There is a new kid on the block since early in 2018 out of Carlisle PA.  Grand Illusion is a cidery that used fresh apples from local counties in the area.  They not only have a taproom where they serve their own line of ciders but they also have other ciders, beer and wine on draft from PA products.  The name is inspired from turn-of-the-century magic and the owl fits in with this aesthetic. To fit with this design their 1840’s era building has gothic archways and a preacher pulpit at the hostess station.  The taproom does offer a food menu and the servers are all level one cider certified from the USACM! We were able to try two of their ciders and we review a few of them below. The two offerings we tried were Street Magic (Hopped Grapefruit), and Mystic Cidra Pineapple.  Please enjoy the reviews below and for more information visit their website here.

Street Magic: Hopped Grapefruit

Grapefruit is one of those things that you either love or hate.  When we were kids our mom would eat grapefruit with some sugar on top to cut the bitterness and no matter how many times I tasted it, it was nasty.  Grand Illusion solved this by adding hops and the sweetness of cider to curb the bitterness but those notes are still apparent on the back end of the sip.  This inherent bitterness also comes with those citrusy notes you expect when you taste grapefruits. The hops add the background flavors of floral flavors that are subtle but keep this cider singing!  The overall tartness of the cider keeps you coming back for more. There was a slight haze and straw color with low amounts of carbonation. The residual sugars from the juice leave you with a decent mouthfeel and while they are sweeter, they are approachable. This cider receives 3.5 out fo 5 apples.

Mystic Cidra: Hopped Pineapple

Like the Hopped Grapefruit, you are getting a slightly hazy straw cider on the pour with a big punch of pineapple juiciness. The carbonation is again low but there is another decent mouthful from the residual 17 grams of sugar. As summer comes to a close this will bring you back with the crisp and refreshing tropical flavors with a subtle hint of hops. The flavor that remains on your palate is the sweetness of the pineapple, which takes over some of the apple flavors you would expect from a cider. The more you drink the cider you will notice the tartness of the pineapple hit and you remain with the apple skin flavor and some tannic effect. Both of the ciders roll in at 6.5% ABV so they are no slouch in the buzz department *ding ding*. This cider gets 4 out of 5 apples.