Downeast Cider House
Downeast Cider House is a local favorite. Brewed riverside in Charlestown, you’ll find Downeast ciders on tap at bars all around the city and state. The company’s sweet-but-not-too-sweet ciders all go down smooth, from the classic Cranberry Blend (5% ABV) to the beloved Original Blend (5% ABV). The Summer Blend (4.5% ABV) is tarter than its all-season counterpart, thanks to a pinch of lemon juice and ginger root added to the recipe. The result is a shandy-like cider that’s lighter in alcohol content than the Original blend but just as delicious – perfect for casual beachside sipping.
Downeast Cider House, 200 Terminal St. Charlestown, MA, USA +1 857 301 8881
Harpoon Brewery and summer go hand-in-hand. Not only does the Boston brewery host plenty of fun summer events but they also go all out for seasonal creations. From grapefruit shandies to raspberry-infused Hefeweizens, Harpoon has something for every palate under the sun (pun intended). The Hibiscus Cider (4.8% ABV), created by a team of Harpooners for the annual employee brewing contest, is the brewery’s summer pick. Its profile is both floral and fruity, giving it a subtle wine-like flavor that is far from unwelcome. But the original Harpoon Craft Cider (4.8%) will always be hard to beat; this dry cider is simplicity done right.
Shacksbury is as craft-y as cider comes. Brewed in Shoreham, Vermont, Shacksbury ciders combine apples sourced from local orchards with apples from British orchards. The result is a repertoire of complex ciders with fresh, distinctive tastes. In the style of hard-hitting English ciders, the higher alcohol content of Shacksbury’s Classic blend (6% ABV) makes it “the best pizza cider, ever”. Its dry and flavorful profile perfectly complements summer cuisine; sample a lobster roll or a bucket of fried clams and slip into a sunshine-y mood.
Shacksbury Cider, 1514 VT-74, Shoreham, VT, USA, +1 802 458 0530
Bantam Cider Company
Just as its name implies, Bantam Cider may be small, but its drinks pack a serious punch. The Somerville cider house has proved to be a city favorite since launching in 2012. Bantam’s main blends are all crowd pleasers, but the Wunderkind (6% ABV), the company’s “maiden voyage,” remains the beverage of choice. This Best of Boston cider is fruity and bubbly in all the right ways; its blend of local apples and honey creates a dry but sweet flavor that all cider lovers can agree on.
Bantam Cider Company, 40 Merriam Street, Somerville, MA, USA +1 617 299 8600
Like tall tales? So do the folks at Sherborn’s Stormalong Cider. Their company name comes from legendary Northeast seaman Captain Alfred Bulltop Stormalong, a fearless deep-water sailor known for battling sea monsters and downing whole barrels of cider every meal. Stormalong’s ciders all channel this daring figure. The bold and bittersweet Legendary Dry (6.9% ABV) is perfect for both ballgame drinking and kraken slaying while the powerful Grand Banks (9.5% ABV) is whiskey disguised as rich, golden apple cider. Spending 10 long months in oak whiskey barrels gives this cider a distinctively sweet aftertaste you’ll remember long after the season has ended.