Hard Cider Gift Basket | CiderScene

For cider lovers, there is no better present for any occasion that a hard cider gift basket. Often, these baskets have hard cider, meat snacks, cheeses, and other apple-based products. The most difficult part of actually getting some this type of gift is finding the right option. We have compiled the top ten best hard cider gift baskets for cider fans on the market today.

hard cider gift basket

New York State is on the map for growing more apple varieties and now producing world-class hard ciders. Packed into this picnic hamper is a curated selection of NYS ciders and complimentary snacks.

This gift highlights a generous selection of the best ciders from our state, from Cooperstown (Ommegang), Orange County (Doc’s), the Hudson Valley (Graft) and the Hamptons (Wolffer.) with other fruits, to variants on rosé, the ultimate in summer sips.

We’ve also included salty snacks from small producers including Bazzini pistachios, Martin’s pretzels and Brooklyn Brittle savory shortbread and packed it all in a vintage-inspired wood picnic basket. Cheers to your cold, bubbly armchair tour of New York.

Price: $99
Notes: This box offers a nice variety of cider options for fans of dry and sweet ciders.

The Cider Gold Gift Box contains a bottle of Lake Chelan Winery’s famous Hard Apple Cider. You can choose sparkling cider, which has a little fizz, or regular cider, which does not. Pair either cider with Dan the Sausageman Summer Sausage and our popular Walla Walla Sweet Mustard and you’ve got the makings of a picnic to remember!

Make your gift even more special by adding The Growler cutting board! Just select it as an option on the right, and we’ll include it in the Cider Gold Gift Box.

Price: $60
Notes: Not readily available all the time, but they have a phone number to call to order!

Equipped with a four-pack of Citizen’s hard cider and the ideal snacks to pair, you are sure to please all of your cider-loving friends and family. Bring this crate along for a picnic in the park, or open up as an après ski treat, it is perfect for an afternoon spent sipping and snacking!

Price: $94
Notes: They offer vegetarian and gluten-free options for those in need!

Country goodness meets orchard freshness in this bountiful basket filled with seasonal sweets, refreshing sips and savory treats! This wonderful wooden apple cider crate makes a great decorative addition to their fall and holiday decor. This gift is stunning!

Truly a gift they will remember for a long time to come, this adorable apple themed gift basket is loaded with apple themed gourmet goodies and paired with nuts and cheeses that compliment each other surprisingly well. Flavor like this carefully arranged into a country style wooden box makes a beautiful presentation for any occasion.

Price: varies, but around $100
Notes: Not sure there will always be a ton of inventory, but it is a good option for apple lovers of all sorts.

Time to taste! A little local hard apple cider along with cider themed treats. Includes a tasting journal so they can keep track of their favorite Oregon made ciders. Includes:

  • 3-2 Towns Ciderhouse Cider Cans in a combo of available varieties like Pineapple, Marionberry or other seasonal.
  • Cranberry Sweets Hard Apple Cider Fruit de’ Pate’ candies. (Coos Bay)
  • 33 Mugs of Cider Tasting Journal (Portland)
  • Sister’s Fruit NW Fruit Mix of dried cherries, blueberries, apples, strawberries and cranberries (Cornelius)
  • Oregon Berries Fruit de’ Pate’ Blackberry and Raspberry Candies (Coos Bay)

Price: $56
Notes: A great way to taste the region and get a taste of the PNW if you can’t make it out often. They offer a premium version, too!

Organic USDA certified juicy ripe pears, fresh and crisp red apples and sweet oranges arrive in this handmade basket. Organic sparkling apple cider, chocolate caramel truffles, roasted salted cashews, roasted salted almonds, creamy jack cheese spread and multigrain crackers are packed into this basket.

Price: $136
Notes: Contains Sonoma sparkling cider, so, again, good for the pregnant women and those not looking for a hard beverage.

24″ tall and impressive! Our Bouquet of Beer comes with 6 Angry Orchard Rose Ciders and plenty of snacks to enjoy. We’ll finish this gift with a gorgeous bow along with your message on a greeting card. Printed ribbon is available for an additional fee.

Price: $119
Notes: This is one of the cutest presentations of all the gift baskets we found online!

