Apple-Gate: First Limes, and Now An Apple Shortage Threatens Hard Cider

Just as the U.S. started to embrace the sweet nectar of hard cider, an apple shortage threatens to stifle the hard cider growth boom.  In order to make hard cider, you need a very special variety of apple that is extremely high in sugar with a specific acid and tannin level.  These apple varieties are known as bittersweets, bittersharps, and sharps, and the problem is simple … there are not enough of them being grown in the U.S.  Since these special cider apples taste absolutely terrible and the varieties that we like eating demand a higher price, domestic farmers have focused on producing the latter.

This certainly presents a problem as domestic hard cider is booming five years with explosive growth and a notable sales increase of 68 percent in 2012-2013 alone, according to the Beer Institute.

So if you better stock up on your favorite hard cider bottles & cans now!  Yup, we’re talking Angry Orchard, Woodchuck, Original Sin, Maiden Rock, Glider, J.K. Scrumpy, Cider Jack, Smith & Forge, a fave of ours Reverend Nat’s … and the list goes on.


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