Maine's Cider Bars
Maine has a long history with hard cider. Back in the 1750s, locals drank up to 35 gallons a year, and children were even given a watered-down version called ciderkin. Many family farms had their own cider presses and a variety of apples suited to both eating and cider-making in small orchards.
Most craft hard ciders are not made with the variety of apples found in the grocery store today – the kind that are good eating apples – nary a Red Delicious will you find in a good cider but rather bittersweet and bittersharp varietals as hard cider is all about a balance of acidity, sugar, and bitter tannins – and these were nearly wiped out from small farms by the 1920s. As people moved into towns and cities, cider lost its popularity to spirits and beer in the late 20th century and cider apples were replaced with eating apples.
Today, Maine’s growing cideries are creating diverse and delicious ciders, while bringing back hundreds of heirloom apples from the brink of extinction and foraging for the wild apples that hide in our vast forests and often, backyards. Visit a local tasting room or cider bar to discover a new favorite.
Absolem Cider located on a 50-acre farm in Winthrop ferments, ages, and blends cider in their farmhouse. These ciders are served year-round in a renovated 1850s barn space. Their nascent orchard features heirloom apple varieties originally grown in Winthrop in the late 1700s - showing a continued dedication to uncovering and renewing Maine’s rich apple history. You can make your own charcuterie boards with local cheese and meats or enjoy a visiting food truck.
You can enjoy Ricker Hill Orchards’ cider at three locations. The tasting room across from the original orchard in Turner has 12 taps with all their classic ciders, limited releases, and seasonal favorites. Vista of Maine Vineyard and Cidery in Greene has a tasting room in a historic big red barn where you can try Mainiac Hard Cider and Ricker Hill Wines, all while admiring the views of the mountains and lakes. In the winter you can use their snowshoe trails for free, too! Kids can enjoy the playground and lumberjack cabin. And in Auburn, you can enjoy their ciders during warmer months at Wallingford Orchard, too!
Portersfield Dry Cider in Pownal serves up small-batch dry ciders from the over 225 varieties of modern and heirloom apples they grow. In their tasting room, enjoy flights of cider paired with seasonal foods from local producers and their own fields. Opens in mid-April for the season.
Orchard Girls Cidery in Kingfield has an intimate farmhouse tasting room with dry, still ciders made from all-Maine apples.
In Unity, two friends started Stone Tree Farm & Cidery. The small-batch winery and cidery has a cozy tasting bar and a large, welcoming lawn with games, live music and visiting food trucks. The ciders range from dry and semi-dry to sweet.
Located on Portland’s East End, Anoche is a Spanish-inspired cider house and bistro, offering a vast range of local and international ciders, select spirits and small plates for noshing. With 40 different ciders, you’re sure to find the perfect one.
Freedom’s Edge Cider is available at their tasting room from April to November in Albion, where they offer a series of well-balanced, full-bodied delicious hard ciders.