San Diego is known for its sunny skies, sandy beaches, and year–round beautiful weather. People travel from all over the world to experience San Diego because it pretty much has everything! Now, you can add another reason to visit this beautiful city. Cider!
San Diego is a growing cider community. Currently, there are six cideries operating in and around San Diego County. Each cidery has its own unique approach and style to cider making. From wild fermented, English traditional ciders, to modern ciders using creative cider infusions like nitro coffee and fortified apple brandy, cider makers in this city do not disappoint with their creativity and novel approach to cider making.
As a resident of San Diego, I have had the opportunity to explore the San Diego Cider Scene. Here are the must-stop cider spots:
Located in northern San Diego County, Raging Cider & Mead Co. has an array of barrel aged, wild fermented, traditional English ciders on tap. Most ciders fall into the dry – to off dry category and are BIG on flavor with nuances of oak, rich tannins, vanilla, plum, and spice depending on your cider selection. Crafted from regionally grown apples, these oak imbued ciders are heavy hitters with strong ABV’s around 7.5% to 8%. Flights with 4 cider tastings are $11.00.
Dave Carr, owner and cider maker, is also seen pouring ciders while sharing his wealth of knowledge on apple varieties and orcharding techniques along with some fun banter about his favorite English football team. “Go Liverpool!”. If you want to try something other than English style cider, you can also try Sidra and mead here! Raging Cider & Mead Co. is a true, hidden gem in San Diego. If you need some ciders to go on your other San Diego adventures, you can also purchase some limited release bottles or fill a growler of your favorite ciders!
Serpentine Cider’s tap room is a must see. Located in the Miralani Maker’s District in San Diego, Serpentine Cider shares a collaborative space with Lost Cause Meadery and The Good Seed Food Company. A beautiful mural on the back wall featuring a large serpent, honeycomb, desert flowers and catci, this work of art is a representation of all three businesses. The open floor plan of the space hosts an atmosphere for guests to co-mingle and try staples from each of the businesses. Serpentine ciders on tap are mostly off-dry, with perceived sweetness from infused fruits like guava and boysenberry, with ABV’s in the 7%- 7.5% range. Cider maker and Co-Owner, Sean, creates ciders that are unique in flavor with only natural ingredients like fresh puree, spice infusions, and blended fruit juices. One of my personal favorites on tap includes the nitro infused boysenberry coffee cider! If you are feeling adventurous, you should also try the smoked pineapple with activated charcoal. Cider flights are very reasonably priced with your choice of 3, 4 or 5 tastings with 4 oz. pours topping out at $13.00 for the full flight, so you can try everything on the tap list! (Just like I did!) There’s no shame in this cider game! You can also pick up a crowler (can+growler hybrid) or a full size growler to go!
Bivouac Ciderworks is a cider tap room and restaurant located in North Park, San Diego. The interior is uniquely designed with climbers in mind! Bivouac means “a temporary shelter or camp for sleeping outside”. The interior features some cool climbing gear, with visible ropes, zig-zagging along the rafters. This cider hotspot is famous for its delicious food and English style cider combinations. Award winning chef DJ Tanglin is the master at creating cider inspired and paired dishes. Most ciders here range from bone dry to sweet appealing to the needs of dry cider lovers to those who prefer a cider on the sweeter side. You can choose a flight of 3, 4 oz. ciders for $11.00. With views of the buzzing North Park from the patio and special events hosted weekly (movie nights, etc.), this cider spot is a fun way to experience North Park, San Diego while tasting a flight of ciders with 5.5% to 7.0% ABV’s. My favorites include the mango habanero and blackberry cider. Growlers are also available for purchase.
Newtopia Cyder has two locations to visit in San Marcos, CA (Northern San Diego County) and Scripps Ranch. Newtopia cyder is a “social, urban-minded hand crafted-cydery”. This spot is unique because they feature English, Spanish, and French inspired cyders. This is a great spot for the cider explorer who wants to navigate the cider world in one tap room. The taps rooms are beautiful, open urban space with an industrial feel. Cyders on tap range from bone dry to sweet, appealing to the cyder masses. With flavors like India Pal, Belgian Pineapple, and Chai Me a River, Newtopia is no stranger to exploring the craft of cyder by pressing the boundaries of what cyder can be.
If you want a cyder adventure, I’d recommend trying a flight or two! Cyder prices vary by style and size of pour, with prices ranging from a $2.00, 4 oz. pour up to $10.00 for a 16oz glass. ABV’s range from 5.5% to 11.5%. You can also pick up 16 oz cans of your favorite ciders or a 32 oz insulated growler before you head out to the next cider spot!
Guthrie Ciderworks is a small cidery that is family owned and operated. Their tap room is located in Miramar, Guthrie Ciderworks is known for its dry to off dry ciders. Traditionally fermented to complete dryness, these ciders are a step away from the sugar laden ciders of mass production and boast a healthy 7%-7.7% ABV range. Flights consist of 4, 4oz. pours and are reasonably priced at $11.00. Guthrie Ciderworks creates delightful dry ciders that are big on flavor!
Their Rubus Citrus tastes much like a Sangria, with hints of grapefruit and raspberry. Guthrie Ciderwork’s most recent cider collaboration is with Bird Rock Coffee Roasters in San Diego. The “Guthrie Bird” is a unique coffee cider infused with coconut and banana! How much more San Diego can you get than a coffee, coconut, and banana cider? Guthrie also has their ciders available for purchase in bottle shops and markets around San Diego County.
–Poochie’s Hooch Urban Cidery is San Diego’s newest cidery. With a name like that, you have to wonder what this cider spot is all about. Located near Allied Gardens in San Diego, this pooch friendly cidery and tap room offers flights with over ten different flavors on tap (the taps have little dog tags on them – how cute?). With flavors like Butter Pecan, Ginger Lime, Red Hot Candied Apple, Nutter Nilla and Blood Orange, they have something for every cider lover. This dog-friendly spot is a fun place to bring your furry pal, relax and try a flight of unique cider flavors and really soak in the atmosphere. All of the ciders on tap are currently over 7% ABV. Tasting flights are only $10.00 for four 4 oz pours. Get em’ while they last! Growler fills are also available.
San Diego might be known for its perfect weather and beautiful beaches but if you’re looking for a unique, authentic cider drinking adventure… San Diego should be your next cider destination!