So you’re in the beer aisle of your local grocery store, and you’re looking for a break from the dense, rich beers that are so abundant this time of year. You’re looking for something a little brighter and lighter to drink this evening, something bubbly that pairs well with the blustery, frosty nights of November.
Cider, you think.
But don’t be fooled by the plethora of large-scale production ciders available at most grocery stores, said Drew Wilson, co-owner of Bend-based Red Tank Cider Co.
“The ones made by large conglomerates are usually made from concentrate, which generally means the concentrate gets imported from China,” Wilson said.
In addition, many of these ciders are flavored and contain preservatives that affect the flavor.
“Stick with the ciders using fresh, fresh juice,” Wilson said. “Stay away from those that use sorbates.”
Whole Foods has one of the best cider selections in town. Based on Wilson’s suggestions, here’s a roundup of ciders (you know, other than Red Tank’s tasty Happy Cider) that are good, but won’t leave you with a bad, lingering aftertaste.
1. Tieton Cider Works’ Cherry Cider: Based in Yakima, Wash., Tieton delivers a crisp and tangy cider infused with a bright cherry flavor.
2. Finnriver Farm & Cidery’s Fresh Hopped Hard Cider: Made by a cidery in Chimacum, Wash., this is a unique 6.5 ABV hard cider made with heirloom and organic dessert apples blended with organic Cascade hops.
3. J.K.’s Northern Neighbor: Using a mix of Michigan apples and Canadian prairie apples, this cider hails from Flushing, Mich., and given the long tradition of this cidery, represents a very authentic cider experience.
4. Wandering Aengus Ciderworks’s Anthem Cider: “The foundation of all anthems” boasts the website of their classic cider. Semi-dry and with a medium degree of tartness, this cidery based in Salem uses only Pacific Northwest-sourced fruit for its ciders.
5. 2 Towns Ciderhouse’s The Bad Apple: Corvallis’ 2 Towns Ciderhouse makes this rich, bold and strong cider, which comes in at 10.5 percent ABV. The cider, which is made using local fruit, is aged on brandy-cured Oregon white oak.
— Megan Kehoe