I didn’t let myself drink cider for many years because Angry Orchard gave me such bad heartburn one time that I swear I almost called one of those infomercial hotlines for The Scooter Store just so I could make my way down to CVS for some PILLS. Also Angry Orchard tastes like spicy stomach vile that you burp up after a big plate of Mexican food.
For those of you who know me extremely well, you’ll remember that I grew up drinking apple juice almost exclusively. I called it “Appy Bubby” and had special sippy cups that my mom continually filled with juice because I never ever stopped drinking it. This carried on into elementary school when I graduated from sippy cups to juice boxes. My brothers still called it “Appy Bubby” when I drank it because they were dickheads.
For reference, I’d down one of these suckers all by myself in 5 days or less.
So as an alcohol consuming A-DULT (say the A like you would in asshole) cider was such an obvious move for me to make. In the years 2011 to 2014 I was pretty terrified of calories so this wasn’t an actual option for me, plus after all the Angry Orchard experiences I was sure it all tasted like barf.
In 2015 I gave in and tried Crispin off the recommendation from my brother Kyle. I gotta say, once I got used to the carbonation it brought me back to my glory days. The days where I would poop my pants while I played with stamps in the kitchen at our house in South Carolina, the days where I’d cry when my family wanted to eat somewhere fancy that didn’t have chicken tenders, the days where I didn’t wash my hair very often because I didn’t know it smelled so bad.
Friends, I’d like to introduce you to some of my favorite ciders so that you can live in the glory days with me. Some of them you can find across the nation, others you can definitely find anywhere on the west coast. I’ll make note, just take a looksie and if you’re feeling frisky go give them a try!
1.) ACE Pear Cider
You can’t really go wrong with the ACE brand, unless you hate pineapples as much as me in which case I’d stay away from the Pineapple flavor. I am not a huge fan of pears in real life but for ACE it makes the cider drier and less of a sugar overload. Shit’s all natural and it tastes like it. This one is carried pretty frequently at liquor stores and grocery stores in Los Angeles, I never have a hard time finding it. You can also find it at a lot of bars, occasionally on tap which makes me tingle inside.
2.) Samuel Smith’s Organic Cider
I hate that organic is in the name, because shhh! We know, you can shut up about it. This is pretty crisp stuff at a decent price (unless you buy it from Whole Foods.) You can buy it in big bottles for cheap at Trader Joe’s. What I like about this cider is that it’s deep and heavy enough that you want to drink it slowly to savor it. The apple flavor isn’t too sweet (pattern, I hate overly sweet cider) and you still get that glory days taste. It’s imported from the UK but I’m fairly certain you can find it all over the U.S.
3.) Loon Juice
Okay, I’m not gonna lie, a lot of this has to do with the title. I’ve only ever seen this in Minnesota (obviously) but I loved it. My favorite thing about it is how socially acceptable it is to drink because it’s called Loon Juice. If you show up with a personal 12-pack of Loon Juice no one is gonna make fun of you because how could you? Also it’s really awesome to me that they come in 12-packs. Taste wise it’s pretty standard and the can aspect of it makes it a good time. I like Loon Juice when I’m trying to get wild back home, because it’s slammable and cooler than anything anyone else is drinking.
4.) Crispin Brut
I sound like a douche with this one but I can’t find it anywhere. I got it at Total Wine in Minnesota and it was perfect. It’s barely a cider, it’s so dry that it tastes like champagne. I love champagne. This is my favorite style of Crispin because I’ve never found a cider that comes close to the unique taste. You get a hint of apple but you’re mostly just popping champagne from a bottle and feeling like a boss doing so. Apparently you’re supposed to serve it over ice, but I’ve never done that. If anyone finds this shit in Los Angeles hit a bitch up ASAP.
5.) Austin Eastciders
I might be biased with this one, because the first time I ever drank it was at a BYOB mini-golf course in Austin and I associate it with that awesome memory. But it also tastes amazing like all of the others. Austin knows how to do pretty much everything correctly, cider being on the top of my list. It comes in tall boys so you can feel like a real beer drinker (sometimes you just wanna be liked, you know?) If you’re gonna pair this one with anything, I suggest pairing it with BYOB mini golf or day drinking.
So those are five of my favorites just off the top of my head. I have tons more, and will continue to try any new one I see that doesn’t look like a descendant of Angry Orchard bile. There are several other shitty brands disguised as good shit, I’ll save that inflammatory post for another day.
Feel free to ask me any questions you have about cider, I get about as excited about cider as my dad gets about craft beer and fishing (very, very, excited.) I wanted to put this one cider I got in Nevada on the list because it had little trolls or gnomes all over the packaging but I couldn’t find it anywhere and can’t remember any other details. If someone has leads on the troll cider, please let me know ASAP.