CiderScene: Finding our TaglineJune 16, 2018
PA Cider Fest 2018June 22, 2018
[no_toc]If you have recently been to a liquor store like I have, you are filled with the joys of endless possibility. But with these choices comes the crippling inability to pick something, similar to selecting a show on Netflix. Sure, you want to try something new, but you are purely inundated with options. In your fearful scurry, you pick an ole reliable option, never venturing into the depth of new experience.
These pains I understand, truly. I do, however, have a guide to making your cider selecting troubles go down the drain! I am going to give you a few ways to attack the cider aisle head on and get a new unexplored cider in your cart. Here are a few ways to pick cider at the liquor store.
Hard Cider Flavor Styles
You got taste buds, right? What type of drinks do you normally drink? Do you like IPA’s? Go with a hopped cider. Do you hoard the blueberries in the fridge at home? You should try a blueberry or berry cider.
I like to drink darker, heavier drinks in the winter, but prefer drier or sweeter ciders in the summer. Think of what you want to taste, what you are feeling this season, and how sweet you think it will be based off ingredients or added ingredients. A quite bit of research on the phone should give you some extra details if needed.
This will not apply to everyone, but I like the taste of funky, funky, funk town. Find a cider that advertises its funky, punchy qualities. Usually, these ciders point out their unique yeasts, funky flavor, or sour notes.
Graft cider & 101 Cider House are two quick examples of ciders that offer funky options. The best part of this type of cider is that most people won’t venture into the space without a helping hand. I say try it now! If you don’t like the funk, you can now mark it off the list and move on and find your next favorite cider.
Price is Right
Being a poor college student or a penny-pinching 30-something can make drinking on a budget difficult. I say you go to the cider section and buy the best bang-for-your-buck product. This can mean they are local, a large company, or on sale. But, I always say, a cider is always delicious regardless. If you can save a few bucks and get a decent product, why not take the approach now and then? I have been able to try Austin Eastciders much more because they are well priced in Nashville. They had several flavors that I have now tried because of this technique of saving dollars. My wallet was happy, too!
Mix & Match
Depending on the liquor store, this is one of the best methods of trying and testing out new ciders I’ve experienced. If you are buying a six pack of cider cans or bottles, some liquor stores will let you mix and match other bottles or cans as long as you are making a six-pack. So, in essence, you can buy 6 different ciders and get a taste of everything under the sun.
Under a similar policy, some liquor stores will also let you buy single bottles or cans, too. So, if you are balling on a budget or just had a hankering for a single new cider, you can buy a single item. But, I always find cider is best consumed in large volume than one can!
New Kid on the Block
Had everything on the shelf before? Ask your liquor store to bring in new ciders. Request some, if possible. Or, if you make your weekly trip and see a new cider on the shelf, give it a try! Cider continues to hit new locations as ciders work on larger distribution areas. Nashville is a prime example. I find new stuff on the shelf all the time. Granted, I have tried many of them, but, if you are not a cider hunter like I am, it is much easier when the new cider companies come to you.
I suggest visiting different liquor stores to see if they carry new options or just make frequent trips to your favorite spot to see what they carry. Again, if you shop there often, you may be able to suggest that something be brought in for you.
This one is simple and a part of what we want to push most in the cider world. Just as you would support local businesses or farmer’s markets, you should take a similar approach in the aisles of your favorite booze stop. I will generally stick to local options to help some of the smaller locations keep cruising along. It can be favorably priced, made with local ingredients, and a small gesture to support those in the community. Go local!
Pour Some Sugar on Me
Some people don’t like sugar. Some need it like they need air. Flip the can or bottle around and see the sugar content. This can often give you a good sense of how sweet it may taste. Let me warrant that natural ciders may have a lot of natural sugar, so it shouldn’t be an immediate pass. I am purely saying that the sugar count can dictate the amount of sweetness your mouth will feel, not always the case. But, if you just got a few cavities filled and feel guilty, go with a low sugar option.