According to Nielsen, during the 12 months ending March 31, retail sales of Hard Cider in the U.S were up 85% over the same 12 month period from a year ago. This should confirm that the hard cider boom remains well under way with steam on its heels? So why is cider taking off?
There are myriad reasons ranging from increased promotional investments by large brewers now getting into the cider business to greater exposure to artisan ciders for folks looking for an alternative to beer and wine. But as for why you ought to investigate hard cider if you have not already, here are the top 5 reasons you should be trying artisan cider now.
5. Cider is Gluten-Free
Nearly all ciders are gluten-free, just as is wine. For the growing number of folks choosing to try to live a gluten-free life (I’m not one of them), this fact provides great reason to try Hard Cider.
4. Remarkably Well Suited to Pair With A Meal
The normally abundant acid and notes of astringency due to the apple tannins both found in hard ciders make this drink particularly well suited to pair with a number of dishes. Pork is a traditional accompaniment to hard cider. However, the traditional foods served n the Thanksgiving table (turkey, gravy, stuffing, etc) are perfect for pairing with Hard Cider
3. A Diversity of Styles of Hard Cider Assure There is Something for Everyone
Do you like your alcohol with a sweet note, with bracing acidity, sparkling, chalked full of tannin, citrusy, complex with a little funk, tangy? The various styles of hard cider, many linked to regional styles, means there is a hard cider to please every palate.
2. The Best, Artisan Hard Ciders Are Great Values
The best hard ciders in America will generally cost you less than $20 for a 750ml bottle, and often, they will cost far less. But as demand begins to increase and as the cider apples necessary to produce craft ciders becomes scarce, those prices will go up. Right now great hard ciders are amazing values.
1. The Emphasis on Quality
Not in the past 100+ years has there been such a proliferation of high quality, craft ciders as there is right now. The artisan/craft movement first started by wine and then followed by beer has taught today’s new, young cider producers that quality matters and quality sells. Hence, the current focus on producing high quality ciders today from so many cideries across the the country.