People love hard cider no matter where you go—and it shows.
The alcoholic beverage, which is famous worldwide, especially in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia, has remained a favorite of consumers for over 2,000 years.
Whether you’re new to hard cider or interested in trying out different brands, we rounded out the best six hard ciders on the market right now. Keep reading to learn what they are and what makes them special!
5 Best Hard Ciders on the market
Get to know some of the best hard ciders on the market. These five beverages are all distinct from one another, with refreshing flavors you’re sure to savor.
1. Angry Orchard Crisp Apple
Once you have a bottle of Angry Orchard’s Crisp Apple Hard Cider, you’ll understand why it’s been a top seller in the United States for the last few years!
With a fresh, crisp taste reminiscent of biting into an apple, this hard cider marries the flavors of traditional cider apples with culinary apples. The result is a balanced flavor that’s gently sweet, dry, acidic, and incredibly refreshing, the perfect complement to a cool, crisp day or a warm summer’s night.
It certainly helps that the Walden, New York-brewed cider, is also available in most convenience stores, liquor stores, grocers, and gas stations, including Walmart, Target, and Walgreens. So, it’s just as easy to find as it is to enjoy!
Apple Crisp wins the award for the hard cider company’s top flavor and earns the No. 1 spot on our list. But if apple isn’t your flavor of choice, you can try another of Angry Orchard’s hard ciders like peach mango, strawberry, or rosé.
- ABV: 5%
- Flavor palette: fresh and sweet with a lingering finish
- Pros: gluten-free; available year-round; sold at many grocers, liquor stores, gas stations, and convenience stores
2. Wölffer No. 139 Dry Rosé, Cider
Sweet and playful, the taste of Wölffer No. 139 Dry Rosé, Cider perfectly encapsulates the feel of a summer evening in The Hamptons—which is precisely what inspired the Bridgehampton, New York-produced hard cider.
The color of this drink is bright blush pink with a purplish hue, a color that celebrates the summer sunsets seen across the Hampton beaches. They achieve the signature color and fruity flavor by using six different apples, all of which are grown in New York State.
Wölffer No. 139 Dry Rose Cider is the perfect hard cider to pair with cheese, salad, grilled meats, seafood, and vegetables, as well as fruity or tart pastries. Conveniently, it’s also available year-round and sold nationally.
- ABV: 6.9%
- Flavor palette: crisp, fruity, dry, sweet
- Pros: gluten-free; apples are locally sourced; available year-round
3. Blake’s Triple Jam Hard Cider
Blake’s Triple Jam Hard Cider shines a spotlight on a delicious trifecta of berries: strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries. Refreshingly fruity yet semi-sweet, it’s made using all-natural ingredients grown on Blake Farms, a farm in Armada, Michigan, founded by the Blake Family in 1946.
More than seven decades later, the family farm spans 800 acres and includes an orchard, tasting room, and hard cider production facility.
Because the berries are grown and made into cider on the same property, Blake’s hard cider fans can visit the Blake Farm themselves and truly make a day of the experience!
The only downside to Blake’s Triple Jam Hard Cider is that it isn’t available nationally—at least not yet. Fortunately, the company sells the cider in about half the U.S., including Minnesota.
- ABV: 6.5%
- Flavor palette: fruity, semi-sweet
- Pros: all-natural ingredients, gluten-free
4. Austin Eastciders’ Spiced Cider
If you’re on the hunt for a hard cider to warm your belly, you’ll want to cozy up with a can or two of Austin Eastciders’ Spiced Cider. With a flavor that calls on fall spices, celebrating cinnamon, cardamon, and clove, this cider is sweet and satisfyingly spicy with a smooth finish.
Made from a blend of European bittersweet apples, American dessert apples, and seven spices, you can enjoy this delicious cider with dinner, dessert, or a snack. The drink is naturally flavored, appealing to many, and free of artificial sweeteners.
Austin Eastciders’ Spiced Cider is brewed in Austin, Texas, and is available nationally at department store chains, including Target.
