatisfied with the cider he found upon moving to the US years ago, so he made his own. Griffin now offers many English-style ciders in the cider house, along with a wide selection of gin. If you’re visiting Griffin Cider House, reach out to The Cider Seeker and I’ll meet you for a pint.

Website: www.facebook.com/griffinciderhouse

9. The Cidery to spend a weekend visiting: The Finger Lakes of New York

 

 

The Finger Lakes Region of New York State is packed with beautiful scenery, wineries and cideries. If you’re looking for a weekend trip and want to incorporate cider tastings, look no further. There are enough choices that you won’t be able to fit them all in, but Bellwether Cider, Blackduck Cidery, and The Finger Lakes Cider House/Kite & String Cider are places not to miss.

Website: www.fingerlakesciderhouse.com

10. The Cidery to Watch Grow: Ambrosia Orchard – Hoagland, Indiana

 

 

Ambrosia Orchard just opened and is already making great cider. They’re also investing in their future – they have 500 heirloom and cider variety trees set for delivery this spring, with plans to add even more. Stop by their taproom right outside of Fort Wayne, Indiana now, and stop back again in a few years when the trees begin bearing. It’s great to see apple trees – and those who cultivate them – grow.

Website: www.ambrosiaorchardfw.com

I hope you are able to discover at least one of these cideries in 2019. This is by no means an inclusive list, but it’s a good starting point in the eyes of The Cider Seeker.

 

 

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