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JBroida
05-11-2011, 05:15 AM
This may be blasphemy to some, but recently i've had a craving for good hard cider... maybe its because summer is coming soon... who knows.

Anyways, i've always liked woodchuck, hornsby's, and strongbow and i even used to brew my own (which i am honestly considering doing again). Anyways, i was just wondering if any of you guys out there like cider and what your favorites are. The beer thread got me thinking about it and its clear to me that some of you are even crazier than i am when it comes to these things ;)

So who's into cider and what are some of your favorites?

EdipisReks
05-11-2011, 05:45 AM
Normandy ciders are my favorite. they tend to be quite dry, though.

apicius9
05-11-2011, 06:20 AM
Interesting variation. I have no clue about the ciders in the US. I grew up in a village where everybody made their own variation of apple cider (Apfelwein - apple wine in German, slightly stronger than the French Cidres) in their basement because most people had at least one apple tree. I remember that there was a guy coming around with a mobile press in season, so you could have your own apples pressed to juice and then start your bottles. When he retired, there were a few larger presses in the villages around us where you just brought your apples and traded them for cases of apple wine or apple juice. Not the same thing, unfortunately, as using your own apples because depending on the apple varieties, they all tasted slightly different. For us as teens that was the cheapest alcoholic beverage we could get (legal drinking age is 16). The familiy of a friend had a huge orchard and made at least 100 gallons per season, we had to work hard over the winter to go through that ;) O.k., not helpful, but the question stirred up old memories...

Stefan

Craig
05-11-2011, 03:47 PM
Waupoos is probably the best cider made in Ontario.

ajhuff
05-11-2011, 07:52 PM
Another cider fan, though I've only had the three you mentioned Jon.

-AJ

Dave Martell
05-11-2011, 08:00 PM
I never got into ciders although I managed to use a Snakebite for hair of the dog purposes often while stationed in England.

Noodle Soup
05-11-2011, 09:04 PM
I make my own, on a good apple year 10 to 15 gallons, but the Normandy and Spanish Basque versions are better. Wish I had more real cider apple trees. The French ones I planted have never produced that well. Maybe someday.

deker
05-12-2011, 10:39 PM
I used to brew my own as well. I suggest you start again! I've just started my first batch of mead since that's something else I like. At the moment I'm enjoying a Cyser (mead made using cider rather than water).

As to other commercial ciders to try:;

- Cider Jack (if you like them more on the sweet side)
- HardCore Crisp Cider (light, crisp, great on a summer night)
- Ace Pear Cider (ok, not Apple, but really good)
- Woodpecker (along the line of Strongbow, but a hair less dry)
- Woodchuck Granny Smith (tart, bright, and tasty)

-d

JBroida
05-13-2011, 12:03 AM
yeah... i think the brew my own is calling to me pretty strong right now

i've had the ace pear cider and woodchuck granny smith before now that i think about it... those were pretty damn tasty. I think i need to go and "taste test" a few before i start brewing my own again ;)

wenus2
05-13-2011, 12:58 AM
I think Venice is getting to you already Jon. :EDance2:

J/K, I've had some good ones. I generally stay away though as most are too sweet.

I'm currently on a Russian Imperial Stout kick, so that's pretty far from hard cider. I'm cyclic though :rofl:

I say make you own, esp. if you already know how. I really enjoy making my own beer nowadays. It's like anything I guess, it tastes better mixed with a sense of accomplishment.

WildBoar
05-13-2011, 12:57 PM
Cider is like drinking cool-aid. Too easy to gun down 2-3 real quick before settling in to a more reasonable pace. I seem to remember having, uhm, a few on New Years Eve a few years back :oops:

I like Woodchuck (regular and Granny Smith), but have never tried a brand I did not down like it was gatoraid

EdipisReks
05-13-2011, 04:11 PM
Cider is like drinking cool-aid. Too easy to gun down 2-3 real quick before settling in to a more reasonable pace. I seem to remember having, uhm, a few on New Years Eve a few years back :oops:

I like Woodchuck (regular and Granny Smith), but have never tried a brand I did not down like it was gatoraid

sounds like you need to try some drier ciders. i personally want to try some of Frank Naish's cider, from Somerset (or any other Somerset cider, really), but i've never found it locally, even at places that have large selections of everything else (http://www.thepartysource.com/).