- ABV: 5%
- Flavor palette: cinnamon, cardamom, and clove; sweet, crisp, and slightly spicy
- Pros: made with real fruit, no artificial sweeteners, gluten-free,
5. Samuel Smith’s Organic Cider
Suppose you’re looking for something light, fruity, and refreshing. In that case, you’ll want to try Samuel Smith’s Organic Cider. It’s made with five simple ingredients and has a crisp, clean apple flavor and apple blossom finish, which truly allows the fruit to shine.
Samuel Smith’s Organic Cider is produced at a small independent brewery known as the oldest brewery in Yorkshire, England, but fortunately, the hard cider is available in most U.S. states. It’s vegetarian and registered with the vegan society, so it’s vegan, making it an excellent option for everyone.
- ABV: 5%
- Flavor palette: fresh, light; apple, apple blossom
- Pros: vegetarian and vegan, gluten-free
Flavors For Everyone
Invented by none other than the ancient Greeks, there are many reasons why people enjoy making, selling, and drinking it, and have for so many years. The flavor is one of them.
In the United States, hard cider is associated primarily with apples and the fall season, but the adult drink can be made using any combination of different fruits. Some of the many fruits that can be used are:
- berries, i.e., blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, and strawberries
- black currant
Hard cider is also a common ingredient used to make other cocktails, like this hard cider ice cream float. (Yum!)
With so many flavors, you’ll definitely find a few tasty combinations you’ll love.
Pro Tip: Storing and Serving Hard Cider
Hard cider doesn’t need to be refrigerated before opening to ensure the best taste; it should be stored in a cool, dark, and dry place. Hard ciders will last in a bottle for up to two years.
Though the ideal temperature to serve hard cider typically sits between 50- to 55 degrees Fahrenheit, it can vary for different brands. Check the outside of the box, can, or bottle for instructions, or refer to the brand’s website.
Hard cider is best served chilled, not ice-cold, and not warm. Ice isn’t added to cider because it dilutes the flavor. Once opened, it can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.
Hard Cider As A Way To Use Apples
Apples are the primary fruit used to make hard cider and essentially make up the drink’s origin story.
Contrary to popular belief, not all apples are sweet and juicy, some are small and bitter.
In Colonial America, the climate conditions weren’t ideal for growing products like barley to make beer or grapes to make wine. Apple trees were prevalent, which was another reason for their popularity.
Because hard cider is a bubbly, boozy beverage, it was also a safer alternative to drinking much of the water available then, which contained harmful bacteria.
Back then, the average American drank 36 gallons of hard cider a year, or slightly more than 1.5 cups a day! There was even a version of hard cider made for children that contained less alcohol, known as “applekin.”
Hard cider became popular with consumers again in the 1990s and has steadily gained fans over the years. Together with hard seltzers, the adult beverage saw a resurgence during the pandemic, and its popularity is only expected to rise.
Let Loose or Wind Down With Hard Cider
Try one of these six top-rated hard ciders when you’re not in the mood for beer or wine! Light, crisp, and flavorful, you can experiment with an array of fruit combinations and try out ciders made from fruits grown locally to you.
Or you can make cider at home from the ground up!
Our page on Apple Trees covers everything you need to know about growing your apple trees at home, from grafting to fertilizers, pruning, apple-picking baskets, and more—along with information on 94 different apple tree varieties!
Friday 31st of March 2023
"Allowing the apples to ferment made them sweeter and more enjoyable."
Well, you got 50% of that statement correct. While fermenting did make the hard, bitter, wild apple more enjoyable, it certainly didn't make it sweeter. Quite the opposite. The microorganisms that ferment apples eat the sugar and produce ethanol (the stuff that gets us tipsy) as a byproduct. This process literally removes sugar from apples, making them *less* sweet.
Friday 31st of March 2023
Not sure how this got mixed up; thanks for taking a minute to point this out. Fixed!