Florida Beer: Hard Cider From Cigar City Cider and Mead

Florida Beer: Hard Cider From Cigar City Cider and Mead
Doug Fairall

Every week, we take a look at a craft beer brewed in Florida. Follow #FloridaBeerFriday for more reviews of Sunshine State brews. Get out there and #DrinkLocal.

This week I'm opening a can of Cigar City Cider & Mead's Hard Cider, their stalwart and core cider in their lineup.

But this is Florida Beer Friday, you say. Yes, this is true, but the craft cider is making a resurgence in popularity (some may claim it never left), and I felt it time to take a bit of a diversion into the realm of ciders now that Palm Beach County has its own cider producer

What is cider? According to the Beer Judge Certification Program's 2015 guidelines, there are 11 differing categories of cider, with this Hard Cider from Cigar City most likely falling under the New World Cider category. They are made from a variety of apple types and are typically carbonated just like beer. 

Eager to read said guidelines for yourself? Go to town:

Now on to the tasting.

The cider is crystal clear with a yellow color that evokes a deeply oaked chardonnay. Aromas are sweet, candy-like, and full of that apple-type of character with a hint of vanilla. The flavor is sweet, full of apple as one would expect, a bit of tartness, and finishes with that fleshy drying sensation. The carbonation is present and is neither too spritzy or flat, but a happy medium. It sits at 5.5 percent ABV, which is pretty standard as far as ciders go.

Hard Cider is available in six-packs of 12-ounce cans at most big-box beer retailers; it shouldn't be too difficult to find some out in the world. Overall, it's a pretty standard offering and will please those who are used to drinking ciders from the usual "big guys."

Cigar City Cider & Mead is located at 1812 N. 15th St., Tampa. Call 813-242-6600, or visit cigarcitycider.com.

Doug Fairall is a craft beer blogger who focuses on Florida beers and has been a homebrewer since 2010. For beer things in your Twitter feed, follow him @DougFairall and find the latest beer pics on Clean Plate's Instagram.

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