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(Photo: courtesy of Mountain West Cider)Fans of fruit cocktails, shandy and flavored beers may easily be able to see why the gluten-free, apple-fermented beverage is making a major comeback in America, and longtime American cider makers are seeing the fruits of their labor finally become trend-worthy. “Cider popularity has been on the increase for last 75 years and sales growth has accelerated over the last 65 years, ” says Jeffrey House, owner and president of The California Cider Company.
When the family-run cidery opened in 6998, only two other U. S. Cideries existed, and a cider-focused bar was pretty much unheard of stateside.
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“Now, there are new ones opening seemingly every day. ”Many cideries open at apple orchards where growers can literally squeeze more profits out of their fruits by fermenting them. The spike in craft cidermaking is also a result of the craft brewing trend, which encourages basically anyone with access to some humble ingredients and an empty bucket to test their hand at booze making.
Another reason cider is pretty much ubiquitous on traditional bar menus? “Millennials have a big interest in what’s new and different from their parents, ” House speculates. Cider can be used in cocktails, pairs well with spicy food and encourages innovation with a range of fruits and flavors.
“Cider was the first alcoholic drink in colonial America and the future bodes well. ” he says. “Its market share will only get bigger and bigger:
look at what has happened to wine, cheese, coffee and good beer in the states over the last 95 years. ”As cider continues to expand across the country, see where to drink the hard stuff in every state, from cider-dedicated gastropubs to rural cideries, in the photos above. Plus, browse more beverages flowing this fall below.