Refreshing and delicious Sheffield Sparkling Cherry Apple Cider, produced in Washington’s Columbia Basin from the third generation Sheffield family’s apple orchards pairs perfectly with Pacific Northwest Smoked Salmon, Brie Cheese Spread, Elki Crackers, Gourmet Almonds, Chocolate Truffles, White Chocolate Dipped Pretzels and Brown & Haley’s Almond Roca, arranged in an elegant red metal tin. Festive and delicious!

Price: $74.95
Notes: This is a non-alcoholic cider, so it is perfect for those that do not drink and pregnant women! We did include this cider is our sparkling cider article.

This box has an assortment of North Country Hard Cider, cheese, crackers, parmesan crisps, and apples. If you know a hard cider lover you know there’s only one way to get to their heart: through their stomach. So we’ve collected some of their favorite snacks and brought them together with three different North Country Hard cider flavors in this Hard Cider Care Package!

Price: $89.99
Notes: Irresistible New England themed treats tastefully paired with the flavors of the three hard ciders.

Good4You presents the Green Apple Cider Garden Gift Basket, a gift that is all about the green! We love the color green and we want you to as well, which is why we packed some of our favorite green items into this basket, such as juicy green apples with sweet cinnamon sticks, and delicious Somersby Apple Ciders.

Price: $49.99
Notes: Upgradeable to include other elements in the basket

Have other hard cider gift baskets we didn’t add to our list? Send us an email at [email protected] Cheers!


Hard Cider Myths Debunked | CiderScene

Hard Cider Myths

As popular as hard cider has become, establishing itself as a mainstream alternative to beer on menus and in stores, a lot of people still have misconceptions about it. These can be about everything from the state of the market to the effects of the drink. In this piece, we’ll look at some of the most common hard cider myths –– and debunk them so that everyone can enjoy cider that much more!

Cider Myth #1: Hard Cider is New

We’re sorry to tell you this, but it’s been around for longer than you might think. In fact, beloved brand Woodchuck–which has been at the heart of hard cider’s explosion in popularity in the US–has been around for 30 years! It’s just that it’s newly trendy in the last 10 or 12, leading many to feel that they’ve discovered something new. It’s okay everyone –– you’re just hopping abroad a great bandwagon! If you want to delve into the full history of hard cider, we have a piece on that, too.

Cider Myth #2: Hard Cider is Sweet

It isnt, for the most part. First of all, it’s nothing like the classic apple cider you get from the supermarket or your favorite pumpkin patch farm during the fall. While it’s true that ciders are fruit-based, they’re about as sweet as wine — which means there are sweet options along with bitter, sour options, and none of them are going to naturally reach dessert-level sweetness. That pretty much only happens when you seek out the flavored kinds. It also depends on the person. Two people can drink the very same cider and perceive it in two different ways, and those who decide it’s sweet will probably enjoy it more.

Cider Myth #3: Hard Cider Gives You Reflux

There are some who under the impression that drinking a are heavily carbonated alcoholic beverage causes acid reflux. The truth of the matter though is that causes of this are typically not so simple. Some of the actual identified causes include things like being overweight, smoking tobacco products, and drinking too much caffeine and/or alcohol, according to a guide to acid reflux by SymptomFind. Now, there is a possibility that if you’re already susceptible due to one of these underlying causes — or you’re drinking a lot — cider can be a trigger due to its acidity. But in these cases, cider is irritating your reflux more than causing it.

Cider Myth #4: Hard Cider Is A “Girly” Drink

We’ve written on article on if hard cider is a girly drink before. While it’s true that alcohol companies have started to market more products towards women, according to “Girly Drinks” by Mallory O’Meara, hard cider hasn’t been particularly over-marketed to any gender. Hard cider labeling tends to be completely neutral and doesn’t aim to persuade a certain group of people. Instead, it’s enjoyed by everyone who has tried and enjoyed cider. As with most alcoholic drinks, everyone has their own preference and tastes. Plus, the idea of ​​a “girly” drink is silly to begin with!

Cider Myth #5: All Hard Ciders Taste the Same

Hard ciders are traditionally made with apples, but even the type of apple can vary from brand to brand. Most hard cider companies have more than one variety of cider, and some of them aren’t even made from apples; look to Paste Magazine’s extensive ranking of some of the best ciders out there and you’ll see flavors like pear, honey, peach, raspberry, and more. The truth of the matter is that many fruits can be used to make cider as long as they’re fermented properly. This just means that you’ll have to try different brands and types of cider in order to find your favorite! We created a list of odd and unusual hard cider flavors for you to find some wacky ciders!

