Best hard cidery 

Citizen Cider


Winner
Citizen Cider

Runner-Up
Woodchuck Hard Cider


Hundreds of years ago, cider flowed through New England like water, and people drank more of it than any other beverage. The quick success of Essex’s Citizen Cider signals that cider is back with a vengeance — and that craft beer may have competition as the state’s default booze. Citizen Cider’s raucous Friday-night tastings spawned a cult-like following that has since grown with statewide distribution of its signature product, Unified Press.

SEVEN DAYS: What’s the wildest thing that’s ever happened at a Friday-night tasting party?

KRIS NELSON, CO-OWNER: I don’t know about wildest, but one night I definitely overbooked. My friend Tamar Adler came in to do a fundraiser dinner for the Intervale, making fresh aioli. So we had a table of 25 people in the cider shop; Brett Hughes, Kat Wright and Tyler Bolles were playing; and the Local Grind was outside doing a clam bake. It was a little intense. It was like, “Woooo...”

—CORIN HIRSCH

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