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 right now.
Which is kind of weird, because we aren’t known for our apples down here in Texas… In fact, it’s quite tough for apples trees down in this kind of climate.
Still, there are a few people in Austin (and more I hear are right around the corner!) who have persevered still and are doing good by making great ciders. And the fruits of their labor are sweet, crispy, usually very dry, but always delicious!
Here’s my 2017 Guide to the Best Austin Cideries highlighting some of the best parts of each place!
Argus Cider 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 utilization of Texan apples.
They’re one of the most popular cideries in Austin and their product can be found in cans, bottles, and on draft in most bars and restaurants here! Don’t let that be an excuse to skip out on a visit to these guys!
Argus Cidery is right down the road from Jester King and Last Stand Brewing making it a perfect third stop a boozy afternoon in Dripping Springs. Their prohibition-style taproom in Hill Country is the best place to enjoy these Texas apples.
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.
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. Here in town, you will find their tallboy cans in every bar, gas station, concert, or basically anywhere where beer is served. Overall, they’re still a great part of the Austin community.
Austin Eastciders is known for using bittersweet and bittersharp apple varieties to produce their ciders from juice concentrate. They ten tend to be drier, smoother, and more complex than many modern hard ciders. My favorite is the classic in the emerald green can will always be my go-to Austin Eastciders.
Recommended: East Austin Brewery Guide
When I first wrote this guide, Austin Eastciders did not have a taproom of their own, but luckily they’ve opened up one since. Their new taproom is over in East Austin and features other varieties besides what is available already.
Website |979 Springdale Rd, 78702
Fairweather Cider Co.
It’s no secret that North Austin is the best brewery district in town. And now, there’s a new 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 chile notes over the expected spicy heat.
When normally Champagne yeast is the go-to standard for cider making, both of Fairweather’s core ciders use Michael and John’s unique farmhouse ale yeas. Beyond Common and Tejano Dreams, they plan to experiment with dry hopping ciders, both single and hop blends. Additionally, these cider makers are sourcing their apples from out west in Oregon.
Recommended: North Austin Brewery Guide
Even though Fairweather’s taproom is not dog friendly, there is a sweet taproom dog that will be more than happy to let you love her! 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! Right now Common and Tejano Dreams are available around Austin, on tap and in cans, the taproom offers more variety of cider (plus wine from The Austin Winery on tap!) and a friendly, hip atmosphere.
Website | 10609 Metric Blvd, 78758
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 here in June, and I need 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!
Recommended: A Sweet Lesson on Fermented Honey with the Hive
Website | 8120 Exchange Dr Suite 400, 78754
Who’s your favorite Austin cider maker? Let me know in the comments!
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