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Side Trip Cider

BREWERY: NEW BELGIUM BREWING CO.
SIZE: 16oz
ABV: 5.6%

 The Beer of the Week is a cider, so deal with it. I was pleasantly surprised when my wife pointed this out on a shelf. We were like, whoa, wait, a cider? From New Belgium? Cool! We like ciders so we bought the dry version and gave it a shot. I’ve always had a soft spot for ciders. Places like Virtue Cider and Stem Cider have made high quality craft ciders a reality. These places are putting ciders in Bourbon barrels, dry hoping them and experimenting in other ways to our taste buds’ delight. So needless to say when we saw a cider from New Belgium we had little doubt they would miss the already high placed bar.

The fellow who worked at the liquor store informed us of its origin. He said New Belgium has wanted to do this for a while but their new brewery out east made it possible. He told us that Colorado considers cider a wine (made from fruit), but North Carolina doesn’t. This difference in licensing had stopped New Belgium before but now they are free to ferment apples there in Asheville and sell that liquid gold here. Keep in mind I’ve done about as much fact checking on this story as Fox News does on most of theirs. But it sounded good and I liked it, so I’m going with it.

The cider itself pours bubbly like a champagne, but fizzles quickly. It has a super clear golden hue bordering on a lighter hay color. The aroma obviously smells like apples, but more fruity like a fruit punch or fruity white wine. The taste is also fruitier than just apples, super clean and refreshing too. I’m not sure I’d call it dry but maybe down the middle between dry and sweet. Definitely not artificially sweet on the end but no where near other “dry” ciders I’ve had.

Good job New Belgium and thanks for being cool.

Scott Simmons
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