Best Hard Apple Ciders of 2015

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Finnriver Farm & Cidery: Finnriver is a 33-acre organic family farm and artisan winery producing handcrafted fruit wines and crisp apple ciders in Washington. Their Artisan Sparkling Cider is the best I have tasted so far this season! It’s much different than the processed, sugary-tasting varieties found in the grocery store. This tastes like crisp, clean apples and is similar to many champagnes I’ve tried. I enjoy pairing this with roasted salmon and vegetables for the ultimate gourmet fall meal. Their cider is made with heirloom and organic dessert apples, blended with the bold citrus tang of organic Cascade hops. It has a clear, golden pour and the crisp smell of Granny Smith apples. My other top picks from Finnriver are the Forest Ginger and Habanero. The surprising Habanero blend is created by soaking hot chili peppers in the cider! The sweet apples combined with the big pop of heat makes this the PERFECT cider for Mexican food (tacos, guacamole and homemade chips) – yum! Stay up to date on their latest and greatest creations over on FinnRiver

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Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider: The owner started this cider brand in his basement, it quickly grew into the garage, and in May of 2013, moved into an abandoned warehouse in inner Northeast Portland near. The cider is now sold in five states and visitors come from everywhere to try it! The ciders are made as the seasons change and the owner discovers more fantastic ingredients that inspire each variety. The inspiration comes from – food, beer, friends, art, nature and they experiment with unique flavors without judgment (ex: Hallelujah Hopricot, Deliverance Ginger Tonic). All are delicious, but if I had to pick one favorite it would definitely be the Revival Hard Apple, the secret ingredient in this variety is piloncillo (my first time EVER hearing this term, don’t you just LOVE learning new cooking/food terms?!! So fun!) Piloncillo is a dark brown evaporated cane juice, purchased direct from Michoacan, Mexico. The owner ferments this dark base until it is all the way dry using two exotic yeast strains: a beer yeast known for the round mouthfeel in Saisons and a rarely-used secret culture which produces aromas of pineapple, guava and peaches. This cider is sparkling golden in color and deeply complex while remaining subtly familiar, with just the right amount of sweetness and acidity to be an everyday beverage. Reverend Nats always has something new and crisp brewing on his site. Cheers!

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