Vander Mill gets mention in “The Best American Ciders in Cans”

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Simplicity is the cardinal rule of summer drinking. These warmer months are the time to trade complicated cocktails for simple highballs, and fill a bucket with ice and your favorite lawnmower beer. For cider lovers, it’s time to set complex barrel-aged ciders aside and reach for something a bit more easy-going. And if you combine this tippling mentality with long days spent hiking a trail, barefoot on the beach, or just relaxing in the backyard, cider that comes in cans is the way to go.


Our last look at canned ciders on the American landscape (here) was downright disappointing. Most of the ciders were imported and full of additives, chemicals, and sugar. But more American cider makers have taken a note from the craft beer movement and caught the canning bug this year. The result is a wide array of American-made ciders in easy-to-tote cans. Here are our favorites.


On the Dry side…
Hard Apple (Vander Mill, MI)
Michigan is another state in the middle of a cider boom and Paul Vander Heide of Vander Mill Cider may be the man to watch. This young gun has recently expanded and is now canning three of his ciders. The flagship, Hard Apple, sits somewhere between the sweet ciders mentioned above and the drier ones below. It has a complex apple character and sweetness that’s balanced by a tart quality. It was an easy favorite among our tasters.


On the Sweet side…
Blue Gold (Vander Mill, MI)
Vander Mill’s Blue Gold, blended with local blueberries, is the most refined fruit cider we tried. Everything here is balanced as fresh blueberry notes push through the tart apple base. There is even a bit of ginger spice in the background to keep things refreshing.



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