Austin Cider Guide [Updated for 2019]
Cider is one of the best gluten-free options for those who appreciate craft beverages. Lucky for them (and everyone else!), Austin is blooming with cider. Which is weird. We aren’t known for our apples down here in Texas… In fact, it’s quite tough for apple trees in our hot and dry climate.
Still, there are a few people in Austin who have persevered and are doing good by making great ciders. The fruits of their labor are sweet, crispy, usually very dry, and always delicious!
Argus Cidery was one of the first producers of hard cider in central Texas. This cidery started in 2010 when the founders grew tired of the lack of dry cider. They’re one of the most popular cideries in Austin. Their product comes in cans, bottles, and on draft at many bars and restaurants in town.
Don’t let that be an excuse to skip out on a visit to these guys! Their prohibition-style taproom is the best place to enjoy these Texas apples. It’s out in beautiful Dripping Springs, right down the road from Jester King.
Website | 12345 Pauls Valley Rd, 78737
More of a mainstream option, Austin Eastciders, is a classic icon for us Austinites. We love drinking their canned ciders on a hot day, preferably floating down the Greenbelt.
Austin Eastciders launched in 2013 with the goal of making America fall in love with cider all over again. These Austin cider makers are known for using bittersweet and bitter-sharp apple varieties to produce their ciders from juice concentrate. They tend to be drier, smoother, and more complex than many mainstream hard ciders. My personal favorite is the Original Dry in the classic emerald green can.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be in Austin to drink Eastciders, you can find their cider all over Texas and many other US states. If you are in Austin though, I highly recommend you check out their dog and family-friendly taproom. Referred to as the Collaboratory, this is where you can find the full lineup of mainstays, plus special edition ciders.
Website |979 Springdale Rd, 78702
Recommended: East Austin Brewery Guide
It’s no secret that North Austin is the best brewery district in town. And now, there’s a cider guy in that neck of the woods, Fairweather Cider Co.. Well, technically it’s two guys: John Staples and Michael Gostomski, (and a whole ‘village’ of their friends who are carpenters, artists, and all around fun people).
Currently, the duo are making two ciders, Common and Tejano Dreams. their first cider was Common, a super dry farmhouse style table cider that’s, as John says, “one you’re going to be drinking everyday.” Their second, Tejano Dreams is fermented with Anaheim peppers, and you’ll get more fresh chili notes over the expected spicy heat.
Where normally Champagne yeast is the go-to standard for cider making, many of Fairweather’s ciders use Michael and John’s unique farmhouse ale yeast. Along with that, these two are constantly experimenting with cider in every way and shape.
Their taproom is bright and sunny with a friendly atmosphere that will make you feel like you’re hanging out with all of your best friends. I should not that while the tasting room is a tad tiny, they’ve somehow found the secret to fitting in plenty of seating without making things feel cramped!
Overall, a visit to Fairweather Cider’s colorful taproom in North Austin is a must! If you can’t make it up their you can find Common, Tejano Dreams, and a few others available around Austin, on tap and in cans.
Website | 10609 Metric Blvd, 78758
Recommended: North Austin Brewery Guide
Texas Keeper Cider
Austin isn’t quite the land of cideries, but boy, are we lucky to have Texas Keeper Cider nearby! They were one of the first places I visited when I moved to Austin a few years ago. All I needed was just one visit to fall in love with both the cider and the people making it.
Most of their ciders can be picked up in local stores, but I highly suggest taking a short drive to their ranch-style taproom. It’s great place to bring the kids or a group and there are plenty of places to set up a picnic and enjoy the Texas breeze blowing through the trees.
Texas Keeper Cider is always having fun events, artist shows, live music, and rotating food trucks. So check their website for all their events and future cider releases!
Website | 12521 Twin Creeks Rd, Manchaca, TX 78652
Hold on though…
There’s one more place that deserves an honorable mention in this guide. In a category of their own here in Austin, these guys are taking honey and fermenting it in a way similar to apples and grapes. Mead is changing the landscape of craft booze and The Hive is leading that movement here in Austin!
Meridian Hive is Austin’s first and only meadery and they’re a refreshing addition to this city of craft beer drinkers. They’re leading a reinvention of mead and pushing boundaries with their carbonated mead and barrel aged stills. If you’ve never had mead before, or you’re not a big honey fan, give their carbonated meads a chance!
In Austin, Meridian Hive’s mead is easy to find in stores like Whichcraft or Central Market and on-tap at select places, but it’s very limited. Meridian’s taproom over by Mueller is where you need to visit for the full range of 18 or so meads and all their special releases that change often. It’s a small taproom, and it’s one that they’re quickly (and excited to be) outgrowing!
Website | 8120 Exchange Dr Suite 400, 78754