Most of the hard cider I’ve drunk has been made with just apples. My favorite ciders, or perhaps more accurately, my favorite commercially available ciders, are all just plain apple cider. This roundup is about ciders made from, in whole or in part, fruits other than apple.
RocketScience Brewing BerryCide
The best cider I’ve ever had is one I’ve written about before on this blog. BerryCide is a home-brewed cider produced by my buddy Les and his wife Ann. If you brew your own beer or cider, you can find the recipe for BerryCide on RocketScience Brewing’s blog. While BerryCide’s base is apple, the considerable amount of mixed berries, blueberry pomegranate juice, and brown sugar deliver the real taste bonanza. I bought all of the equipment necessary to build my own kegerator a couple years back just so I could keep a 5 gallon keg of BerryCide or anything else the Ault’s produced on tap in my home. I sincerely wish you were lucky enough to be able to sample this.
Fox Barrel (Now Crispin) Pear Cider
The first store-bought non-apple cider I tried was Fox Barrel, and it remained one of my favorites for a long time. Pear cider, or Perry as it is sometimes called, is pretty sweet, but very good. Fox Barrel isn’t very easy to come by in Knoxville, and I believe I only ever found it at Earth Fare grocery stores. If you’ve never tried pear cider, you should give it a try under its new label, Crispin.
Ace Pineapple Cider
I found this cider at The Casual Pint downtown just a week or so ago after a local LOPSA meeting. A big group of system administrators get together each month for a technical talk and discussion for a couple hours, then adjourn for beers, or in my case ciders, at The Casual Pint. If you’re looking for some nerd fun on the first Tuesday of each month, you should come.
I can’t say I was super impressed with this cider. It was OK, and I’m certainly glad I tried it, but I wouldn’t buy it again. It tasted very faintly of pineapple, as it was composed primarily of apple cider. I would have preferred a stronger pineapple flavor. I would recommend buying this as a single if possible, or as part of a mixed 6 pack to see if you really like it.