JBroida
05-13-2011, 08:39 PM
ok guys... i am going to pick up some ciders tonight to "taste test" before i start brewing my own again...
woodchuck dark & dry and woodchuck granny smith

i wanted to try ace but they were sold out

i also have 3 kinds of raw apple juice to taste... should be an interesting night ;)

EdipisReks
05-13-2011, 08:41 PM
heh, i'm drinking a Woodchuck Granny Smith right now. best cider within a 5 minute walk of my apartment. sounds like you're going to have fun, Jon. :)

JBroida
05-13-2011, 08:47 PM
i also was considering pear cider, but that will have to wait until tomorrow or sunday ;)

EdipisReks
05-13-2011, 08:49 PM
good call, i've seen people get pretty soused on perry, and it's never fun ;)

sudsy9977
05-13-2011, 08:52 PM
ok so call me stupid i guess....does hard cider taste like apple cider?.....just with an alchoholic percentage?.....or does it tatse like a cider beer?.....and how do u make your own?......ryan

EdipisReks
05-13-2011, 09:08 PM
what is "cider beer?"

JBroida
05-13-2011, 09:24 PM
what is "cider beer?"

apple cider pretty much apple beer... this is an oversimplification, but its pretty much like this:
take raw apple juice
add yeast
ferment
bottle
age
drink

you can think of it like an apple ale

EdipisReks
05-13-2011, 09:24 PM
huh

sudsy9977
05-13-2011, 10:23 PM
when i said cider beer maybe i said the wrong term....i was recently in scotland and they had what they called cider beers....it tasted like a sweet type of beer.....mild fruity taste....nothing like apple cider.....it might be called something else here though.....

thanks jon....so u got a recipe...i love apple cider and would love to make some home brew.....i have an orchard by me that makes great cider.....ryan

JBroida
05-13-2011, 10:31 PM
when i said cider beer maybe i said the wrong term....i was recently in scotland and they had what they called cider beers....it tasted like a sweet type of beer.....mild fruity taste....nothing like apple cider.....it might be called something else here though.....

thanks jon....so u got a recipe...i love apple cider and would love to make some home brew.....i have an orchard by me that makes great cider.....ryan


i've got some recipes kicking around here somewhere, but there are a ton online. The biggest things that make a difference in my experience are the kind of apples and the type of yeast. Find good apples and a good yeast that works in the conditions you have and you're golden. The rest is just playing around with it a bit to tweak. In college, i used to use different types of champagne yeast and that worked well.

wenus2
05-14-2011, 01:38 PM
Your local home brew store will fix you up real quick like. They will also have diffferent strains of yeast on hand and should be able to provide suggestions to suite your particular target product. Some yeast will create a more dry product, some may be more/less acidic, etc.
There's a small initial investment, but then you're rockin and rollin.
It's actually quite easy to do. Bottling is a PITA though.

JBroida
05-14-2011, 01:44 PM
yeah... bottling sucks

Pensacola Tiger
05-14-2011, 04:44 PM
Are you guys enablers, or what? After reading this thread, I found myself picking up a six-pack of Woodchuck Granny Smith, and now the five bottles are in my fridge. Uhm, make that four...

JBroida
05-14-2011, 06:23 PM
so easy to drink, no?

I picked up some Ace Perry cider (pear/apple mix) too... i'm going to try it tonight

sudsy9977
05-15-2011, 09:39 PM
local home brew store?....do people actually have those?...where the heck do u guys live!....ryan

SpikeC
05-15-2011, 10:06 PM
Gotta couple of here in PDX

JBroida
05-15-2011, 10:21 PM
a bunch here in LA and when i lived in colorado there were even more around

l r harner
05-16-2011, 12:01 AM
i have 2 inside of 30 miles trip
but there is a little irish pub that has mangers SP? and a 1/2 and 1/2 blackvelvetine is jsut killer

i remember as a kid drinking cider that might have been a bit past normal life and mom wandered whay we were all being soo good but boy if it was let tooo long the vinegar was a bit much

JBroida
05-19-2011, 03:12 AM
oh.. woodchuck limited release spring hard cider = awesome!!!!!!!!

Apple cider + maple + brown sugar

Makes me want to eat pork ribs

wenus2
05-20-2011, 07:23 AM
mmmmhhhhhmmmmm... rrrriiiiibbbbsssss :hungry:

I'll have to see if I can find that one Jon. I can't believe you namby pambies have got me talked into buying cider... the insanity.:eek2:

JBroida
05-20-2011, 07:29 AM
just think of it like this... its easy to drink, so you should drink more ;)

Pensacola Tiger
05-20-2011, 04:20 PM
just think of it like this... its easy to drink, so you should drink more ;)

I worked my way through the Granny Smith, then the Amber and now I'm working on the 802. Each one is different, a but I think I like the Amber best.

