Michigan apples patiently waiting to become cider

Cider: An apple a day keeps the doctor away!

I used to be a bit of a beer connoisseur and while I liked beer, it didn't like me. So I switched to hard cider and have sampled over 250 ciders to date, including most local ciders (of which there are many tasty choices). I like supporting orchardists and encouraging more diversity in apple varieties.

The cider industry is growing faster than the craft beer industry ever grew! What kind of cider do you like: dry, medium, or sweet? Apple-y, fruity, herby, or spiced? Need help choosing for yourself or maybe your bar/restaurant? See below and/or just ask!

Here are a few cider resources:

Special Ciders (imho)

Many people have asked me to list my favorite ciders -- ciders that I think are really special -- so I'm finally doing so! When I started drinking cider, I tended towards traditional "apple-y" dry ciders, since I thought they were somehow better... sophisticated, more pure. But there are so many of these ciders that after a while I burned out on them. I've never liked super-sweet ciders, so I've landed in the sometimes dry (but interesting) to semi-sweet range. I especially like complex ciders. Here's a list of what I think are special ciders, highlighting those available in the upper-midwest. Note that I have not tried any Brix Cider yet, but hope to recitify that as soon as Omicron passes.

Love the label on this Milk and Honey cider!


  • Traditional:

  • Fruit:

    • Pineapple, Restoration Cider (WI) -- just the right amount of pineapple.

    • Mango Grapefruit, Loon Juice (MN) -- juicy, easy to like.

    • Still looking for a local rhubarb cider (Lilley's Rhubarb is good, but it's in England).

  • Herb:

    • Lemongrass Lavendar, Hidden Cave Cidery (WI) -- a nice blend of flavors, hopped.

    • South Island Tea, Duluth Cider (MN) -- raspberries, black tea, hopped.

    • Basil Mint, Seattle Cider (WA).

    • Zoso Mojo, Cider House of Wisconsin -- like a Mojito, but better!. Sadly, Cider House closed their doors in 2020 because covid; this was one of my all-time favorite ciders. Meowee Wowee (ginger/lemon) was also delish.

  • Spiced:

  • Wood aged:

    • Banjo, Stem Ciders (CO) -- aged in a whiskey cask, just the right amount of whiskey flavor.

  • Hot:


    • Blood Orange, ACE Cider (CA) -- I dilute it with a dry cider or fizzy water to cut the sweetness.


If this was helpful, please drop me a line!