Cider: the rise of the apple

Some time ago, the video Best Beers for Women by WomensForum TV caused an outrage on the internet, displaying a woman complaining about when “you walk into a bar, you pick up a beer menu, you're a lady and you're not sure what to order”. During the video, a few drinks are then suggested to her to satisfy her (let’s just say) “womanly” tastebuds.

One of the drinks recommended to her was a cider.

What is cider?

For those of you that may not know what it is, cider is a fermented alcoholic beverage made from fruit juice (it is also commonly referred to as “hard cider”). There are different kinds, but ciders are predominantly made from apple juice. Many people confuse cider with beer, however, in fact, cider is actually a lot more similar to wine.

Cider’s popularity is growing

In the past few months, I have noticed that more and more craft beer bars carry at least one cider on tap here in New York and even an average pub might offer bottled cider.

Additionally, it seems that even the commercial behemoth Anheuser-Busch (Stella, Corona and Budweiser anyone?) is trying to get in on this cider trend and has already released three ciders: Stella Cidre, Michelob Ultra Cider, and most recently, “Johnny Appleseed”. MillerCoors, after their acquisition of Crispin, also released Smith & Forge Hard Cider earlier this year.

Despite cider's growing popularity, beer is still the drink of choice for most americans, whether by choice or lack of ingredients. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, over the course of 52 weeks Americans spent $30 billion on beer in retail stores but only spent $238 million on cider. One explanation for these numbers is that most all of the apples produced in the United States are not bitter enough to be used in cider making, thereby forcing US manufacturers to import their apples from elsewhere, such as France.

However, the future is bright. With all of these major beer corporations getting into the mix, I imagine that cider will become more and more of a household name. Add to that the craft breweries trying their hand at ciders and an increase in demand for gluten-free alcoholic options and I think it would be fair to say that cider is going to become a commonly sought after drink in the coming years (and not just for women).