Hard cider has been around for ages and believed to have originated in Europe, likely the England area. It was eventually discovered by the Romans around 55 BC when they invaded England. The Romans later mastered the production of hard cider.
Thousands of years later, you can get small batch, artisanal cider delivered to your home via a cider of the month club!
Hard Cider was one of the first beverages introduced to the US when the early settlers arrived. It was enjoyed by near everyone, including those as young as 15 years old. In fact, hard cider was one of the most common drinks during that time. A survey from 1790 reported that the average person consumed about 34 gallons of cider and beer annually.
Additionally, during that time, hard cider was believed to:
- Aid in promoting healthy digestive systems
- Prevent rheumatism, laryngitis, gout, bladder stones, fevers, and colic
Though it is unlikely to carry the above health benefits, it did aid in reducing typhoid, cholera, and dysentery, caused by the local water.
However, during the years of prohibition, hard cider took a big hit because supporters of the prohibition act burned almost all of the orchards. During the years that followed, the apple orchards converted from cider apples to the sweeter edible apples.
Finally, around 2012 hard cider found its way back into the hands of those who enjoy this fermented beverage. And, in the last ten years or so, the cider industry has blown up. Now large batch, small-batch, and artisan ciders are available for enjoyment all around the country.
If you happen to be a cider connoisseur or just a casual cider drinker, cider of the month clubs memberships is the optimal way to try an abundance of various ciders from around the country.
For many people, cider is a natural progress from interest in craft beer, or perhaps cider is a sweet, sparkly, “gateway drink” that gets you interested in the world of microbrews. There are also some really good beer of the month clubs worth checking out as well!
In today's world of hard cider, it is hard to keep up with all the new products hitting the market every year, so if you would like to keep tabs on the hard cider industry a hard cider subscription can help you accomplish that.
Table of Contents
Hard Cider of the Month Clubs
- The Hops Collective
- Shacksbury Cider
- The Cellar d'Or
- Farmer and the Vine
- Eden Ciders
- FinnRiver Farm and Cidery
The Hops Collective
The Hops Collective is located in North York, Ontario, Canada, and ships their cider anywhere in Canada and the US. They specialize in connecting beer and cider lovers with new small-batch beer and cider from all over the world.
The Hops Collective works with a multitude of breweries and cideries to find these unique premium beverages, but they do not brew their own. They offer a variety of products, including:
- Customizable gift baskets
- Variety of beer and cider beer of the month clubs
- Individual beers and ciders
Their cider beer membership has a few different options to choose from:
- First, you decide on the quantity of cider to be delivered
- 4, 6, 12, or 24 bottles
- Bottles size varies from 300ml to 650ml depending on the cidery
- Next, you choose between bi-weekly and monthly deliveries
- Then, you select the payment method, pay in advance or monthly
- Finally, you decide on the duration of the subscription
- 3, 6, 9, or 12-months
Plus, The Hops Collective offers add-ons to the subscription such as:
- Beer – You can choose beer from different countries
- Gourmet Foods – You decide how much will be added based on how much you would like to spend
- Fruit – You decide how much will be added based on how much you would like to spend
- Cheese – There is a set variety to choose from
- Flowers & Potted Plants – There are three to choose from
- Chocolate – You decide how much will be added based on how much you would like to spend
- Boss Wine pairing chocolate bars -5 Bars to choose from
- Balloons – Choice of occasion
- Desserts – A variety of options such as cake, pie, and cookies
- Magazines – Several magazine options
- Stuffed Animals – Eight different choices
Shipping is free on the fist shipment, but future deliveries under $100 will be charged shipping at the time of delivery.
Shacksbury Cider, headquartered in Vergennes, Vermont, creates a variety of unique Vermont ciders. Shacksbury offers all of its ciders online, which are available to ship to the majority of the states.
However, if you are in Vermont and would like to check out Shackbury Cider in person, they have two locations. The Vergennes location is where their cidery is located as well as their tasting room.
Their second location is in Burlington, Vermont, and is a collaborative tasting room. The name of that location is CO Cellars + Tasting Room (By Shacksbury Cider & Zafa Wines).
Neither tasting room is open 7-days a week, so check online before heading over.
Shacksbury Cider has three core ciders available year-round. The flavors are:
- Rose – A combination of fresh apples and wine grapes from California
- Dry – Made from the Dabinett apple this cider is light and crisp
- Arlo – A tart cider made from a blend of European and New England Apples
In addition to their standard three ciders, they also create small-batch seasonal and limited edition ciders, which are available to their Cider Club members.
The Shacksbury Cider club is a quarterly subscription, that offers, their rare ciders, new releases, and limited edition ciders. Members are the first and sometimes only recipients of these unique ciders.
The membership includes:
- Quarterly shipment of three ($55 for the cider+$17 for shipping) or six bottles ($100 for the cider+$21 for shipping).
- First access to Cellar Sales, which includes limited vintage ciders
- 10% discount on cider both online or in their tasting rooms
- Invitation to tasting events, hosted at their tasting rooms as well as select cities in the US
- A guide for that month's ciders, including recipe pairings, information on each cider in the shipment, and fun facts about their cidery.
