These Crisp and Refreshing Hard Ciders Are Way Better Than Beer

Yes, they really are THAT good.

best hard cider brands 2018
Shacksbury

Crisp, juicy, and surprisingly versatile, hard cider is appropriate to drink year-round, although we particularly love sipping it in the fall. Thanks to its tart and refreshing flavor, lower ABV, subtle carbonation, and overall versatility, hard cider is also incredibly food-friendly and makes a delicious alternative to a more traditional bottle of bubbly for dinner parties or other special occasions. It should also be noted that the future of cider looks anything but basic, as more and more brands experiment with making cider from fruits other than the apple, like pears, black currants, and even strawberries.

From fruity and spicy varieties to traditional blends, here are our favorite hard ciders right now.

Note: Some beer, wine, and spirits retailers listed below offer limited delivery. Enter your ZIP code in the provided link to determine delivery zones.

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Liberty Ciderworks
Liberty Ciderworks Kingston Black Hard Cider (750-mL Bottle)
$17.00

From Spokane, Washington-based cider house Liberty Ciderworks comes this special single-varietal Kingston Black Hard Cider. Made exclusively from Kingston Black apples, this hard cider is bone-dry, just slightly sparkling, and complex. 

The burnt sugar and caramel notes make this cider especially delicious for pairing with pork tenderloin, roasted duck, or smoky charcuterie at your next dinner party.

More: The Best Rosé Wines Under $25

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Slyboro
Slyboro Ciderhouse La Sainte Terre Hard Cider (750-mL Bottle)
$22.00

With bright notes of tropical fruit, mango, and pear, this vivacious and bubbly hard cider is a bottle meant for celebrations. Golden Russet apples lend rich sweetness to this crisp and semi-dry cider, making it an ideal pairing with creamy cheeses, fruit platters, and apple pie. 

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Woodchuck
Woodchuck Amber Draft Cider (6-Pack)
$7.99

Made from a blend of apples and fermented with Champagne yeast, this Amber Hard Cider is the original blend from its Middlebury, Vermont, Woodchuck Cidery. Medium-bodied, golden-hued, and super refreshing, Woodchuck is one of the oldest major cider-makers in the States, and it continues to churn out delicious blends. 

If you're looking for an easygoing hard cider to sip during a barbecue or tailgating party, reach for Woodchuck.

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Shacksbury Semi-Dry Hard Cider (4-Pack)
$14.99

We love just about everything we've ever tasted from artisanal, Vermont-based cidery Shacksbury, but we're especially fond of their Semi-Dry Craft Cider, which you can conveniently buy in a canned four-pack for hiking trips or weekend hangs. Robust, fruity, slightly funky, and significantly less sweet than most other brands, this cider can be sipped during any season.

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​Redbyrd Orchard Cider​ Celeste Sur Lie​ (750-mL Bottle)
$27.00

This elegant dry cider from Burdett, New York-based cidery Redbyrd Orchard is aged for at least 12 months after its primary fermentation for added depth and a super creamy mouthfeel. Slightly carbonated and bone-dry, this effervescent cider makes the perfect celebratory bottle for special occasions or toasts.

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Wölffer Estates
Wölffer No. 139 Dry Rosé Cider (4-Pack)
$16.96

Made exclusively from New York state apples, this light and crisp hard cider has a gorgeous blush pink hue and a delicate, floral, slightly tart taste. You'll want to sip this all season long, as it's super refreshing and versatile enough for any occasion.

We particularly love pairing these hard ciders with our favorite cheeses or smoked charcuterie when guests come over.

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Rekorderlig Premium Pear Cider (500-mL Bottle)
$4.99

This hard cider from Swedish brand Rekorderlig is bursting with the flavor of ripe, juicy pears with just a touch of tartness. Serve it over ice with a squeeze of fresh lemon, and get ready to relax. This cider also tastes delicious paired with fruit-filled pastries and dessert.

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Angry Orchard
Angry Orchard Rosé Hard Cider (6-Pack)
$8.99

Made with the juice from rare, red-flesh apples sourced from France and a kiss of hibiscus, this rosé cider from Angry Orchard is a party in a bottle. Similar in taste to a semi-dry wine but with an added juiciness, this bright, medium-bodied hard cider is crisp, refreshing, and super food-friendly. 

We think this rosy beverage tastes especially dreamy paired with a creamy goat's milk cheese, but it can be dressed up or down to go with virtually anything.

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Strongbow
Strongbow Gold Cider (6-Pack)
$8.99

Arguably the most recognizable and widely available cider in the world, England's Strongbow is a classically dry and tasty little number. Serve this hard cider in a pint glass over ice.

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