Aspen Times Weekly Libation: Downeast Cider |

Aspen Times Weekly Libation: Downeast Cider

by J.M.Hirsch for The Associated Press
Original Downeast Cider is poured into a glass at the home office of the Downeast Cider House Friday, July 24, 2015, in Boston. The company expects to produce 17,000 barrels of cider this year, more than doubling overall production compared to last year. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)


We know, we’re in Aspen. But if you’re visiting from the East Coast or have plans to go there soon, here’s the deal: Distribution of Downeast Cider House ciders is mostly at bars and by the can in New England, New York and New Jersey. They are worth hunting for. Learn more at

There was a day not so long ago when this country had squat to offer as far as hard ciders. And for those of us who came of age on this deliciously dryly-sweet boozy beverage, it kind of sucked. That was more than a few years ago. Today, we are awash in hard cider choices, a trend that has piggybacked on the craft beer wave. Sadly, most of them still aren’t worth drinking, tending to be either stupidly sweet or breathtakingly dry. Then I spent this summer living (and drinking) in Boston, where Downeast Cider House ciders flow something akin to water. And the company produces a deliciously murky cider. Wait… Murky? Murky isn’t often a term associated with delicious. But roll with this one. Downeast Cider House ciders are cloudy. I balked when my first pint was poured. But then I tasted. Clean and crisp, a little sweet, a little dry. Which is to say, a balanced cider. The sort of drink Americans have shown themselves not particularly adept at producing. My favorite is their “original,” which accounts for nearly three-quarters of the 17,000 barrels they expect to produce this year, a more than doubling of overall production over last year. So it would seem I’m not the only one impressed by their ciders.