Apple and Berry and Pear, Oh My! Tacoma Boys’ Guide to Summer’s Best Hard Ciders
Washington’s two greatest passions–apples and alcohol–collide in the country’s best hard ciders.
Do you enjoy reaching for a cold one, but beer isn’t really your thing? Or maybe you just want to mix it up a little now and then! There’s something about long summer nights on the patio that make a grown-up long for a cool, refreshing drink. Lucky for you, Washington has a budding hard cider industry that’s just getting started. And we’re already pretty great at it! It’s no surprise given our long held national reputation for phenomenal apples and our deep love for craft beer. It was just a matter of time before the two passions came together, and they’ve done so beautifully.
Hard cider is no longer the cloyingly sweet younger cousin to beer. Drawing from a history that goes all the way back to rich European roots, cider makers have found ways to draw out variety and nuance you may find to be delightfully unexpected. Washington is home to many great cideries, so we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorites. They’re all locally owned and operated, all use apples sourced right here in the PNW, and all found right here at your local Tacoma Boys and H&L produce.
Tacoma’s Best Summer Ciders
One Tree Hard Cider
One Tree–based in Spokane, WA–specializes in hard ciders made from apples grown right here in Washington. What started with a home cider kit grew into one of Washington’s premier cider makers. Now, you can find their ciders in Idaho, Montana and Illinois. But the easiest place to find it? Right here at your local Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce. On our shelves right now, you’ll find Lemon Basil, Huckleberry, Orange Creme, Caramel Cinnamon, and Staycation. Try them all, and be on the lookout for their seasonal ciders as well. One Tree Hard Cider makes our list as a refreshing addition to any summer outing!
Avid Cider is family owned and operates out of Bend, OR. The founders of Avid were tired of ciders that were too sweet or too dry, so they struck out to create a well balanced cider. Why should you try Avid cider? Because they perfectly represent the PNW. They take inspiration from the landscape and culture of the Northwest and try to do their patrons proud. As a result, their apples are locally grown and processed sustainably. With no sugar added, Avid ciders are “just right.” They were also voted 2018 Oregon Cider Producer of the year. So swing by and try one of the four Avid flavors we offer–Apple Stardust, Black Apple, Acai Lemonade, and Apricot Cider.
Locust Cider & Brewing Co.
Locust Cider and Brewing is a business with a cause! Brothers Jason and Patrick Spears founded the company in 2015. Around that time, Jason’s learned his daughter Lucy had a condition called Hydrocephalus, which requires multiple brain surgeries to treat. For every bottle of Locust Cider sold, they donate a portion of the profits to the Hydrocephalus Association. In addition to supporting a great cause, you’ll enjoy a bottle of locally produced cider from a small (but growing!) family business.
With production sites in Woodenville, WA and taprooms in Seattle, Tacoma, Walla Walla, Spokane, and Vancouver, you have options when it comes to trying their beer and cider. And of course, you can pick it up right here at your local Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce. We carry their Honey Pear, Dark Cherry, Vanilla Bean, and Mojito flavors. Try their cider today, and support a local family owned business and a great cause!
When they were 19, the founders of Alpenfire traveled to Canada (where they weren’t underage) and fell in love with the taste of hard apple cider. As they grew, so did their appreciation for the history of hard cider and the way it has developed in countries much older than ours. Thus, their heritage apple cider was born. Alpenfire’s cider making process harkens all the way back to their experiences in Europe. And it’s all made with apples plucked straight from their organic orchard in Port Townsend, WA! Their commitment to an organic process comes with difficulties, but also keeps them connected to the land and the changing seasons. At your local Tacoma Boys or H&L Produce, you’ll find their “2017 Rosy Pommeau” (a single varietal dessert cider), “2018 Traditional Cuvèe” (a dry heritage cider), “Calypso Apples and Blackberry” (a barrel aged fruit cider), and “Kingston Black” (and estate single varietal cider). Grab one today, and experience the rich history of hard apple cider from fresh Washington apples.
Find This Summer’s Best Ciders at Tacoma Boys
We’ve only scratched the surface of the variety of hard ciders we carry at Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce! The list could go on and on, including 2 Towns Ciderhouse, Whitewood Cider Co., Incline Cider Company, Portland Cider Company, and more! With ciders ranging from sweet to dry and everywhere in between, we know you’ll find one (or a few) to satisfy your taste. Stop by one of our locations today, and ask one of our friendly and knowledgeable store associates for a recommendation!