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Apples of Our Eyes: a Guide to Austin Cider

Austin Eastciders taproom
Austin Cider Guide [Updated for Summer 2020]

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 a bit strange…

We aren’t quite known for our apple-growing weather down here in Texas… In fact, it’s quite tough for apple trees to thrive in our hot and dry climate.

Best Cider in Austin, Texas

Covid-19 Taproom Updates (As of July 25, 2020)

– Argus Cidery: Per Instagram, operations have been paused since May 28, 2020.
– Austin Eastciders (Barton Springs): Open for dine-in.
– Austin Eastciders (Collaboratory): Open for online ordering and curbside pickup.
Fairweather Cider: Open for curbside pickup.
Moontower Cider: Limited hours, but open for outdoor seating and curbside pickups.
Texas Keeper Cider: Online ordering for taproom pickup or select Austin-area delivery.

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!

Here is your guide to the best cider in Austin. Let me know your favorite!

Argus Cidery

austin ciders

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.

Being one of the most popular cideries in Austin, you’ll find their cider in cans, bottles, and on draft many places around town.

Don’t let that be an excuse to skip out on a visit to their Hill Country tasting room!

Their prohibition-style taproom is the best place to enjoy this Texas cider. It’s out towards beautiful Dripping Springs, right down the road from Jester King.

Just one of the many reasons Argus Cidery is a must-stop on your next day trip.

Website | 12345 Pauls Valley Rd, 78737

Recommended: Drink the Day Away in Beautiful Dripping Springs, Texas

Austin Eastciders

austin eastciders taproom

Austin Eastciders is a classic icon for us Austinites. We love drinking their canned ciders on a hot day, preferably out on the water.

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.

Austin eastciders

If you are in Austin though, I highly recommend you check out their dog and family-friendly taprooms.

Referred to as the Collaboratory (pictured above), this is where you can find the full lineup of mainstays, plus special edition ciders.

Austin Eastciders Barton Springs

In Summer of 2020, Austin Eastciders opened a second taproom right in the heart of Austin, on Barton Springs Road. (pictured above)

Taking over the old Uncle Billy’s location, they’ve built a restaurant and taproom that is 110% Instagrammable.

This new location offers a food menu and plenty of free parking. Overall I think it makes for another great place to grab a drink and do some work!

Website | Collaboratory: 979 Springdale Rd, 78702 Barton Springs: 1530 Barton Springs Road, 78704

Recommended: East Austin Brewery Guide

Fairweather Cider

fairweather cider

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.

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).

When you head to their cider taproom in north Austin, you’ll find seven to ten different ciders available. If it’s overwhelming, the bar staff will be more than happy to help you navigate the delicious world of cider.

Fairweather Cider’s first, and one of their core ciders available around town, was Common, a super dry farmhouse style table cider that’s. As John says, “This is one you’re going to be drinking every day.”

And he’s been totally right about that…

austin fairweather cider

Another of their core ciders, and my personal favorite, is Tejano Dreams Fermented with Anaheim peppers, 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.

fairweather cider austin

I should note that they recently remodeled their taproom and nearly tripled the sitting area. Plus, they added some cool neon lights and other hip features.

Overall, a visit to Fairweather Cider’s colorful taproom in North Austin is a must!

If you can’t make it up to their taproom, 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

Moontower Cider

moontower cider austin

Moontower Cider opened its East Austin tasting room in November of 2019. You might already be familiar with their cider seeing as they’ve been producing and canning the stuff since spring of that same year.

I didn’t get to visit their taproom for myself until I went on an Austin food tour in February of this year. In fact, I had never even had their cider before my visit.

So I was excited to try out something new.

Their taproom is in MLK neighborhood, and you’ll spot it immediately by the great green logo covering the front of the building.

austin taproom

The tasting room itself is bright, minimal, and cheery. Large windows let in plenty of light in an otherwise plain, industrial building.

  • Currently, Moontower cider is producing four different ciders:
  • Semi-Dry – Made with five different types of bittersweet apples.
  • Pomme Blush – Made with Orange Muscat and Ruby Cabernet grapes.
  • Miel – Made with honey wine and lemon.
  • Perry – Made with Bosc and Anjou pears. (my favorite!)

Whether you grab a can at a bar on Rainey Street or make a trip to their Austin taproom, Moontower Cider’s cider is on point.

And they’re a wonderful addition to this city’s craft beverage scene.

Website / 1916 Tillery St, 78723

Texas Keeper Cider

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 a 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

meridian hive

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

Recommended: A Sweet Lesson on Fermented Honey with the Hive
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