Contributed by Joshua M. Bernstein
Once the down-market domain of soda and mass-appeal beer -- hey, Bud! How are ya? -- cans have become cool again. First, craft brewers started packaging their pale ales and IPAs in aluminum. Now, cider makers have followed suit, placing everything from Woodchuck Amber to MillerCoors' Smith & Forge in a format suited for the pool, park, beach and everywhere in between. Right in time for summer, meet the metal heads that are the apple of our eye.
Harpoon Craft Cider: The venerable Boston brewery's golden-hued cider is concocted from a single ingredient: freshly pressed apple juice. The pure result is bright and bubbly, with an appealingly acidic zap.
Downeast Cider House Original Blend: Made with plenty of McIntosh apples and ale yeast, the unfiltered New England cider is cloudy, sweet-finishing and as fresh-tasting as anything you'd find at a farm stand.
Angry Orchard Crisp Apple: Courtesy of the folks behind Sam Adams, this crowd-pleasing cider -- great for newbies -- buries its alcohol beneath a sweet blanket. A light tartness and semi-dry conclusion keeps it from being too cloying.
Seattle Cider Company Dry: The offshoot of Seattle's popular Two Beers Brewing is the city's first cidery since Prohibition. Given the brewery roots, it's a no-brainer that the sharp, tangy and vigorously carbonated Dry is sold in 16-ounce cans.
Vander Mill Ciders Blue Gold: Crafted with a blend of Michigan-grown apples and blueberries, Blue Gold is fruity and refreshing, with a floral aroma and restrained sweetness.
Joshua M. Bernstein is a beer, spirits, food and travel journalist. Over the last 15 years, he's written for scores of newspapers, magazines and websites. Additionally, he's the author of Brewed Awakening and The Complete Beer Course. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, daughter and dog. Come to NYC sometime to take one of his homebrew tours.
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