Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

The Best Hopped Ciders To Try This Season

Hard apple cider in a glass, surrounded by apples.
Brent Hofacker / Adobe Stock

It’s hop season, which means green gold for brewers all over the country. And while much of the harvest ends up in breweries, some intrepid cider houses get in on the action, too.

In fact, a good hopped cider can be singularly special. When a good producer finds the right connection between a specific hop variety and a batch of apples, sparks can fly. It’s an exceedingly cool hybrid drink that can bridge the divide between beer drinkers and cider drinkers. Those who love the former and think they don’t like the latter (or simply haven’t tried it) will find intrigue in a hopped cider. It’s a gateway style that can lead you to even more subcategories within the world of cider, from berry to fruit-infused ciders, even non-alcoholic options hit with a pinch of CBD.

Related Reading

How are they made? Much like in brewing, the cider is hit with fresh hops — or in some cases extract, or some other form — late in the production process. This steeping of sorts allows the full aromatics and flavors of the hops to wiggle into the cider, changing the overall complexion, often for the better. The partnership makes a lot of sense, given that hops tend to be piney, tropical, and citrusy. Apples can be the same way, or at least offer all kinds of complementary flavors. And with some 300-plus cider varieties in cider land, you’ve got work to do to find your favorite match.

So, with hops like Cascade, Amarillo, Strata, and more coming in by the truckload as we speak, we thought it a good time to break down the best ciders that utilize the decidedly beer-y ingredient.

Here are 5 of the best hopped ciders to get your paws on.

Swift Cider Pineapple Hop

Swift Cider Pineapple Hop on a white background.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

This batch out of Portland fuses wonderful hop components with the juicy, tropical nature of pineapple. The apple comes through too, thanks to fresh-pressed, locally grown fruit grown right in the cidery’s general vicinity.

Incline Explorer Hopped Cider

Incline Explorer Hopped Cider can on a white background.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

One of the most readily available hopped ciders on the market, this one from Washington’s incline is easygoing and refreshing. The hop notes are present but do not overpower the brightness and crispness of the underlying apple.

Square Mile Hopped Cider

Square Mile Hopped Cider can on a white background.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Made with Galaxy hops, this lighter option is great for the warmer days of late summer and early fall. It’s on the dry end and shows plenty in the way of fresh fruit and baked apple notes.

Modern Times / Shacksbury Hopped Cider

Modern Times / Shacksbury Cider collaboration cans on a white background.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Prominent West Coast brewery Modern Times has teamed up with Vermont’s esteemed Shacksbury for a going release of various hopped ciders. Look out for carefully crafted, ever creative releases that will show the best of both wonderful worlds.

Graft Cider Lost Tropic

Graft Hopped Cider can on a white background.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

This New York-made cider features two kinds of hops for a tart and citrus-driven end result. It’s listed as a mimosa cider, so no hard feeling if you crack one or two during the late morning hours over brunch.

Mark Stock
Mark Stock is a writer from Portland, Oregon. He fell into wine during the Recession and has been fixated on the stuff since…
I’m a gin enthusiast — these are the 7 best gins for a martini
Manzanilla Martini on table

Perhaps the most iconic cocktail of all time is the martini. Though it comes in many variations, from vodka martinis to versions designed to pair with food, the classic recipe calls for just two ingredients: gin and dry vermouth. Made well, a martini is a classy, elegant drink which unlocks the beautiful pairing of gin and vermouth, bringing out notes of spice and citrus from each in a silky smooth sipper that's impossible to put down. Made badly, it's a boozy nightmare that tastes like watered down paint stripper.

Making a great martini starts, fundamentally, with a great gin. With no sweeteners or mixers to hide behind, there's no room for a gin which is harsh or has off flavors. But it's just these sparse conditions which allow a high quality gin to shine, as the martini is the perfect showcase for a complex, deep gin with a variety of botanicals. As a dedicated gin enthusiast, I have strong opinions about which spirits do and don't belong in a martini, so I've rounded up seven of the best gins I like to use in this classic cocktail. These run the gamut from small batch specialties to those which are widely available, and from pricey rarities to affordable options, but they all have one thing in common: they'll make a delicious martini.
The Best Gins for a Martini in 2024

Read more
The 30 best spring cocktails to cheers the season with
Spring is here, which means you survived winter and have earned a drink: Here are the best cocktails to try
Two glasses of grapefruit cocktail with grapefruit slices and rosemary garnish on a table

Spring has sprung, bringing much-needed energy to just about everything. That includes cocktails mixed up with new seasonal ingredients made to toast the longer, milder days ahead. Whether you like a Hibiscus Tequila Sparkler or something bourbon-based, we've got you covered with spring cocktails.

Hibernation season is behind us, so trade in those hot cocktails and heady pours of Scotch for some breezier drinks with a little more finesse. You can enjoy one somewhere in between spring cleaning and planting your garden. And if the cards are right, you may even be able to enjoy that drink al fresco, as the sun sets at a much more reasonable hour.

Read more
What is Wagyu beef? Origin story, how it’s graded, and more
wagyu beef raw steak marbling

Whether you're an adventurous eater, a lover of luxury, or someone interested in the culinary history and culture of Japan, one name stands out in the world of beef: Wagyu. Renowned as the world's most luxurious beef, as well as being the world's most expensive, this beef type is a darling of high-end steak restaurants and meat lovers. The Wagyu cattle come from Japan, with a history of the animals being raised for their meat stretching back centuries, and today many food enthusiasts from around the world long to try this exclusive and elusive meat.

If you're interested in trying out Wagyu, however, it helps to understand a bit about what this beef is and the different forms that it comes in. If you're going to treat yourself to a rare luxury, then you want to understand what you're eating! If you've eaten beef in the United States, the the likelihood is that you've been mostly eating Black Angus beef, the most common breed of cattle there. But foodies agree that Wagyu beef is something quite different and quite special -- and that there's really nothing better than a piece of Wagyu beef.

Read more