I know, I know, it’s a cider, not a beer. But ever since I got wind about a cider made with hops, I have been dying to try it. And, since Anthem’s Cherry Cider is the most popular hit out of all of the beer I’ve covered, I felt it was necessary to review this one as well. That my excuse — I’m doing it for the people!
Anyways. I’ve mentioned that I love hoppy beers. I especially love the season when many Oregon micro breweries do their “fresh hopped” beers. These tend to be less bitter and more herbaceous and floral than their regular run-of-the-mill counterparts. While this cider is dry hopped, not fresh, I still held on to the hope that the palate might be similar. I was also hoping it would blow me away — which Anthem’s cherry version failed to do.
Let’s just say, as visions of apples and hops danced in my head, I was pretty anxious to open this bottle!
It poured beautifully clear and very effervescent, almost like a sparkling wine, and immediately the perfume of the apples wafted up from the glass. The hops seemed to give the fragrance a slight grassy, piney hint, but primarily it was the smell of Granny Smith apples that hit me.
And that’s exactly what this cider tastes like. Unlike the cherry cider, the hopped cider doesn’t have two strong flavors competing with each other. The apples are allowed to be the leader, with the hops accentuated just enough to add some character. It’s also far from sweet, which was nice. I like things that are fruity without being cloying and this cider made that happen. There is some bitterness present, but nothing overwhelming — just enough to give the cider a little edge and some uniqueness.
Overall, it was quite lovely — crisp and refreshing, perfect for anytime of the year, but perhaps best in late summer. It made me long for fall, autumn leaves and a small nip to the air. (And considering that I am a full-fledged sun-worshipping summer lover, that is hard to accomplish.)
It was also incredibly easy to drink though at 6% ABV, it’s probably best just to sip it. Which can be a problem because this cider is so good, you’ll have a hard time putting your glass down!