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Fastest-Growing Alcoholic Beverage? It’s Not Craft Beer

on 05/05/14 at 8:44 am


indexCraft beer’s growth in the U.S. has been amazing, rising from 11.5 million barrels brewed in 2011 to over 15 million barrels in 2013. Over that same time span, however, production of another traditional American brew has tripled.

We’re talking about the rise of hard cider. The growth of cider—or rather, the comeback, since cider was America’s beverage of choice during colonial times—has been in the works for years, hitting an especially hot streak recently. Big brewers such as Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors, and the Boston Beer Company (maker of Samuel Adams) have taken notice and joined in the trend, introducing cider brands of their own, complete with broad marketing campaigns for beverages that are sweeter and more gender-neutral than beer.

Interest in cider has piggybacked on both the craft beer and foodie trends, in which a sizeable swath of consumers devotes a considerable amount of time, effort, and dollars to regularly seeking out new, interesting, typically local flavors. The popularity of cider in the U.S. also follows in the footsteps of the market in Europe.