Have You Met Cider, Beer’s Gluten-Free Cousin?

We’re sure you’ve heard of this refreshing, apple-based beverage, but you probably never got a chance to really know it. Beer is always trying to steal the spotlight, but we think it’s time for hard cider to shine.

How is it made exactly? Similar to how grapes are used for wine, apples are pressed, the juice is mixed with yeast and left to rest for fermentation. The finished product is a complex, sometimes slightly bubbly, alcoholic cider. Fruit aside, how else does it differ from beer? Typically made with wheat, barley or rye, beer contains gluten, to which some are severely allergic. So whether you break out in hives or have a mild unpleasant reaction to regular beer, look no further. Cider has been popping up everywhere lately – even big beer brands are jumping on the bandwagon.

And if you associate cider solely with the fall months, think again. This fruit-based beverage is insanely refreshing and one of our preferred summer drinks. Check out five of our favorites below.

Stella Artois Cidre
A dry, crisp, European-style cider made with apples grown in wine grape regions, drink this with chicken, fish or a variety of different cheeses like gruyere, camembert and English cheddar.

Strongbow Original
This thirst-quenching cider is made from a blend of bittersweet and culinary apples for a refreshing finish. Serve with salmon, chicken and pork belly.

Crispin Original
Delicious over ice, this refreshing, crisp cider is great alone or paired with light summer salads or grilled poultry.

Angry Orchard Elderflower Hard Cider
Tropical notes from elderflower are balanced by the bright fruit flavors of lychee, pear and citrus. With a sweetness this balanced, skip dinner altogether and enjoy this solo.

Original Sin Cherry Tree
A blend of American heirloom apples and tart cherries, this clean, elegant cider pairs perfectly with cheddar cheese and mild fish.

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