The Best Ciders in 2024

By Bob Barnes

Great-Tasting Hard Ciders

Although often inaccurately lumped with beer, cider is its own unique beverage. Currently enjoying an explosion in popularity, cider serves as a bridge between beer and wine, appealing to fans of both. Like wine, it’s made from fermented fruit juice; like beer, it’s most often poured on draft. But unlike most beers, cider is gluten-free.

While cider has been made for more than a thousand years, it has a special place in American history. The earliest known provisions for cider-making in the New World are believed to have been carried over on the Mayflower in 1620; the first apple trees were planted nine days after the storied ship’s arrival.

While apple is the most commonly used fruit, GAYOT’s List of the Best Ciders also includes options made with cherry, black currant, strawberry, lime and pear.

1. Angry Orchard Cinnful Apple

Angry Orchard Cinnful Apple

Cinnful was Angry Orchard’s first cider made from 100 percent American apples when it debuted in 2013.

Origin: Walden, NY, U.S.A.
ABV: 5%
Brewed by: Angry Orchard Hard Cider

Produced with Braeburn, Fuji, Granny Smith, Gala and Pink Lady apples grown in the Pacific Northwest, this cider has a pale straw color and a cinnamon spice aroma. The flavor balances sour green apple with a bright acidity and warm cinnamon. Not surprisingly, it makes an excellent accompaniment to vanilla ice cream or apple pie.

2. Aspall Premier Cru Cider

Founded by Clement Chevallier in 1728, the family-owned and operated Aspall has been producing ciders in a tiny mid-Suffolk hamlet for eight generations, making it the oldest direct-lineage cidery in the United Kingdom.

Origin: Debenham, U.K.
ABV: 6.8%
Brewed by: Aspall

There are 46 varieties of apples grown on the Aspall estate. The Premier Cru is a sophisticated, sparkling cider with a light floral aroma and a long, dry finish. It is crafted at the original Cyder House, Suffolk.

Pairing suggestions: roast pork garlic & sage, chilli con carne, rogan josh, Red Leicester and White Stilton.

3. Crispin Imperial

Cider with a bold fresh apple taste. 

Origin: Minneapolis, MN, U.S.A.
ABV: 8%
Brewed by: Crispin Cider

Crispin Imperial is produced from European bittersweet apples. No sugar added.

4. Possmann Pure Cider

The Possmann family has been producing cider in Germany since 1881.

Origin: Frankfurt, Germany
ABV: 5%
Brewed by: Possman

The apples for this cider are harvested by more than 800 country farmers in the Hesse region of Germany. Possmann Pure Cider has a perfect balance of rich apple flavor while not to sweet and finishing dry.

Drinking suggestion: no ice, but chilled.

5. Rekorderlig Strawberry-Lime Cider

Combining fermented pear juice with fresh strawberry and lime, this fruit-forward offering was first released by Swedish cidery Åbro Bryggeri in 1997.

Origin: Vimmerby, Sweden
ABV: 4.5%
Brewed by: Rekorderlig

Made from pure spring water sourced from Vimmerby, Sweden, Rekorderlig Strawberry-Lime boasts a pretty pink hue and an inviting aroma. You won’t notice the alcohol at all in the flavor, which offers strawberry sweetness with a hint of citrus fruit. The makers of this cider recommend serving it over ice with a squeeze of lime and sprig of fresh mint.

6. Scandi Pear Cider

This Scandinavian-style cider is made in the small Estonian village of Vohu Vein at a plant that has been producing the beverage since 1967.

Origin: Vohu, Estonia
ABV: 5.4%
Brewed by: Scandi Cider

Scandi uses a traditional Nordic recipe and is made from late-harvest apples and pears. Very effervescent, it pours forth with lively bubbles and an aroma of sweet pear. The flavor offers a rich sweetness suggestive of Moscato wine before resolving in a lingering dry finish with notes of lemon peel.

7. Square Mile Spur & Vine

From an Oregon-based company.

Origin: Portland, OR, U.S.A.
ABV: 6.2%
Brewed by: Square Mile Cider Co.

Rose hips and hibiscus create a classic rosé color, with a beautiful tartness and acidity.

8. Tieton Cherry Cider

Hailing from the rich and fertile apple-growing region of Yakima Valley, Washington, this cider is blended with farm-fresh black cherries and cinnamon.

Origin: Yakima, WA, U.S.
ABV: 6.9%
Brewed by: Tieton Cider Works

It pours a beautiful red hue and delivers full-on cherry goodness balanced by tart apple acidity to round out the fruity sweetness. It has a very long finish with a bit of sourness and hints of cinnamon and clove, which make this an excellent beverage to pair with roasted pork, salmon or even cherry pie.

9. Woodchuck 802 Collection Semi-Dry

Founded in a two-car garage in 1991, Vermont’s Woodchuck Hard Cider Company helped kickstart America’s cider resurgence with its boundary-pushing handcrafted beverages.

Origin: Middlebury, VT, U.S.A.
ABV: 5.5%
Brewed by: Woodchuck Cider

In the case of cider, simplicity is a beautiful thing. The cider is made only with fresh pressed Vermont juice from orchard partners.