Hard cider (also called cider) is an alcoholic drink made from juices of apples, pears and other fruit. In the past it was a major beverage of choice in the USA .
In the early 1700s, New England produced more than 300,000 gallons of hard cider per year (nearly 20,000 kegs). Hard cider was popular in those days with folks drinking more than 30 gallons a year.
Hard cider continued to be a beverage of choice in America until the early 1900’s, when German and other immigrants brought with them a taste for beer. Prohibition in the 1920s made production and distribution of alcohol illegal in the US. As a result, most cider orchards were converted to other crops and uses.
Today, hard cider consumption represents less than 2% of adult beverage consumed, but it is regaining popularity. It’s unique and refreshing, comes in many flavors and is a gluten-free alternative to beer. Sorry hop heads, hard cider is usually lower in calories than craft beers and high in antioxidants.
Here along the Yakima Valley Spirits and Hops Trail we are lucky to have Tieton Cider Works. Located about 30 minutes west of Downtown Yakima in apple orchards, Tieton Cider Works has a great story and produces an array of tasty, award winning ciders. There are many outlets where you can find their products. They’re also available at the Yakima Valley Visitor Information Center.
So here’s a toast to the return of hard cider. Let’s hope it continues to grow in popularity.