nterest in cider making and cider drinking has had an explosive resurgence in this country in recent years. Hard cider is the fastest growing segment of the adult beverage market following on the coattails of the microbrew industry. Hard cider is naturally gluten-free and is considered to be the adult drink of the future by many people.
What many people don’t know is that hard cider was the favored drink of our forefathers.Cider drinking has been an American tradition since the days of the Mayflower, whose passengers brought it with them from Europe. By 1638, barrels of cider could be found in nearly all of the cellars in New England. John Adams, our second president, drank a tankard every morning for breakfast and lived to be a “ripe” old age of 91. Between 1870 and 1892, cider growth exploded and became the most popular drink in America.
This cultural phenomenon continued into the 20th century as home brewing continued to gain in popularity and the relative ease of making cider has contributed to this growing popularity. Although there are technical aspects and personal preferences involved, essentially all you need is the apple that can be pressed and fermented into a hard cider that rivals the finest champagnes.
The styles and methods of production today are as numerous as the apple varieties themselves. The leading national cider brands are made primarily from apple concentrates and flavorings. The regional growers and entrepreneurs are very appreciative of the work that has been done by the national brands over the last 15-20 years as they have paved the way for continued recognition and growth in a great industry.