Beer, beer, every where, Nor any drop to drink…. Hard Cider: a Gluten-Free Beer Alternative

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The beer section at Constantino’s Market in Cleveland, Ohio.

I think most  of my gluten-free friends would agree, beer to someone who is gluten intolerant (has celiac, or is GF by choice) is like ice-cream to someone who is lactose intolerant. You know, you know, you shouldn’t have it, but when your group of friends invite you out for some, you feel yourself start to waiver… It sounds so good and refreshing, doesn’t it?

Well, no fear! Increasingly bars, brew houses, liquor stores and local grocers are starting to carry gluten-free beer alternatives, including a wide variety of delicious hard ciders.

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Hard ciders have become increasingly popular in the last few years, and breweries across the country seem to be taking notice. Sales increased an average of 27.5 percent annually during the last five years (according to an estimate by IBISWorld), and I can only imagine a good chunk of this can be attributed to the growing gluten-free population! With the growth in demand has come and influx of choices, so how does one navigate the cider section? Below, I’ve created a little reference chart of some of the most popular cider brands (and included my own description of each)!

Cider Brand Alc Content Calories per serving Description
Hornsby’s 5.5% 200 has a bright, sweet apple flavor
Redds 5% 150 has good balance to the apple’s sweetness, more of a beer-like experience
Angry Orchard 5.5% 190 literally tastes like alcoholic apple juice
Original Sin 6% 143 very light in color, almost a champagne-like taste
Ace 8% 135 golden color, more on the tart side of the cider family
Strongbow Cider 5% 140 a very dry cider, a wine-like experience
Crispin 6.9% 140 has a bold and fresh apple taste
Woodchuck (Amber) 5% 154 smooth, sweet and crisp–a very popular choice

Hopefully this helps give you a starting point to base your upcoming cider purchase upon! Happy tasting! (And let me know what you think!)

Lo

For more fun facts about hard cider, check out this article from Food Republic!

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