Hard Cider is having a moment. Well, its having several moments in reality. Over the past seven years or so, hard cider’s popularity has skyrocketed. In 2011, cider only had about .2% of the market share. By the end of 2014? It owned 1%. Sure, that number isn’t HUGE… but did you do the math? In three years, cider’s market share grew fivefold. That’s absolutely unheard of especially considering that cider had nearly disappeared completely after prohibitionists cut down apple orchards in hopes to destroy the cider makers in the United States.
Between November of 2013 and November of 2014, cider sales had increased 75%. The next closest beverage category? Craft at 20% growth.
There’s plenty of reasons for hard cider’s resurgence – one of which is that cider appeals to women, another is that customers are more curious about craft beverages, whether that be beer or cider, and of course, the fact that cider is gluten-free wins over an entirely different crowd.
In New York State, where Blue Toad currently have three tasting rooms, craft beverage stores in general are popping up everywhere. In the last year, 32 new craft beverage stores opened statewide.
Meanwhile, in Virginia, where Blue Toad currently have a cider pub as well as tasting room, sales for wine and cider (they are grouped together since cider is such a new commodity) were up 6% from 2015 to 2016. More than half a million cases were sold in fiscal year 2016. When separated, cider sales in Virginia were up 52% with over 400,000 cases sold.
So, we pose the question – why do you drink hard cider?