In case you haven’t noticed, the adult version of ‘an apple a day’ is having its moment right now, especially in Maine where the number of licensed cider producers has doubled in the past four years. Of course, the rising number of producers reflects the rising demand for the product.
“As the millennials are coming into their own, they’ve chosen higher-quality products: craft beer and cider among those,” Hancock-cidery owner Mathias Kamin III told the Portland Press Herald.
John Bunker, Maine’s preeminent apple expert and historian, echoes this sentiment: “They [millennials] picked up on what my generation and people somewhat saw as a traditional New England drink being a way of adding value to a wonderful local crop and decided to run with it,” he said.
What's Old is New Again
And run with it they have. According to the American Cider Association, sales of regional hard cider brands grew by over 10% in Maine in the last year, which makes sense for a state with more foraged apples than most. Now home to 26 cideries, the Pine Tree State has a cider for everyone.
Local enthusiasts have even gone as far as creating Cider Club Portland, which celebrated its fifth anniversary this year. A collection of cider producers, hospitality professionals, and self-proclaimed cider connoisseurs, the club meets to taste test cider varieties and share their passion with others in the community.
The proliferation of hard cider in Maine reflects a nationwide trend. From Portland to Portland—yes, there is a Portland, Oregon based cider club—local orchards and independent foragers have fueled the growth of the industry, which currently boasts 1,310 active cideries (and counting) nationwide. Sounds like good news for the gluten-free folk!
Where to Drink Hard Cider in Portland
For cider specifically, check out the below spots all on the peninsula:
- Anoche on Washington Ave.
- Après on Anderson St.
- Urban Farm Fermentory on Anderson St.
- Freedom’s Edge Cider (soon to be open) on Diamond St.