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 who have persevered through the harsh growing conditions. And the ‘fruits’ of their labor are sweet, crispy, sometimes dry, but always delicious, bubbly hard cider!
Here’s my 2017 Guide to the Best Austin Cideries highlighting some of the best parts of each place, plus my favorite ciders!
Austin’s Best Cider
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.
My Austin Cider Pick:
Argus Fermentables Ginger Perry delivers a dry pear palate with a tart bite, finishing bright and a bit spicy at the end. Best enjoyed ice cold!
Austin Eastciders | Website
The household standard for cider in Austin is Austin Eastciders. It’s a classic here and we love drinking their canned ciders on a hot day, preferably floating down the Greenbelt. Unfortunately, these guys are without a taproom. Fortunately, you will find their tallboy cans in every bar, gas station, concert, or basically anywhere where beer is served.
Austin Eastciders is known for using bittersweet and bittersharp apple varities to produce their ciders which tend to be drier, smoother, and more complex than many modern hard ciders. They’re a great part of the Austin community, and here’s to holding out for a maybe a taproom one day?
My Austin Cider Pick:
Dry-Hopped Cider in the emerald green can will always be my go-to Austin Eastciders. With this cider, they’ve blended vintage bittersweet and culinary apples then paired them with hops. You’ll get the best of both worlds — a dry, smooth, and floral ’hopped cider’.
This South Austin cidery is Veteran owned and they’re taking a “non-traditional and funky approach to cider.” Their ciders are created with a “beer-minded” approach of blending a variety of fruit, spices, and herbs into the fermentators for something that is always wildly unique!
Austin Wine and Cider is located near St Elmo neighborhood and right next to South Austin Brewery, St Elmo Brewing, and a few other reputable booze makers. They’ve always had something different on tap and they love playing around with fruits and flavors, so you’ll never know what you get!
My Austin Cider Pick:
She’ll be Apples Cider is such a classic cider: easy to drink, not too dry and not too sweet.
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!
My Cider Pick:
Ciderweizen, with- GoldRush, Fuji & Melrose apples dry-hopped with Hallertau hops and dry-spiced with clove, coriander, orange peel. 8.4% ABV.
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!
My Mead Pick:
Dynamo is favorite of the carbonated meads, it’s super tart and balanced with some sweetness. But it’s the flavors of cherry, almond, vanilla, and the lightest hint of cinnamon that won me over.
What’s your favorite thing Austin cider?? Share it with me in the comments!