As hard cider becomes more popular, more brands and varieties continue to hit the market. Keep these debunked hard cider myths in mind as you go hunting for your favorite cider, and enjoy! Find hard cider near you and start drinking cider!


Getting to Know Golden State Cider | CiderScene

California is a vast space of unique experiences, cuisine and beverages from NorCal to SoCal. May it be some of the US’s best wine or a beer scene that is comparable to some of the east coast havens. That doesn’t stop in the world of cider, either — not even close. One of our recent favorite sideries coming out of the Golden State is…. Golden State Cider. Let’s dig into their history a bit and what type of ciders they are offering.


About Golden State Cider

Golden State Cider was founded on Devoto Orchards in Sebastopol, California by the dynamic duo of Jolie Devoto and Hunter Wade. They were making cider utilizing heirloom apples grown in the drier climate as another means of enjoying these delicious apples. Their first cider offerings were made from 100% fresh juice, celebrating the character of these heirloom apples.

Golden State’s goal is to keep apple trees in the ground, and with that came the idea to produce quality craft cider that speaks to the regions where the apples are from. They want to celebrate the rich heritage and apple diversity across the west coast by continuing to use west coast apple juice and press them like they always have.

To fulfill their mission of staying true to the region, Golden State plans to grow to be California’s largest apple purchaser in the category. They will continue to collaborate with long-existing apple orchards and farmers from premier growing regions throughout the state to create those delicious orchard-to-can experiences that pay homage to the apple varietals of the region.

Golden States Core Series


Mighty Dry

Mighty Dry is made with 100% fresh-pressed west coast apple juice and fermented with champagne yeast. Juicy, freshly cut apple aromatics balance seamlessly with a bright, crisp taste to produce our flagship cider.


Brut Bone-Dry

With Zero grams of sugar, Brut is our driest core cider. We chose to leave Brut unfiltered to showcase a fuller mouthfeel and provide additional layers of flavor. The complex aromas and flavors resemble the common characteristics found in zero dosage sparkling wines, making Brut our ‘champagne of cider.’



Gingergrass is a refreshing cider infused with natural ginger root and lemongrass. Vibrant aromatics and zesty flavors lead to a well-rounded finish.



Jamaica (pronounced Ham-eye-cuh) Inspired by the rich tradition of Aguas Frescas, Jamaica reimagines this familiar taste from a dry cider perspective. Jamaica is a naturally pink cider made with tropical hibiscus flowers, which create fragrant aromas that lead to fresh berry flavors and a tart, round finish.


Mellow Green

Mellow Green is lightly infused with Columbus hops to impart a floral, citrusy finish.


Get You Some

Good news for people across the US trying to get their hands on this cider. Golden State Cider now can ship to 40 states! You can buy their products at their cider shop.


Cidermaking Q&A: Banter’s Hard Cider | CiderScene


To complete our series on Banter Cider, we sat down with Steve Brancato – the man behind the curtain. We talked flavors, cidermaking processes, and interesting behind-the-scenes cider stories.


How do you think up your cider flavors?

I find inspiration almost everywhere. We do a pineapple/passion fruit that was inspired by a tea that I had at Panera one afternoon. Swamp Frog (limeade) comes from one of my kids’ favorite drinks. It can also come from another cider that I’ve tasted and thought “hmm, I would do it this way if I were to make such and such a cider.”

How do you conceptualize your designs and descriptions?

I just like to have fun with the descriptions. A lot of my employees give me shit about my excessive use of CAPS on the label but I want our consumers’ eyes drawn to certain keywords so I do my best in forcing them to stand out. As far as the label designs go, it’s really just a two-part process. Typically, I’ll come up with some off-the-wall idea then hand it off to our artist, Earl Kess to bring it to life.

The ideas can be anywhere from lighthearted and fun (Sun Thunder) to dark and somewhat angry (New Normal). I really give Earl most of the credit when it comes to our labels. He truly understands who we are as a company and as a brand. We kinda think of ourselves as the un-cider. Where a lot of cider brands are projecting images of elegance and/or earthiness on their labels, we prefer dark, gloomy and the occasional dash of disturbing.

