Watch out Rosé, there’s a new trend in cider to challenge the rise of Rosé ciders and wine as the go-to drink of the summer season. Several cider brands have been making pineapple forward ciders or blends with tropical pineapple flavors to find that sweet spot of bright and light cider that screams summer fun.
That doesn’t always mean the cider itself has to be sticky sweet like some fresh pineapples, as a handful of craft cideries have been successful at delivering dry to semi-dry ciders in the fruit and specialty cider category.
Even better, most of the pineapple ciders we’ve seen so far are on the lighter 5-6% ABV range, making them perfectly session-able at the beach or by the pool, a good base for summer cider cocktails or blended into a cider slushie, the latest craze in the cider world.
Most likely, you’ll find seasonal releases and pineapple cider experiments in cider tasting rooms, so we encourage you to get out and sample a few pineapple infused options at your local cidery.
Of course, Paradise Ciders in Honolulu, Hawaii might be the most legit place to test drive the Pineapple Cruzer, an English Style, unfiltered light bodied cider that clocks in at 6.6% ABV.
Also on our list to try this summer around the US are: Seattle Cider Company‘s new Pineapple Agave seasonal release and Portland Cider Co’s Pineapple Rosé, Blake’s Hard Cider has the Rainbow Seeker, a groovy pineapple and sage blend, and Chicago’s 2 Fools Cider has put out a Dry Hopped Pineapple Hard Cider for the summer. On the east coast, Downeast Cider offers Aloha Friday for a taste of the tropics.
That said, here are some of the best pineapple ciders we’ve tried thus far, and most widely available in stores regionally, or if you’re lucky, available for online ordering and local delivery. As you know, we’re always on the hunt for more and we’ll keep updating our reviews of pineapple ciders as we can.
Fresh pressed Northwest apples pair with ripe Costa Rica grown pineapples star in this cider by the Corvallis, Oregon cidery. With a pleasant, acidic bite and tropical aromas, the apple characteristics shine through in this semi-sweet cider that finishes with pineapple flavor. It’s light and sessionable at 5.0% ABV, plus we like the portability of the 12oz cans for summer coolers.
Purportedly the first pineapple cider, the larger commercial producer from California nailed the summer taste right out of the gate, creating a pineapple cider that is reliably found and easy to pick up on your way to a summer BBQ. Pineapple dominates this moderately carbonated cider, but some might find the mouthfeel and finish too sweet and syrupy. To cut that slightly, try mixing up Ace Cider’s own signature “Hawaii 5-0” cider cocktail with Ace Pineapple Cider, Coconut Rum & garnish with a slice of fresh pineapple.
With a slightly pale golden color, this go to pineapple cider is sweet to semi-sweet in nature, the tropical fruit dominates the palate with medium carbonation. Blended with heirloom bittersweet and culinary apples into Austin Eastciders dry cider, golden ripe pineapples give this cider a light acidic bite. The result is a highly refreshing solid summer cider that also will lend itself well to summery cider cocktails. Even better, rumor has it you’ll find Austin East ciders in select Costco stores around the country, or at least in the southern zones.
Sweet, fresh cut pineapple takes over in this balanced, low acidity cider that’s lightly carbonated. Made with a fresh Northwest apple base, Jester & Judge added to the tropical feel with a hint of lime.
Blended with prickly pear juice, this pineapple cider is a surprisingly good entry by a larger cider brand, made under the Wyder label by Vermont Cider Company (producers of Woodchuck and Gumption cider). The addition of the prickly pear gives it a distinct flavor profile, adding floral aromas with a hint of stonefruit. With a crisp mouthfeel, and balanced lingering acidity on the finish, this pineapple cider is interesting on its own, but mixes well with tequila for a margarita inspired cider cocktail.