Monday, February 29, 2016

The Best of Cider Summit Chicago 2016

This year's annual Cider Summit at Navy Pier was bigger and better than ever, expanding to the second floor balcony with a selection of cider cocktails from The Northman, Woodford Reserve and Uncle John's. This year boasted 140 ciders with approximately 10 new Producers since last year's event. We found this year to be supremely enjoyable with very few lines for cider, food or restrooms and ample opportunity to talk with the cider makers themselves. Below is a recap of our "Best of" winners of the event.

Best Dry Cider
Farnum Hill Extra Dry Cider (7.5%)

Best Semi-Dry Cider
EZ Orchards Semi Dry Cider (6.4%)

Best Farmhouse/Wild Fermented Cider
Shacksbury Arlo (6.2%)

Best European/Import Cider
Manoir de Grandouet Cambremer Cidre de Tradition AOP Pays d’Auge (4.5%)

Best Barrel-Aged Cider
Vander Mill Green Mill Barrel-Aged Cyser (6.8%)

Best Fruited Cider
Starcut Ciders Squishy (7.5%)
Seasonal Hard Cider made with Northern Michigan Cherries, tart and dry finish

runner up:
Cider Brothers, Pacific Coast Apple with Wild Cherry
Semi-dry, stone fruit and spice, tastes like cherry pie

Best Newcomer to Chicago
Starcut Ciders (by Shorts Brewing), Elk Rapids, MI
Now available throughout the Chicagoland market

Best Cider Cocktail
The Northman "Ginger Snap"
Few Bourbon Whiskey, Vander Mill Ginger Peach cider, ginger syrup, soda water

Cider Summit view from the balcony
Kim (Hail to the Ale), David (Shacksbury Cider), Craig aka "John Apple" (ABV Chicago)

left: Uncle John's Old Fashion cider cocktail. right: The traditional Spanish long pour.

For more on tasting cider, check out our latest podcast appearance on ABV Chicago, Episode 109 "Cider House Rulez" where we taste 6 ciders from across the US, talk about the cider making process, and share a whole lot of laughs in the process.

Curious about the cider making process or learning more about apple varieties? Take a look at our Amazon book list devoted to Apples & Cider.

Check out your local bottle shops, as the selections of cider continues to grow. Don't see what you're looking for? See if they can request it or email the cideries for availability. The more demand, the better!