Why You Must Try Cider: Myths Busted!

Hard apple cider was once the beverage of choice in America. Cider drinking in the United States dates back to the seventeenth century, when English settlers didn’t trust water as a source of hydration. They eventually brought apple seeds over to the colonies, orchards began to grow and cider became a safe drinking alternative. In the early 1800s, Johnny “Appleseed” Chapman actually planted trees for cider apples, not eating apples, as America grew westward.

Unfortunately, cider drinking fell out of favor in the early 1900s due to a new penchant for beer because the midwestern soil was better suited to growing barley than apples. Prohibition delivered the final blow to America’s apple cider affection.

But cider is making a comeback—especially craft cider like our own Jack’s Hard Cider. Many shy away from trying cider because of preconceived ideas about it. We are here to dispel some of the myths surrounding cider and, hopefully, get you to give it a try!

Myth #1: All Cider Is Sweet

Some ciders are sweet. Really, really extra sugary sweet. But not all ciders taste like candy. Ciders can range from dry to sweet depending on the types of apples (or other fruits) used; other additions such as coffeebourbon or maple syrup; and the amount of fermentation. It is important that cider apples contain high sugar levels, which aids in the fermentation process and increases the alcohol level. Cider apples tend to have higher sugar levels than dessert or cooking apples. The sugar doesn’t make our ciders overly sweet, though. While those sugars add to the flavor, their primary purpose is to help us in the fermentation process. If you like it a bit sweeter, try our Helen’s Blend. Like it a bit more bitter? Give our Dry Hopped a taste.

Cider Man

Myth #2: Only Women Drink Cider

Many people view cider as a “girly” drink. Perhaps it gets that sexist rap because people think it’s overly sweet—but it’s not (you know that now)! Maybe it’s because it tends to be lower in alcohol than other alcoholic beverages or because it’s made from fruit—and fruity drinks automatically equal girly drinks, correct? No! We firmly believe that you should drink what you like, no matter if you are male or female.

According to a study by Technomic, “men and women who regularly drink craft beer and cider in restaurants choose cider at a similar frequency.” Cider is growing in popularity every year and it’s not just women who are drinking it.

Myth #3: Cider Is Just Adult Apple Juice

In its most basic form, cider is just fermented apples, but that doesn’t make it apple juice with alcohol. Would you ever call fermented grapes grape juice with alcohol added? Nope—that’s wine! Cider is so much more than “adult apple juice.” Over the years, cider has evolved into a nuanced craft beverage with a host of differing flavor profiles.

Myth #4: All Ciders Taste the Same

Jacks peach resizedJust because cider is made with apples doesn’t mean they all taste the same. In fact, different varieties of apples can create differing flavors. Jon Patrono, president of Jack’s, shares, “Certain apples are obviously perfectly suited for juicing and cider making. At Jack’s, over 20 different cider apple varieties have been planted on the property using a process where we grafted specific cider apples on established trees in the orchard.”

Cider styles can vary, too, creating differing tastes. Ciders can be rustic-style, ice, acidic, sour, dry, flat, bubbly and more! Alcohol percentage by volume (ABV) can also range from low to high. Really, ciders are only limited by the cider makers’ imagination.

Ciders don’t even have to contain strictly apples. Often other fruits, like pears and peaches, help to create new and different cider tastes. Ready to give our ciders a taste?

Learn more about Jack’s Hard Cider and explore our cider lineup here.

Jack’s Hard Cider — Produced from Pennsylvania Apples. Pressed On-Site. Never from Concentrate. 

— Ronna Dewey

Middle photo: Alexandra Whitney Photography; bottom photo: Anna Miron/Six AM Studio