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Creative Cidermakers: Taking a Page from the Craft-Beer Story

In the spirit of craft, today’s creative makers are looking both to history and to the playbook developed by craft-beer brewers to make unique and exciting ciders.

Emily Hutto Jun 19, 2017 - 11 min read

Creative Cidermakers: Taking a Page from the Craft-Beer Story Primary Image

Photo: Matt Graves/

Cidermaking tends to mirror the winemaking process. Generally speaking, cider isn’t boiled before fermentation, and it’s made from fruit and not from malt and hops. Cider as a beverage, though, is very similar to beer—it’s sessionable and effervescent, and even the sweeter varieties have an alluring crispness that keeps us coming back for more.

Much like cider consumers, many cidermakers have discovered the beverage by way of craft beer. Companies such as Virtue Cider and Seattle Cider Co. stemmed from craft breweries, Goose Island Beer Company and Two Beers Brewing Company, respectively, while other companies such as Colorado Cider Company were launched by former brewers. These cidermakers weighed in about the overlap in the Venn diagram of brewing and cidermaking, and they revealed ways in which the burgeoning American craft-cider business is often inspired by craft beer.


One of the better known brewer-turned-cidermakers is Greg Hall of Goose Island Beer Company and Virtue Cider (Fennville, Michigan). His father founded Goose Island in 1988, and he worked there as the brewmaster until 2011 before launching Virtue.

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