Yes, everyone loves beer. Beer this, beer that, beer all around. Hooray. But what about the people that...don't? Or can't? What are they supposed to drink? The answer is simple: hard cider. And not the sickly sweet, candy apple stuff, either: we're talking real cider, made from just fermented apple juice. Good ciders can be bitter, funky, weird, and totally delicious. Fortunately, if you don't know where to start, Cider Week is almost here, so from October 16-23, dig deep into the world of the apple with tastings, panels and parties all over the city. As a quick primer, here are a few places to start:
Mosaic: This cozy Astoria wine and beer bar also carries a rotating selection of about half a dozen ciders in bottles and cans, including hard-to-find selections like Kopparberg Pear, Strongbow and J.K.'s Scrumpy, which comes in a 22 ounce bottle (but really, you should probably just get it for the name alone).
25-19 24th Ave, Astoria // (718) 728-0708
Tinto Fino: This tiny East Village wine store specializes in Spanish bottles, but they also carry six musty, spicy Basque ciders by the bottle, too, including Trabanco Propia Cosecha and Isastegi Sidra. Bonus: On October 22, they'll be opening up all six bottles for a special Cider Week tasting.
85 First Avenue // (212) 254-0850
Queen's Kickshaw: What could possibly be a better combination than fancy grilled cheese and quality cider? That is a rhetorical question, because the answer is NOTHING. Get them both at this Astoria restaurant, which boasts 10 specialty ciders by the bottle, including Wandering Aengus Wanderlust from Oregon and two Farnum hills brews from (relatively local) New Hampshire.
40-17 Broadway, Astoria // (718) 777-0913
Brouwerij Lane: Load up a growler at this Greenpoint beer grocery to take care of cider cravings at home. Recent selections from the constantly-rotating menu include Weston's Stowford Cider, a clear, sparkling British brew.
78 Greenpoint Ave, Brooklyn // (347) 529-6133
Pony Bar: Yes, it's mainly a craft beer bar, but this Hell's Kitchen hangout also serves the excellent, extra-dry Doc's Draft Pear Cider on tap, which is made right next door in the Hudson Valley.
637 10th Avenue // (212) 586-2707
Bronx Alehouse: Tap or bottle: it's your choice at this Kingbridge beer mecca, which conveniently keeps mild, pleasant Harpoon Cider on tap and strong, heady Irish Magners Cider behind the bar.
216 W. 238th Street // (718) 601-0204
And there's more, so much more, including tasting dinners, home cider making demos, and meet the cidermaker parties. Check out the full lineup of Cider Week events here.