JBroida
05-20-2011, 04:21 PM
802 is pretty nice though

wenus2
05-25-2011, 06:31 AM
I think I like the Amber best.

Purchased this today, it was warm off the shelf... so I will get into it tomorrow.

:beer:

Chef Doom
05-23-2014, 10:40 PM
I'm reviving this thread since I recently got into ciders and I'm enjoying the journey. Plus ciders have increased in variety lately in my perspective, so I've been trying everything I can get my hands on.

Current favorites are:

Finnriver
Angry Orchird Cider House Collection
J.K. Skrumpy
Woodchucks limited additions seem to be pretty tasty.
A weak 2% cider that makes me feel like a child with a babies still developing liver by the name of Etienne Dupont Cidre Bouché Brut de Normandie

Nothing yells patriot like I nice glass of cider my friends.

JBroida
05-23-2014, 10:53 PM
alright... i'm going to pick up some interesting ones for the next time we hang out... UFC and cider

Chef Doom
05-23-2014, 11:14 PM
Awesome, sounds like a plan. I'm game anytime you aren't too busy at the shop. I'm going to bring you a menu from Hambones when I'm in the area.

sachem allison
05-24-2014, 02:18 AM
try angry orchard,a great cider
oh.. woodchuck limited release spring hard cider = awesome!!!!!!!!

Apple cider + maple + brown sugar

Makes me want to eat pork ribs

Chef Doom
05-24-2014, 01:36 PM
Which Angry Orchid variety do you like Sachem?

Bitter
05-24-2014, 03:28 PM
Dickens is not bad.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xfzxesxk_Yo

MowgFace
05-24-2014, 04:59 PM
Magnars and Bulmers


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Umberto
05-24-2014, 05:30 PM
I would homebrew the cider. Most of the homebrew cider will taste just like the commercial stuff you see like Hornsby or any of the other brands. Pretty much most cider is crap, it's just apple juice fermented. It's refreshing and crisp but it's not that great.

Try a good french cider, they are mostly not pasteurized or filtered and taste very tart and dry. They use fresh pressed apples and blend them with different varieties to have the right amount of sweetness and acidity. There is a night an day difference between good natural cider and the crap you find at supermarkets. Most of these newer ciders are just trying to cash in on the craft beer craze with more attention to marketing than craft.

Etienne Dupont is probably the nicest most pure example of cider you can get from high end bottle shops or restaurants. Give it a try.

For homebrew cider just be sure to use good quality juice. If you buy gallon jugs of premium organic pressed stuff a 5 gallon batch will cost you about 60$ to make with yeast. Regular champagne yeast works good. If you are feeling experimental try using a Saison Ale yeast but make sure you can have it ferment at a warmer temp.

bear1889
05-24-2014, 07:59 PM
Ace joker
Oaken Barrel Apple Buzz (apple beer but not what you think, very different, not cider but not apple flavored beer like ephemiris from Uni-Brou) comes out once a year (last time gone in a week) I usually buy two cases.
Gales Hard Cider, definitely throw a rat in the vat English Style hard cider

sachem allison
05-24-2014, 08:20 PM
Which Angry Orchid variety do you like Sachem?

not the one with cinnamon. crisp apple , strawman or iceman http://media2.onsugar.com/files/2013/10/10/031/n/1922195/05ae98faebeefc7e_Angry-Orchard-Ciders.preview_tall.jpg

Umberto
05-25-2014, 03:23 AM
Ace is pretty processed stuff. They just use the Sebastapol California apple heritage as marketing. Nothing great about the product. It's just as good as homebrew cider. There is absolutely no point to aging a cider in bourbon barrels. The entire premise of drinking fermented cider is to taste apples. Spirits barrels ruin cider. It's just a stupid trend amongst the so called craft beer community to charge more for something.

