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Hard cider’s recent rise to popularity




Dunkerton Cider Company employee Jeremy Kent holds a handful of apples at the company orchard near Pembridge, England on October 17, 2011. Long-derided as a fizzy staple of park-dwelling adolescents, cider in Britain has undergone a curious transformation recent years to become a growing favourite of the discerning urban drinker.
Dunkerton Cider Company employee Jeremy Kent holds a handful of apples at the company orchard near Pembridge, England on October 17, 2011. Long-derided as a fizzy staple of park-dwelling adolescents, cider in Britain has undergone a curious transformation recent years to become a growing favourite of the discerning urban drinker.
LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

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These days, the term "frosty brew" doesn't just apply to beer anymore.

Because craft beers are becoming more and more popular among adult beverage aficionados, hard ciders are also skyrocketing in popularity. The explosion of craft beers into the beverage market has made beer-drinkers more willing to try different things. Brands like Woodchuck, Strongbow, and Angry Orchard can be found in grocery stores across the U.S., and many smaller-scale cider-makers are entering the market every year. For many, hard cider is an enjoyable alternative to beer because it has a sweeter taste while still maintaining alcohol levels that are comparable to beer. Hard cider is also gluten free, which makes it appealing to the growing number of people who are removing gluten from their daily diet.

Hard cider is made by grinding down large amounts of apples into what is called pomace. The pomace is then strained and put into either open vats or closed casks for fermentation. The fermentation process generally lasts about three months before the final product is ready for consumption and distribution.

What is your favorite brand of hard cider? Why? Do you think hard cider will ever be as popular as beer among alcoholic beverage-drinkers? What are some other reasons you think hard cider is becoming so popular?

Guests:

Tom Wark, publisher of ‘The Cider Journal,’ which covers cider news, reviews ciders, and provides commentary

Chris Le Mieux, co-owner and cider-maker at See Canyon Hard Cider in San Luis Obispo