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Refreshing Hard Ciders to Try This Fall

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Move over, pumpkin. Apple is also the flavor of fall—and local brewers and winemakers have caught on.

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery has released Sick Cider, an unfiltered cider made with Delaware-grown apple varieties, including Fuji, Stayman, Red Delicious and Golden Delicious. The barrel-fermented cider gets a boost from wild Brettanomyces yeast, which is often described as “funky” due to its distinct aroma. Sick Cider is available only in restaurants and bars.

Chaddsford Winery is selling a European hard cider that salutes the Colonial days. (Colonists embraced hard apple cider because the fruit was so plentiful.) Purchase it at the winery in Chadds Ford.

In Marydel, Rebel Seed Cidery, a spin-off of Harvest Ridge Winery, is offering several ciders, from sparkling to sweet to “hoptimized,” a fuller-bodied beverage with the aroma of ripe apples and graham crackers. The hops add a citrus note.

Some of Rebel Seed’s apples are grown at T.S. Smith & Sons farm in Bridgeville, the first to produce a hard cider. The orchard also provides Black Twig apples to Great Shoals Winery in Silver Spring, Md., for its Black Twig Hard Apple Cider. Without a distributor in Delaware, you’ll need to road-trip for that one.   

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