What is your favorite cider that you make and why?

Overcast is and probably always will be my favorite cider. Even though it’s the first one I’ve ever made and has been around since our inception, the recipe is still evolving. After five years, I just changed the yeast strain we use for Overcast on our latest batch. This alteration created a noticeable change to the cider’s profile…but for the better, in my opinion. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive as well!

How do you think experimenting with a variety of ciders influences your business?

Experimentation and diversity have been key for us. It was a little tricky to figure out during the first year or two what exactly our customers liked, what sold, what didn’t, etc. but I feel we’ve got a good handle on it now. We’ve got our staples that you can find there year round. Then we have our seasonals which you can only find at certain times. Finally, we have our limited releases which are usually just a one and done type deal. I think customers enjoy that they can come in at any time and grab something they’re comfortable with, for example, a pint of Bone and also try something that they may have never had before.

Do you think flavor diversity is key to gaining new customers and retaining them?

This is a topic that can probably be applied to many industries. No matter what you’re offering, you’ve got to keep things fresh and exciting. Even McDonald’s releases new shit once in a while! Haha! People grow tired of the same old, same old. A lot of consumers, especially craft cider/beer consumers are adventurous. They want to try something they’ve never had before. They want to be the first of their friends to get their hands on something. We do our best to satisfy this need.

Do you have any cool cider stories when in the cider-making process?

When I first started making cider on the commercial level, I would drive to the orchard and have them fill up my three 55 gallon drums. These are NOT ideal vessels for transporting cider! Anyway, after we had pumped the contents of the drums into a fermenter, I loaded the empty drums back on my truck and tethered them together with a ratchet strap so they wouldn’t bounce around so much in transit. Unfortunately, I had forgotten to strap them down to the bed of my truck. On my way home, I was probably going a little faster than I should have. Some wind got underneath the barrels and had lifted them completely out of my truck and onto the highway.

The barrels landed upside-down, on their lid which was held on by a metal ring clamp. It was dark at the time so I actually didn’t know I had lost the barrels until I heard a thump and saw the sparks from the clamps shooting across the highway in my rearview mirror. Fortunately, no one was too close behind me and the barrels had slid all the way to the shoulder of the road. I was able to get off at the next exit to turn around and safely retrieve them back onto my truck. I ended up having to replace one of the valves…but it could have been A LOT worse! Adventures in cidermaking!


2 Towns Expands Cosmic Explorer Cider Series – CiderScene

Launching off its astronomical success with award-winning Cosmic Crisp®, 2 Towns Ciderhouse expands its interstellar imperial series with two bold, new flavor frontiers, Tropical Cosmic Crisp® and Blueberry Cosmic Crisp® (both at 8% ABV).

Hitting earthling stores in early FebruaryTropical Cosmic Crisp® and Blueberry Cosmic Crisp® join the original Cosmic Crisp® (launched in 2021) to round out the Cosmic Explorer Series—the new, high ABV, imperial cider line from 2 Towns.

All three high gravity ciders (Tropical Cosmic Crisp®, Blueberry Cosmic Crisp®, and the original Cosmic Crisp®) are crafted with Cosmic Crisp® apples and designed to transport you straight across the galaxy. Tropical Cosmic Crisp® embodies purple passion fruit, hibiscus flowers, and Cosmic Crisp® apples and will have you getting pitted on some epic solar flares! On a nearby planet, Blueberry Cosmic Crisp® hits the flavor notes of Northwest blueberries jammin’ with Cosmic Crisp® apples, creating the ultimate space-age cider.

“We are thrilled to launch these new varieties of the Cosmic Explorer Series”, says Dave Takush, head cider maker. “The spectacular flavor of the Cosmic Crisp apple really supports the tangy and tropical vibes of the passionfruit and hibiscus. I also love how the character of the NW Blueberries really shine through in the Blueberry Cosmic. Both of these new Cosmic ciders are out of this world.”

The Cosmic Crisp® apple is the work of 20 years of study and research by Washington State University, resulting in a classically bred hybrid of Enterprise and Honeycrisp apples. The resulting fruit is a large, round, crisp, and super juicy apple that is perfect for snacking, baking, and clearly, cider making. Large, round, crisp, and super juicy, these bi-color apples have a rich red that almost sparkles with starburst-like lenticels—which is where the name “Cosmic” comes from.

