Cider often gets overlooked by craft-beer lovers, but it’s time that changed. Just like the many products coming from Colorado’s brewers, ciders can be made with a wide variety of ingredients — from habanero chiles to spices like coriander — to result in a unique beverage. For beer drinkers hesitant to give fruit-based brews a try, here are seven local ciders that might change your mind.
Colorado Cider Company
2650 West Second Avenue
Grasshop-ah augments its apple base with a light dose of hops, resulting in a citrusy lemongrass flavor. Aromas are similar to lemon zest and cut grass, and the ABV comes in at 6.5 percent. It’s available in cans, 22-ounce bottles, and four-packs of twelve-ounce bottles. And since the hops harvest season is upon us, Colorado Cider Co. is launching Freshhop-ah, a fresh-hopped version of the original that will be available around the state in limited quantities.
2811 Walnut Street
Hopped Apple Cider is dry-hopped with Cascade and Citra hops. Apple is still the prominent flavor, but the floral and citrus notes blend in well, just like what you’d expect to find in your favorite beers. Stem suggests pairing this craft beverage with Mexican food.
C Squared Ciders
2785 Blake Street
C Squared produces a lineup of well-made ciders with various levels of dryness and sweetness. The cidery refers to Ella as an India Pale Cider with a medium-dry taste. It’s mildly bitter, as you’d expect with a pale ale or IPA, and goes great with the food menu at the Rackhouse, located on the mezzanine above the cider production facility.
Summit Hard Cider & Perry
215 North College Avenue, Fort Collins
Summit is a Fort Collins-based cidery producing ciders with no added sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. Beer lovers can appreciate the same chocolaty notes that are often found in dark beer, along with flavors of tart cherry in this unusual drink. Just look for the tipsy hedgehog on Summit’s labels and you’ll know you found the right cider.
11455 County Road 17, Firestone
Wild Cider is known for classic ciders and fruit-infused varieties, with pineapple, lemon and pumpkin among the offerings. But Bee Hoppy skips the added extra fruit and opts for hops instead, dry-hopping the finished cider to give it citrus undertones. This one is also finished with a kiss of honey.
Citrabar (Hopped Handlebar)
The Old Mine
500 Briggs Street, Erie
The Old Mine in Erie is a great spot for beer lovers, since the taproom offers “Cybeergs” – cider/beer fusions that include Somehow Peachy, a mix of IPA and cider; Colorado Snakebite, Left Hand Milk Stout and cider; and Mitch’s Summer Mustache, a blend of Dry Dock Apricot Blonde and cider. In addition to cider on tap, the Old Mine serves guest beers on tap from local and national brewers, including Lagunitas Brewing Company, Melvin Brewing and Left Hand Brewing. The Citrabar is the Old Mine’s classic flagship hard cider, Handlebar, but with a hoppy flair for bitter/sweet balance.
Dry Hopped Ginger
St. Vrain Cidery
350 Terry Street, Longmont
This Longmont cidery offers more than 26 ciders on tap, both housemade and brought in from other Colorado producers. Dry Hopped Ginger is infused with Mosaic hops, resulting in enticing aromas far beyond apple. Zingy ginger keeps the cider lively on the palate.