I have mixed feelings about hard cider in general. Usually, it’s too sweet to really pair with anything in my opinion but it’s often too sour or yeasty to drink on its own. Here are two that straddle the middle of that conundrum. They both drink fine with food or alone!
The Finn River Cider Honey Meadow Seasonal Brew is amazing. It’s a very tart granny smith apple flavor tempered by honey, lemon, and wildflowers. The finish is moderate and dry with honeycomb and toasted nuts. It’s an excellent choice for all your summer parties and could easily be used in place of Chardonnay or Viognier in pairings. It would be wonderful with brie! Roast chicken with lemon and thyme would sing with this! An enthusiastic 92 points! It’s a little more pricey, but it’s a handcrafted masterpiece. Their next seasonal brew is Lavender and Black Currant. You can find them at select farmers markets and Whole Foods.
The Henry Hotspur’s is not as fine as the Finn River Cider Honey Meadow Seasonal Brew. It is a good showing with fresh cut apple on the nose and baked apples on the palette. It’s not nearly as sophisticated as the Finn River, but it’s a nice drink all the way through. It’s not as sweet as some or as dry/yeasty/sour as others. I’d pair this one with cheddar stuffed brats and grilled onions or a simple cheese plate with cheddar and gouda. It would also pair well with desserts that aren’t too sweet like olive oil cake or bitter chocolate. I’d also recommend keeping it cool throughout drinking as it does get a little flabby when hot. The Henry Hotspur’s Hard Cider is available at Trader Joes for $2.25 for 22 oz and a solid 85 points!
Have you tried any good cider lately? If so let us know what delightful or insipid brews you found!