“Undoubtedly, the partnership with 2 Towns Ciderhouse and Cosmic Crisp® will live long and prosper,” said Kathryn Grandy, chief marketing officer, Cosmic Crisp®. “We are delighted to build upon this natural alliance and excited to be collaborating on such incredible flavor innovations with 2 Towns.”

Cosmic Explorer Series Details

Tropical Cosmic Crisp®

  • 8.0% ABV | Imperial Passion Fruit
  • Crafted with Cosmic Crisp® apples, purple passion fruit, and hibiscus flowers
  • Passion fruit-forward with a hint of fresh hibiscus flowers, brought together by Cosmic Crisp® apples.

Blueberry Cosmic Crisp®

  • 8.0% ABV | Imperial Blueberry
  • Crafted with Cosmic Crisp® apples and Pacific Northwest blueberries
  • Fresh Cosmic Crisp® apples profile upfront with a Northwest blueberry party in the back.

Original Cosmic Crisp®

  • 8.0% ABV | Imperial Cider
  • Crafted with Cosmic Crisp® apples
  • Crisp, clean, high acid profile. Beautiful apple forward flavor and aromas.

The Cosmic Explorer Series will be available in 4 x 6 x 12 oz cans, ½ bbl & ⅙ bbl kegs through distributors in Oregon, Washington, California, Alaska, Idaho, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, Montana, South Dakota, and Arizona.

About 2 Towns Ciderhouse

At 2 Towns Ciderhouse we believe that the long history of cidermaking demands respect and deserves to be done right. Starting with the highest quality whole ingredients from local farms, we take no shortcuts in crafting our ciders. We never add any sugar or concentrates and instead use slow, cold fermentation methods to allow the fruit to speak for itself. As a family-owned company, we are committed to the growth of our team and the enrichment of our communities. We take pride in producing true Northwest craft cider. For more information on 2 Towns Ciderhouse, visit

About Cosmic Crisp®

The Cosmic Crisp® brand apple is the remarkable result of 20 years of study and research by Washington State University’s world-class tree fruit breeding program. Classically bred and grown in Washington State, the Cosmic Crisp® is a cross of the Enterprise and Honeycrisp varieties. The apple has a perfectly balanced flavor, striking color, and crisp texture, making it ideal for snacking, cooking, baking, and entertaining. Find recipes, inspiration, and more at


Dutton Estate’s Cider: Review – CiderScene

In an effort not to report just from the Midwest, we thought we’d give some California love and review some cider we’ve never tried from Dutton Estates from Sonoma County. Dutton makes a wide variety of wines, but how does their hard cider stack up and is it wine-like? Let’s delve into their history and then we can talk tasting notes. Does that work for you?


Dutton Estate’s History

Dutton Ranch farms is 200 acres of CCOF-certified organic apples in addition to 1200 acres of vineyards in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County. Joe and Tracy Dutton grew up farming apples alongside vineyards, and founded Dutton Estate Winery after their marriage in 1995. Their combined multi-generational family history inspired this hard apple cider.

The apples are a blend of the beloved local heirloom Gravenstein variety with Golden Delicious which fashions the perfect cider: fruit-forward, like biting into fresh apples, with a touch of tartness and sweetness. The method they use in the cidermaking process is essentially the “cold”, and that is a bit of their secret. Each variety was crushed, pressed, and cold settled separately. They then take this cold settled product and pair the two together at the juice stage. This allows the flavors to integrate as the cider ferments. The cider is fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks right until the moment it is canned.

Our Review of Dutton Estates Hard Cider

Coming from a wine region like Sonoma County outd expectations for quality were high. The can is presented in a slim can with an attractive design that both is reminiscent of the region and the products it makes. The ABV is slightly higher than a typical cider hitting at 7.4%. As mentioned these come in 12 oz cans but they are slim which seems a bit more elegant and on theme for the region. On the pour the cider spills out with a large amount of carbonation that sits in a head before dissipating into a drinkable experience.

