Best cider brands in 2021: 15 brilliant cider brands to try
The best cider brands around right now, from Friels to Galipette.
There are few things better than drinking a cold, crisp cider out in the sunshine on Sunday afternoon. But sometimes the choice can be overwhelming. For example, do you go traditional apple, pear or perhaps something more fruity? This is where our best cider list comes in.
UPDATE:We have updated our best cider list for 2021, adding a number of new refreshing ciders to the list - including the fantastic Galipette Brut. As spring and summer approaches, we hope to taste test more, too.
- Are you a beer lover, too? Take a look at our best craft beers list to find some new brews to try
Best ciders to try in 2020
1. Crafty Nectar No.7
No.7 is a mellow and sparkling cider by Crafty Nectar, the UK’s first craft cider subscription box. Its flavour is thanks to a mix of Dabinett, Harry Masters Jersey, Michelin and Yarlington Mill apples. The winner of Bronze International Cider Challenge Award, so you don’t have to just take our word that it’s good.View now at Crafty Nectar
2. Sxollie Golden Delicious
Sxollie, which roughly translates a scallywag or rascal, only uses 100% apples to make its cider, and the South African company describes itself as having “their roots in rural orchards” but their “heart and soul resides in the city” - a modern design for a simple, easy-drinking cider.
This award-winning cider has a distinct ‘prosecco’ flavour thanks to the use of sparkling wine yeasts that give it a tropical fruit note. Made with only 100% Golden Delicious apples, Sxollie is gluten-free and suitable for vegans.
3. Aspall's Imperial Vintage
Named in honour of a forefather’s success at the Imperial Fruit Show in 1921, every year Aspall’s craft a special vintage. Aspall’s Imperial has a richer, more intense apple flavour than many on this list, and a higher ABV, too, at 8.2%. It also has notes of fudge, raisins and prunes, to balance the bittersweet apples. Serve with lamb or strong cheeses such as Brie or Blue Stilton to get the most out of the flavour.
4. Weston's Vintage Cider
There is always going to be a fight between Somerset and Hereford for who brews the best cider. Weston's (Henry Weston to give the full name) is Hereford and proud and has made something of a name for itself as a mass manufacturer of cider. The vintage range is the one that gives our taste buds a real kick. We like the Cloudy Vintage but if you want something a little different, there is a rose version which adds apple blossom to proceedings.
5. Galipette Brut
The Galipette Non-Alc is one of the best alcohol-free ciders we have tasted. But for real power and taste, you do need the Galipette Brut. This French cider is made from 100% fermented apple juice - so no concentrate, added sugars, sweeteners or preservatives. The apples are hand-picked, the method of making it traditional and the taste sublime. If you have a sweeter tooth, then the Galipette Biologique is for you.
6. Harry’s “Scrummage” Medium Farmhouse Cider
This is an absolute joy of a drink. It's been an award-winner and is just one of the many fantastic cider variants that Somerset-based, family owned Harry's makes. They've been producing cider for some 15 years now and their dedication to making cider with 100% juice has made their drinks a delight. Our pick is Scrummage, a medium cider that blends the sweet and the sharp fantastically well.
7. Perry's Grey Heron
Another Somerset cider that deserves to be high up on our list. Grey Heron by Perry's uses Redstreak and Dabinett apples and has a lovely sweet taste. It's sparkling and tastes, well, new. This may be because the orchard is a mere five minutes away from the farm.
8. Sheppy’s Dabinett Apple
Sheppy’s are one of the oldest premium craft cider-making families in the UK having been around over 200 years. They still use the same methods today (admittedly with more modern technology) to create their ciders. This cider is made from Dabinett apples grown in Somerset that give it an extra sweetness. It has a slight sparkle and a smoky after-taste that makes it distinct. If you’re having it with a meal, try pairing it with chicken or pork.
9. Friels First Press Vintage
This apple cider has won numerous awards including a 2017 World’s Best Cider Award, so you know it’s good. It’s a medium dry vintage cider made only in a limited batch using Red Falstaff, Katy and Windsor apples from their orchards in Herefordshire and Worcestershire. If you want to know what food to pair this 7.4% ABV cider with, its makers suggest gourmet burgers, hot dogs and chorizo pizza.
10. Hawkes Urban Orchard
Admittedly you wouldn’t necessarily expect good cider to come from London, but Hawkes went against the country mould and it sure does make a crisp cider. Urban Orchard is “hand-picked in the Capital” and it is a sweet, easy-to-drink cider. It’s also suitable for vegans and coeliacs if that’s something you need to look out for.
11. Rosie’s Pig Cloudy Rhubarb
Another award-winning cider, but this one offers a tart, more grown-up fruity cider when compared to many on the market. Rosie’s Pig - named after one of Westons Cider’s first delivery trucks - has a strong, natural rhubarb flavour with additional hints of citrus. It’s also suitable for vegetarians, vegans and coeliacs.
12. Thatchers Redstreak
Having previously been voted the best sparkling cider in the world, Redstreak had to make the list. It’s an 8.4% single variety cider made from local Somerset Redstreak apples. The Redstreak is a bittersweet apple that makes a cider with a spice apple pie flavour and a rich colour. And, it’s suitable for vegetarians, vegans and coeliacs.
13. Kent Cider Blend 23
This dark and fruity cider is described by its award-winning cidery as being “crafted for the modern Cider drinker”. All the fruit comes from orchards in Kent and the cider is made in small batches on an oak cider press that its makers have nicknamed Alice. Suitable for vegetarians and vegans, this cider has a mid-range ABV of 6%.
14. Elk Warning with Blackberries
Elk Warning is named such because elk are known for their love of fermented (somewhat alcoholic) forest fruits, and according to this cider’s makers, you never get in the way of a drunken elk! This Swedish cider is made in a hand-crafted process so each batch is slightly different depending on the sourness of the apples. The cider itself is fruity and sweet, without being sickly and has a 4% ABV.
15. Cranes Cranberry and Lime
Not a traditional cider flavour, but this cider is dry and crisp like a classic apple cider. The cider is made with real cranberries so the flavour is sweet but natural. If you’re calorie-conscious, Cranes also has 30% fewer calories compared to brand leaders, with only 220 calories per bottle.