Weekend Trips for the Cider Lover
Plan your hard cider vacation with these must-do cidery tours, festivals and cider pubs.
Photo By: Capitol Cider
Photo By: Shacksbury Cider
Photo By: Finger Lakes Cider House
Photo By: Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider
Photo By: Black Mountain Ciderworks and Meadery
Photo By: Downeast Cider House
Photo By: Tilted Shed Ciderworks
Photo By: Bloomberg / Contributor
Photo By: Bad Seed Cider Company
Photo By: Republic MPLS
Not to be outdone, Capitol Cider, the city’s first cider bar, boasts 20 ciders on tap and more than 150 bottles from both the region and the world. Schilling Hard Cider does one better, claiming to offer the largest draft cider selection in the country with 32 ciders on tap. It also sells more than 300 bottles of craft cider. Schilling makes its own cider too; its high-demand Chaider (chai-spiced hard cider) is only on tap between November and January. If that’s not enough, cider-making classes are available one weekend a month.
Lake Champlain, Vermont
Champlain Orchards Cidery uses apples from its own orchard, and many of its ciders—Ginger & Spice, Honeycrisp—have won awards. You can stop by for a tour and tasting, or try Champlain and other area cideries during Vermont Cider Week.
Finger Lakes, New York
A few hours away in Bend, a number of craft cideries have set up camp among a plethora of established breweries. Atlas Cider Co. was the first and one of the best known; its flavor comes from the fresh-pressed apples used to make an all-natural product. Its new taproom hosts live music and offers arcade games. To cover the most cider ground, the Cider Rite of Spring festival in Portland features the best ciders in the Northwest, while Cider Summit PDX highlights the best artisanal ciders from around the world.
Asheville, North Carolina
Black Mountain Ciderworks + Meadery is among the handful of cideries along the Asheville Ale Trail. Stop by the taproom of this small-batch cidery (and meadery) to imbibe ciders made with Southern apples. Asheville also plays host to CiderFest NC, which features 20 hard cider makers from across the state and country.
Hudson Valley, New York
Newcomer Nine Pin Cider Works creates dry and experimental ciders using locally sourced apples, and offers a tasting room. Bad Seed Cider Company is another relative newcomer. You can tour its factory in addition to exploring dry ciders in its tap room. If possible, detour to NYC for Wassail, the city’s first bar devoted to hard cider (and apple-related drinks). It also holds regular events such as monthly meetups for amateur cider makers. Descendant Cider Company, based in Queens, is one of the only hard cider makers in the city, and its apples are sourced from no other than the Hudson Valley.