Dry Cider: Primal-ish Beer Alternative?

April 25, 2012


Sometimes, you just want a beer. Maybe you’re watching the Canucks being eliminated from the Playoffs, gnawing on chicken wings, and a glass of wine doesn’t seem quite right. Or you’re out and just don’t feel like shelling out ten bucks for a glass of wine. Cocktails are always fun and tasty, but I treat those like dessert – yes, I’ll occasionally indulge, but only with a side of guilt. Before you ask, I have indeed tried the NorCal Margarita – but sadly I’m just not fond of the taste of tequila (except for Patron Xo Café, now that’s good stuff). And I’ll take a pass on gluten-free beers that don’t taste like beer and are typically made from other grains.

But what about dry apple cider? If fermented fruit is the closest we can come to “paleo” alcohol, then it would make sense that cider, much like wine, would be a promising option. Cider definitely has more carbs and sugar than wine. But as long as you don’t overdo it, it’s tasty, easy on the wallet, and doesn’t feel like much of a compromise.

But don’t just buy any cider. Make sure it’s “dry” – that’ll save you from the cloyingly sweet ones. For example, I tried both Okanagan and Growers ciders, which are pretty big here in BC, and found both too sweet for my liking. I don’t believe either of those were “dry”. And definitely stay away from Strongbow, at least here in Canada – the list of ingredients is atrocious. In fact, I recommend checking ingredients on all the ciders – some of them have a long list of additives.

The best dry cider that I’ve had thus far: Lonetree Authentic Dry Cider. The bad news: It’s not organic and contains some added sugars, which apparently isn’t unusual with ciders, ditto sulfites. The good news: I have confirmed that it doesn’t contain gluten. And the cider is delicious – neither sweet nor bitter, simply dry, crisp and refreshing.

As far as beer substitutes go, dry apple cider fits the bill. After all, fermented fruit beats fermented grains any day. And quite frankly, I actually prefer the taste of dry cider over beer. So, next time a beer feels right, I’ll reach for some dry cider instead.

How about you – have you tried dry apple cider?

Shared with Fight Back Fridays and Real Food Wednesdays.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenna April 26, 2012 at 8:25 AM

I am so glad you mentioned this! Baseball, AKA “beer” season, is starting up now and I wasn’t sure how cracking open a bottle of wine was gonna go. Plus I love cider, but never actually think to order one…. Thanks for the post!


[email protected] April 26, 2012 at 8:08 PM

You’re welcome :) Let me know if you come across any good ones – especially organic!


Julie April 26, 2012 at 1:35 PM

I like beer, but I feel like I’m drinking bread when I imbibe. I will be on the look out for dry cider. I’ll look in my Denver liquor store. Thanks


[email protected] April 26, 2012 at 4:11 PM

You kind of are drinking bread when you drink beer (carb and gluten-wise) :p Remember to check the ingredients when you buy, and of course organic if it’s available!


Sarabeth April 27, 2012 at 8:21 PM

My Favorite cider is Samuel Smith’s Organic – neither too sweet nor too dry.


[email protected] April 27, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Cool – I’m curious about checking out what ciders are available next time I’m in the US. The selection here is much more limited.


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