It’s very exciting to be witnessing quite a cider renaissance in America.

We have written about hard cider before with our cider visits in New England and Ice Cider tour in Quebec last year.

A brief history of American ‘hard’ cider

From Colonial times and well into the 19th Century, hard cider was America’s beverage of choice. Democratically refreshing and widely available, it graced the tables of humble and high-born alike.All across the land, Americans were a nation of cider lovers, but change came. With westward expansion into lands more suited to grain than orchards, half of the nation’s taste began shifting to beer. The other half, meanwhile, embraced Temperance.

Eventually, the Drys prevailed, ushering Prohibition and thirst upon the land. Hard cider fell on hard times. Even with the end of the so-called Noble Experiment, fine cider would spent decades as a shadow of its former popularity.

A fine selection of artisan 'hard' ciders available today in the States

In 1985 came the birth of Spire Mountain Cider, America’s oldest operating craft cider maker.

Since then we have some excellent craft cider makers across America – Tieton Cider WorksFinnriver in Port Townsend, Westcott Bay from San Juan Island, Wildfire from Port Townsend, Wandering Aengus from Salem, and Farnum Hill in Lebanon (link to photos on Flickr).

Jim meeting Steve Wood at Farnum Hill, NH - Dec 2009

All of whom were at the recent ‘Cider Summit North-West 2010’ in Seattle, last weekend. The Cider Summit NW offers guests an opportunity to sample some 40 elegantly crafted ciders from producers in Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, England, and France.

Cider summit report coming soon! at North West Cider Summit

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