Move over, craft beers, and make room for your sweeter alcoholic cousin: craft cider. Cider has experienced a massive growth spurt over the past few years. What began as a warm, spiced beverage sipped by chattering Christmas carolers hit college mini fridges in the form of Angry Orchard six packs. I guzzled cider with the best of them, but I was always weary of the hangover they might inspire. Then Austin rescued our fermented friend.
Now, the flavors are endless, the vessels vary and the sugar content is down. My intrigue led me to what seems to be Austin’s most-noticed cidery, Austin Eastciders.
Brewing Something Other Than Beer
Over the past few years, Austin Eastciders’ simple blue and cream cans have been popping up on the shelves of Austin supermarkets and in fridges at local bars. Their first “urban cidery” opened its doors on Springdale Road in 2014. The team held fast to the goal of creating traditionally-influenced cider, complex in flavor, for city-goers whose palates are more advanced.
According to Dave Rule, Vice President of Marketing for the brewery, cider used to be the most popular drink in America before Prohibition. Though cider never regained its initial popularity, craft breweries like Austin Eastciders are helping this tasty libation regain its footing.
Standing Out in a Craft-crazy City
There’s a certain novelty that comes with drinking a cider out of a can. Rule adds that cans protect cider from oxygen and sunlight, and allow consumers to enjoy this delightful drink anywhere. Many of us know from experience that glass isn’t allowed at some of our favorite Austin outdoor destinations. Austin Eastciders has us covered for all the adventures we have planned.
Rule also revealed that the master cider brewers at Austin Eastciders have returned to old school brewing patterns to ensure a smoother, more authentic flavor in their ciders. The secret? Special cider apples instead of the normal apples you might find on your kindergarten teacher’s desk. This explains the not-too-sweet taste of each canned flavor.
I’ve tried each of Austin Eastciders’ flavors and enjoyed every one. From the original to the newest additions–hopped, Texas honey and pineapple–each has a crisp taste that never allows me to get oversaturated with sweetness.
The pineapple offers a subtle visit to the tropics for my tastebuds while the hopped satisfies the beer aficionado in me. If you’re new to cider, the original flavor is always a safe and pleasant bet. Texas honey is just a bit crisper, but it doesn’t have the heavy sweetness you might expect. No matter which flavor you land on, you can’t go wrong.
The Future of Austin Eastciders
This local brewery is here to stay. Since its founding in 2013, Austin Eastciders has opened two cideries, including a recent brewery on Commercial Center Drive. The company hopes to use the expertise of their cider makers to start creating small batch barrel aged ciders, which no doubt will be gulped with enthusiasm by Austinites.
For now, Austin Eastciders hopes to continue changing people’s perspectives on cider by providing them with high-quality ciders made with heirloom apples, in bright and refreshing flavors like golden pineapple.
Next time you’re at a bar or in the store, forget your past experience with overly sweet ciders named after woodland creatures, and grab a can of Austin Eastciders. Return to your pre-Prohibition roots and ask yourself, in the words of Austin Eastciders, “How do you like them apples?”
@theAustinot wants to know:
Have you sipped a satisfying cider from Austin Eastciders? What’s your favorite flavor?
We always have unique content on the Austinot, and we love to give things away. You know, like CDs, event tickets and other cool stuff. We only send out our Best of the Austinot newsletter two times/month. It’s where we give you a recap of our best articles and give stuff away. Interested? Subscribe to Best of the Austinot here!