Quest for Cider

I’ve never liked beer. Oh, I’ve gotten drunk on it before. Teenagers can’t be choosy after all and when you shotgun beer you don’t taste it anway. I’ve always found that it tasted like boiled socks though. When I was a kid, I would see all these beer commercials and it always seemed like it would be so delicious. I couldn’t wait to get older so I could try forbidden beer. When I was 12 or so, my cousin Stephanie and I snuck some beer from an unattended keg at a summer BBQ and gleefully snuck off to drink it. My response: ewwwww. Where was the frosty refreshment? Where was the taste people lived for?

At first I thought the keg was just skunky. Surely there was better tasting beer somewhere. Well, 20+ years later and I’ve still never found a beer that tastes good, and I’ve tried beers from all over the world. I had high hopes when I was in Germany, but no dice. Boiled socks. The only nearly beer thing I’ve found that I enjoy is that Belgian Lambec stuff, but that’s really something else. When I was in college though, I discovered hard cider. It’s pretty common in the US today, but at the time cider was more a European thing. Now cider was something I could get behind: alcoholic but not vile tasting.

Five or six years ago I was home in Boston over the holidays. The local liquor store had a special holiday flavor of Ciderjack, “Mulled Apple Cider.” We picked up a six pack to try and it was great. Flavorful, spicy, and so very tasty. I said to Nik, “We’ll have to get some when we get home.” As fate would have it, I have never seen it again. Maybe it was a regional test or something, but it was just not to be found in the Pacific Northwest. Next time I was in MA, I looked for it again but I had no luck. Guess they made just the one batch.

Since then, whenever I go to liquor stores or grocery stores with huge selections of beer and cider, I always carefully search the cider section. Surely amongst all those obscure micro brews and European imports I would find satisfaction. Surely some other brewery hit upon the idea of hard mulled cider.

Alas, my quest has been in vain.

The other day, however, Nik and I were out shopping I noticed that Spire had a new flavor called “Spiced Apple”. That sounded liked mulled so we picked up a six pack. And it’s…close. Definitely the closest of any cider yet, but not quite the same and not quite as good. I’ll be drinking it for the time being, but one day I hope my quest for cider comes to an end.

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