Cider, All Grown Up

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly
New-generation hard ciders from, left to right, Mad Moon, Crispin, Legend Valley, VanderMill and Tieton Cider Works

Cider has graduated far beyond the sweet and syrupy Woodchuck and Hornsby's. "There's a huge cider revolution in Europe, primarily in England and France," says Mike Troy of Crafted Drafts in Gahanna. "They have access to orchards that are really old and can make ciders that are mind-blowing." These high-end ciders drink more like wines and are making their way to the U.S. via the Pacific Northwest. Think of them like apple-forward dry white wines, says Troy, who recommends five grown-up ciders to sip this

Mad Moon Hop Wired: The only Columbus cider-maker, Mad Moon produces cider with apples from Hirsch Fruit Farms. The Hop Wired uses a citrusy blend of hops to produce a dry finish.

Crispin Original: Troy cites Crispin as an easy entryway to cider. The sweet notes outshine any dryness, but there's enough nuance to introduce drinkers to traditional cider.

Legend Valley Crisp: Produced in Saint Louisville from apples from an orchard near Utica, Legend Valley is the closest to popular European ciders. The drier, funkier Crisp variety is a traditional English scrumpy style (yes, that's a thing).

VanderMill Blue Gold: Michigan's VanderMill Cider has become ubiquitous on grocery store and bottle shop shelves. The semi-sweet Blue Gold introduces a tart note with Michigan blueberries.

Tieton Cider Works: Tieton is one of the only Pacific Northwest ciders to make its way to Ohio. "They're one of the best you can get in the area," Troy says.