A pure cider is nothing more than fresh pressed apples with varying acidity and sugar content. A cultured yeast is added for shelf life and stability that's it...Less is more with good cider. But most cider in the US is produced for commercial interests and not all interested in quality of fruit.

mkriggen
05-25-2014, 04:02 AM
try angry orchard,a great cider

I'm sitting here enjoying an Angry Orchard right now, good stuff. I think I still prefer Strongbow, but it's been years so it may be a case of memory tasting better then the actual cider:scratchhead:

Be well,
Mikey

WillC
05-25-2014, 06:22 AM
Herefordshire is famous for Cider, , round here we've always drank it ;)
This is my local place and the best in Herefordshire, people come a long way to visit Broome farm and learn about cider, Mike does a great tasting session in the cellar. You can order a box online if you wana try some. The cider festival is in september, i normally help out so I get in for free.
http://www.rosscider.com

Chef Doom
05-25-2014, 06:23 AM
Magnars and Bulmers

I keep passing up Magnars for some reason. I've never seen Bulmers in any store.

That's what I'm talking about sachem. Those two Angry Orchids are good. They are under the Cider House Collection.They have a 3rd under that collection called Muse that I just picked up. Can't wait to try it.

Ace blows, and not in a way that would allow me to get a good nights rest. The standard Ace, Woodchuck, and Angry Orchird single bottles tend to be borderline wine coolers unfortunately. You got to get their seasonal and limited additions to get anything decent. I'm going to take Jon's advice and pick up the Spring Season since it's available.

Chef Doom
05-25-2014, 06:24 AM
Ace is pretty processed stuff. They just use the Sebastapol California apple heritage as marketing. Nothing great about the product. It's just as good as homebrew cider. There is absolutely no point to aging a cider in bourbon barrels. The entire premise of drinking fermented cider is to taste apples. Spirits barrels ruin cider. It's just a stupid trend amongst the so called craft beer community to charge more for something.

A pure cider is nothing more than fresh pressed apples with varying acidity and sugar content. A cultured yeast is added for shelf life and stability that's it...Less is more with good cider. But most cider in the US is produced for commercial interests and not all interested in quality of fruit.

So what brands would you recommend here in the States?

WillC
05-25-2014, 06:39 AM
Totally disagree about ageing in barrels, you need to try a good rum/whiskey barrel cider, its just another technique that can work with the flavour. Its not really about ageing it very long, just taking on a little flavour from the barrel.

Chef Doom
05-25-2014, 06:41 AM
Herefordshire is famous for Cider, , round here we've always drank it ;)
This is my local place and the best in Herefordshire, people come a long way to visit Broome farm and learn about cider, Mike does a great tasting session in the cellar. You can order a box online if you wana try some. The cider festival is in september, i normally help out so I get in for free.
http://www.rosscider.com

Damn you and your snobish high class elitist European ways. You posted that website knowing very well they don't deliver outside the UK. I despise you in every way imaginable that one person can despise a total stranger they never met that dangled a nice juicy carrot in front of their nose that is in reality a child's toy.

To make amends, you must bring this cider with you the next time you come to the states for all of us in California to try. Obviously the other 49 states do not matter in the least.:biggrin:

WillC
05-25-2014, 07:00 AM
Lol, I only just noticed they don't mention international delivery, I just sent them an email suggesting they set something up for the bottled stuff. See what they say.
A random connection to the farm, bit nearer for you Canada, Kate is a regular at broome farm and comes over to make help and learn how to make cider, this is her company, I bet its good stuff!
http://www.leftfieldcider.com

WillC
05-25-2014, 07:28 AM
Just spoke to Mike and he said they have difficulty sending stuff to the States on a commercial basis. However he said that they have a yearly order with Shelton Brothers, and will be sending more this year. So you can put in a request with them,
Broome farm stuff is marketed under Ross cider and perry company.
http://www.sheltonbrothers.com/cider-and-perry-update/

bear1889
05-25-2014, 12:04 PM
I like Ace Joker because it was the driest I have tasted US Made. So if you can recommend a dry cider that's good I'm all ears!

Chef Doom
05-25-2014, 01:28 PM
Lol, I only just noticed they don't mention international delivery, I just sent them an email suggesting they set something up for the bottled stuff. See what they say.
A random connection to the farm, bit nearer for you Canada, Kate is a regular at broome farm and comes over to make help and learn how to make cider, this is her company, I bet its good stuff!
http://www.leftfieldcider.com

I see. All is forgiven then.

Chef Doom
05-25-2014, 01:41 PM
I like Ace Joker because it was the driest I have tasted US Made. So if you can recommend a dry cider that's good I'm all ears!

I have not tried Ace Joker yet. I don't like dry cider myself, but I will give it a swig and compare it to the Strawman by AO which is pretty dry.