The Cellar d'Or
The Cellar d'Or, located in Ithica, New York, is a retail wine boutique. Their focus is on bringing premium wines and ciders from around the world to their valued customers. They pride themselves in presenting their wines and ciders in a non-intimidating fashion.
The Cellar d'Or is open to the public seven days a week. Also, they offer a Friday night free wine tasting. Between 4-7 PM, guests will have the opportunity to learn and taste wines from around the world.
For wine lovers on a budget, Cellar d'Or has a $15 and under selection, plus when you buy six bottles you receive an additional discount, six bottles for $60.
But The Cellar d'Or is much more than just wine. They also offer ciders from around the world. The optimal way to experience these new flavors is by signing up for their cider of the month club.
The cider subscription includes:
- 2 Bottles of unique cider from around the world
- Bottle sizes range from 12 oz to 25 oz, with 25 being the most common size
- Pricing changes based upon the ciders chosen for that month's shipment, but will be between $35-$45 plus shipping.
- Cider is either apple or pear based
- 10% off in-store regular priced items and 5% off of online sales
Farmer and the Vine
Farmer and the Vine, located in Langley, Washington, is a wine and cider bistro, offering tapas, tasting boards, and small plates to accompany your beverage of choice.
Farmer and the Vine's wines and ciders are sourced from the northwest area, mainly Washington and Oregon, but they do offer a few choices from California. Also, their selection does include various wines and ciders from the Old World.
Their cider of the month club is called Friend to the Farmer and includes:
- Monthly in-store pickup on the third Friday of the month
- Members who live outside of the area can have their subscription set up for shipping
- Discounts on Wine Wednesdays
- Special pricing on specific events
- Early notification for tastings and other events
- 15% off select orders on cases
- 10% off six bottles
- 4 Bottles of artisan ciders from the northwest region or the Old World every month
The price of the membership is $45 per month plus shipping.
Eden Ciders, located in Newport, Vermont, was founded by owners Eleanor & Albert Léger. The ciders produced at Eden are considered Harvest Ciders, meaning the apples are pressed at or shortly after harvest. Their ciders are created much like wine in that the apples pressed at harvest time will be the only vintage that year.
Eden Ciders harvest the apples from their orchard as well as purchase from other local farmers in the area. In addition to using New England apples to make their cider, they also use the New England cold weather to aid in enhancing the flavors and sugars before the fermentation process.
Much like wines, Eden Cider comes in a variety of sweetness levels. They have everything from sparkling dry cider to dessert ice ciders. If you happen to check out their website, you may be taken back a bit by the prices of their ice cider. However, it takes over 8 pounds of heirloom apples to create one 375 ml bottle of cider.
All of the Eden Ciders are:
- Naturally Gluten-Free
- Free from colorings, acid, and industrial flavors
- No added sugars
If you are interested in trying their unique artisan cider but don't live in the Vermont area, check out their cider club. What's included in the subscription:
- One shipment of three ciders per quarter, delivered in March, June, September, and December
- Your choice between the following three ciders:
- Best of Eden (a mix of both ice and harvest ciders)
- Ice Cider Only
- Harvest Cider Only
- 20% off quarterly shipments, plus any additional bottles added to that order
- First-pick from their limited edition ciders
- 15% year-round discount on online cider sales
- Special invites to exclusive events
The cost per shipment is between $60-$75, not including shipping.
FinnRiver Farm and Cidery
Finnriver Farm and Cidery, located in Chimacum Valley, Washington, was founded in 2008 by the Jorgensen and Kisler families. Finnriver produces a variety of craft ciders and fruit wines.
Their core lines of cider and wine are:
- Traditional Craft Ciders
- Contemporary Craft Ciders
- Botanical Ciders
- Orchard Series Ciders
- Brandy Dessert Wines
- Port-Style Wines
- Crew Selections
- Sour Ciders
- Special Releases
The Finnriver Farm is open to the public seven days a week from noon to nine. As a guest at Finnriver, you can choose to take a guided tour to learn more about their farm and cidery. Or if you prefer to skip ahead and just enjoy the many flavors, they have a taproom and tasting porch where you can relax and enjoy your cider.
However, if you prefer to sample ciders from the comfort of your own home, then their cider club is perfect for you. There are three membership options available:
- Barn Swallow Club:
- 3 Bottle Minimum ($40-$70/shipment)
- 15% discount on bottles year-round
- 1 Complimentary tasting
- Crow Club:
- 6 Bottle Minimum ($80-$125 /shipment)
- 1 Complimentary Tasting
- 20% year-round discount on bottles
- 20% discount on draft-pours and cocktails in the Chimacum Tap Room
- 20% off branded apparel
- 25% off your stay at the Resort at Port Ludlow
- Swan Club:
- 12 Bottle Minimum ($130-$150+ /shipment)
- Order Customization available
- Same discounts included in the Crow Club
The cost of shipping is not included in the prices listed above. Shipments are sent out four times a year in March, June, September, and December. Also, pickup is available at their cidery or local farmers' market.