I won't make that mistake again. A few Octobers ago, I was at a medium-sized dinner party, and volunteered to be the guy who ran down the block to fill the three growlers the group would enjoy for the evening. The spot only had six taps, so I tasted every one, and came back with the three things I thought were the most interesting: a Northwest Pale Ale, a Cascadian Dark Ale, and a Semi-Dry Honeycrisp cider.
After struggling to juggle three (full and very cold) 64 oz. glass jugs in my lowly two arms, I "knocked" on the door with my left foot, entered, and declared my haul to eight very thirsty guests. Growler One? Good to go. Growler Two? Great, let's try it. Growler Three?
People, I drank Growler Three all by myself. Not all in the first night, but the semi-bubbled leftovers were all mine.
Turns out, absolutely NO ONE else in that group was even remotely interested in a hard cider.
This blew me away, and I so asked several of my other amateur beer expert friends. And only a few expressed any interest in a well-crafted cider. IS THIS A THING? Or are all my friends just knuckleheads?
Look. I love beer. As much as I'm moved by whiskey, wine, gin, tequila, and the like, if you told me I had to pick a desert island beverage, I would most certainly opt for cerveza, because it has the broadest diversity within the category. A malty, bready pitch black ale isn't really even the same beverage as barely golden lager. I love that.
But, I also think cider is perfectly interesting. I don't drink it year round, but come autumn, I absolutely look forward to celebrating with a crisp, refreshing glass of fermented apples.
I mean, what's not to like?
It's apple cider, but cold, bubbly, and it has alcohol in it. To me, it's perfect to sip while wearing a sweater and listening to Bob Dylan while the leaves fall. Even my wife, whom I think is fantastic and with whom I share almost every taste preference, opened a bottle of hopped dry from a sixer I'd bought over the weekend, thinking it was beer, and then told me... I was welcome to finish it.
This makes me wonder if I'm in the minority. So, okay ManMakers....
Do you like hard cider? Do you also like beer? Do you think cider is maybe not a completely interesting as beer, but a fun tradition to sip throughout the late summer and fall? And, most importantly, am I crazy?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Happy fall, everybody.