Strongbow is a good universal cider for parties. I seen people who prefer beer and do not like the sweetness of ciders give an approving nod to Strongbow. It wouldn't be my first choice though.

I don't won't to sign off on what sachem said earlier, but unfortunately much of what he said is true. I've read articles where companies have admitted that the orchards in their area are not enough for mass production, so they outsource their apple juice to other places that are already anchored in the market. The apples they grow are used to make cider for local consumption or processed for limited editions. There is probably great cider in Washington state that you will never try unless you go visit those specific orchards in Washington.

Timthebeaver
05-25-2014, 03:05 PM
Surprised there is so much love for Strongbow here, I'd class it as the lowest common denominator of cider. Living in Somerset means I am perhaps a little spoiled though.

A friend of mine lives next door to a Welsh producer, Gwynt y Ddraig* - their Farmhouse cider is pretty good.

Translated: "Dragon's breath"

Umberto
05-26-2014, 04:40 PM
Cider is cider. If you want to drink a barrel aged apple product man up and buy some aged Calvados. Domaine Dupont makes real cider, all that Magnars, Ace, Angry Orchard stuff is produced in highly processed ways. Dupont uses the finest estate apples and blends them with utmost care, not pasteurized nor filtered, dry, tart sweet and complex no bs or marketing just good product with a history for doing stuff right...

Sorry to come off as snobbish. But I'm quite snobbish when it comes to companies who would rather push product than craft. Anybody can make labels these days and call themselves an craft producer. But they seem to forget that being a craft beverage marker requires terroir.

Timthebeaver
05-26-2014, 05:19 PM
Cider is cider.

Believe me, that's just not true here in the West Country!

Magners is garbage.

WillC
05-26-2014, 05:22 PM
Ill stick to my whiskey barrel, kingston black cheers. Calvados makes me argumentative.:D

WillC
05-26-2014, 05:58 PM
Just because......
"Im drop to barrow gurney, for see me brother Ernie".
Sing along you know the words.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ud2F_K546qg

WarrenB
05-26-2014, 06:01 PM
Just because......
"Im drop to barrow gurney, to see me brother Ernie".
Sing along you know the words.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ud2F_K546qg

I was thinking of that song reading this thread:doublethumbsup:

Scrap
05-28-2014, 01:34 AM
There's a few brewed at an apple orchard in my home town they sell more like a sparkling wine than a beer, though they have a variant with multiple types of hops they grow on site, as well as a few other varieties. I've only tried a few others but those stand out as my favorites, maybe because they aren't so sweet. The orchards name is windy hill, but I can't recall if they brand their cider as anything else..

Zwiefel
05-28-2014, 04:49 PM
There's a few brewed at an apple orchard in my home town they sell more like a sparkling wine than a beer, though they have a variant with multiple types of hops they grow on site, as well as a few other varieties. I've only tried a few others but those stand out as my favorites, maybe because they aren't so sweet. The orchards name is windy hill, but I can't recall if they brand their cider as anything else..

they put hops in their cider?

Scrap
05-28-2014, 04:51 PM
they put hops in their cider?

Yes, three varieties if I remember correctly. That's only one of the 4 or 5 ish they make

Zwiefel
05-28-2014, 04:54 PM
Yes, three varieties if I remember correctly. That's only one of the 4 or 5 ish they make


Did some digging on Google...apparently this is a thing now...never heard of, nor expected it, before. And I'm a former assistant brewmaster for the first local brewery. Interesting....I must seek this out.

Chef Doom
05-30-2014, 10:23 PM
There a quite a few brands that have a hops as part of the process. Part of it is simple curiosity and experimentation, part of it is to appeal to more beer drinkers.I say, if you don't like cider, then you just don't like cider.

Adirondack
05-30-2014, 11:34 PM
I like Samuel Smith's Organic Cider from England. Fox Barrel in CA makes some interesting pear cider. Lots of options at my local liquor store - some good, some not so much.

I used to brew my own beer when I lived in apple country (central NY). A guy I knew and I bought 3 50 gallon whiskey barrels and 150 gallons of local cider. I ended up with 50 gallons of pretty good hard cider but couldn't bottle it all. I would put 5 gallons out on three consecutive -10 degree nights and skim the ice off in the morning. Was left with some tasty apple jack. Took some of that over to a chemistry major who had a kitchen still and made what I called "apple essence" - high octane with a whiff of apple.