The color is a light slightly golden flavor reminiscent of a pale ale beer. The small bubbles and higher carbonation also bring a sense of a prosecco with a lighter body and a perfum-ey smell. Apple skin and tartness hit your nose and linger with a herbaceous sweetness that is pleasant. When it came to tasting the flavors really popped due to the carbonation. It begins with a tart apple up front that turns into a buttery chardonnay flavor likely from malolactic fermentation. Tart crisp flavors melt away like butter for the finish leaving a bit of sweetness lingering on the tongue.

Overall, this is well rounded with notes of honey that gives a feel of wine country mixed with cider life!

How to Get Your Own

If you are in California or visit the winery you can get a 4 pack of 12 oz cans. If you want to get these shipped to your door nationwide you can get a pack of 12 120z cans to enjoy. Just visit their website at


Getting to Know Sparkling Cider – CiderScene

sparkling apple juice

What is sparkling apple juice?

Sparkling apple juice is simple carbonated apple juice that has been filtered, pasteurized and carbonated. Unlike hard apple juice, it does not ferment and does not contain alcohol. While many sparkling ciders are filtered, there are unfiltered variations. Sparkling cider often contains just the right amount of natural or artificial (usually natural) sugar; Thus, they are generally considered soft drinks and are generally in a similar space in the grocery store between juices and soda.

Is sparkling apple juice an alcoholic?

Sparkling ciders such as Martinelli, Welch, and Sheffield’s are non-alcoholic. They have never undergone the fermentation process, so they do not contain alcohol and do not require the alcohol removal process like other non-alcoholic products. For ease of understanding, these products are just carbonated apple juice.

Popular brands of sparkling apple juice:

Sparkling Apple Juice from Martinelli


Martinelli is the biggest player in the game, so to speak. They have many flavors from sparkling apple to grape. Each one is made with a different type of apple or grape, or they have blends to suit your taste. Family owned and operated since 1868, Martinelli produces Gold Medal juices from apples grown in the Pajaro Valley in Watsonville, California. This and another item on this list are generally your go-to options in the Midwest – where we come from.

how much does it cost? $3-4 on average for a 25.4 fluid ounce bottle

Where to buy Martinelli sparkling cider:

Sheffield Sparkling Cider


The best sparkling wine juice we’ve ever had. Not even close. This Washington state product comes from the Columbia Basin – an area rich in apple trees. Sheffield grows 14 different commercial apples and 40 different types of cider. They have classic candy, grape apples, raspberry apples, and a variety of specialty products that highlight the many regional apples—providing added flavor and complexity.

how much does it cost? $12-15 per 25.4 fluid ounce bottle

Where to buy Sheffield Cider: HERE

Welch Sparkling Apple Juice


If the sparkling juice of a Martinelli wine carried some childhood memories, Welch would have had a full album. This is their only product out of many that I had a child that I still consume. This is 100% apple juice with no added sugars, preservatives, artificial colors or flavors. They have some newer bottles with colorful refills, but I personally prefer the old classic design.

how much does it cost? $3-4 per 25.4 fluid ounce bottle

Where to buy Welch’s Cider: HERE

RW Knudsen’s Sparkling Cider


Now, we’ve never had this one before, but we’ve heard good things and it’s available in most major department stores. RW Knudsen has been manufacturing produce since 1961 on organic California vineyards. Sparkling apple juice, like the others, is made with the juice of whole apples and a few other ingredients. It is a non-GMO product and of course it is non-alcoholic.

how much does it cost? $4 per 25.4 fluid ounce bottle

Where to buy RW Knudsen’s Cider: HERE

Langer’s Organic Sparkling Apple Juice


Again, we haven’t had it before, but this is frequently available across the United States. Another California product, Langers has been farming and making juice for people since 1960. This certified organic apple juice contains 100% juice with no added sugar or sweeteners. Only carbonated apple juice at its best. Compared to some other commercial sparkling ciders, the sugar is slightly lower. It should be better for people interested in sugar.

how much does it cost? $4-4.50 per 25.4 fluid ounce bottle

Where to buy Langer Cider: here

Sparkling apple juice cocktail

Now that you have sparkling cider, you can drink it to make an excellent cocktail. Below, we’ve highlighted three sparkling cider cocktails that have peaked our interest.

  1. sparkling apple gin juice
  2. Apple Cider Mimosa
  3. bourbon apple juice

Do you want to continue reading? Learn more about the difference between apple-based products. Interested in cider wine? We have a high list of cider.