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I hate beer. I have no problem admitting that. Unlike many of my collegiate classmates back in the day, beer was never my go-to drink when partying. And even now a millennial-aged adult, you will never catch me with a beer in my hand — not even if it’s the only option at the cookout.
After years of swearing off anything that remotely reminded me of beer, a friend of mine introduced me to what would become my “lighter” beverage of choice: hard cider. “You’ll probably really like hard cider since beer isn’t your thing,” she said after noticing I’d always turn down a beer when her husband offered it. And thus, my journey to trying as many brands of cider began.
While my starter brands were Angry Orchard and Strongbow, as I’ve become a little more seasoned and interested in different flavors, I’ve found that there are so many brands that deserve more shine than they’re given. So, I did what needed to be done — tried 10 of the most popular brands to see how they stacked up against one another. And as a result, these are the ones I would definitely buy again.
Blake’s Hard Cider Co.: Passion Seeker
In my personal opinion, Blake’s Hard Cider Co. just does not miss. I’ve tried majority of their in-store flavors — from the Triple Jam to the Strawberry Lemonade — and have not had a bad experience with any sip. This Passion Seeker flavor, however, really takes the cake. Equipped with 6 percent ABV and pineapple, passion fruit, and guava flavors, this is one hard cider that I would buy as long as they produce it.
Before this, the only variety of Woodchuck I’d had was their Bubbly Rosé that I picked up in desperation before heading to a gathering that I knew would only have beer. While that variety didn’t quite make it on my re-purchase list, the original Amber version absolutely does. Made with a 5 percent ABV, each 12-ounce can is so light when sipping, it will feel as if you’re drinking apple juice. I loved this one so much because it didn’t leave me feeling gross afterwards, but instead, gave me the feeling that you’re supposed to have when kicking back enjoying the fall weather.
I’ve seen the Ciderboys brand in the stores previously, but hadn’t felt intrigued enough to try it in the past. After one sip though, I instantly regret that. This is the perfect mix of apple and orange flavors in a seasonal sip worth drinking year-round. It’s a smooth gulp that leaves you wanting more and with its 5 percent ABV, 100 percent real apple juice, and all natural orange juice, it’s no wonder it dons the name Grand Mimosa.
Typically, I’m not a person who regularly enjoys anything blackberry-flavored. This Original Sin hard cider, however, may have changed my mind. Made with fresh New York apples, this 6 percent ABV cider is both fruit-forward and tart, and has landed itself in my top list due to the fact that you don’t need to gulp down a full 6-pack to get what you’re looking for.
Have a favorite brand that I didn’t try out, but you think I should? Let me know below!