Sociable Cider Werks

Good ciders are made from a blend of sweet, sharp, and bittersharp or bittersweet apples. Sweets provide the sugar for the yeast to consume, sharps provide the acid that lends a cider its tartness, and bittersharps/bittersweets contribute the tannins that give a cider its body and structure.

On our path to discovering the best apples to use to create the perfect Midwestern cider, we were consistently thrilled by the excellent sugar and acid profiles of local apples, but underwhelmed by their bitterness.

Bittersharp and bittersweet apples, known as spitters for their acrid flavor, are really only good for making hard cider. While the U.S. once had a healthy bittersharp and bittersweet infrastructure, it was wiped out during Prohibition. To this day, small upstart cideries (like us!) have a very difficult time sourcing spitters; here in the Midwest, it’s near impossible to find them in any meaningful volume.

Because of this, and because of our commitment to local growers, instead of sourcing spitters from across the country (or around the world), we turned to hops and grains for that bitterness and body. The result: tart, dry, flavorful, well-balanced products. These are not the cloyingly sweet macro-ciders most people think of when they hear “cider.” They are decidedly different. They are delightfully Sociable.

The best cider comes from fresh-pressed apples, not concentrate or apple-like flavorings or aroma compounds. What’s more, the kinds of apples used to make cider are of tantamount importance; it takes a blend of sweet, tart and bitter flavors to make a well-balanced cider.

With this in mind, we source a specific selection of Midwestern sweet and sharp apples from Minnesota and Michigan growers and brew in a bittering component to make balanced, fresh, decidedly different products.

Gluten-Free and Gluten-Removed products

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One question we get asked a lot is, “Are your apple products celiac safe?” The answer: YES!

Some of our products are 100% naturally gluten free, while others are produced using gluten-containing ingredients that then undergo an enzymatic process to remove gluten (see below). That said, we always make the distinction between our products that are gluten free (GF) and those that are gluten removed (GR).

Gluten-Removed: How It’s Made

We make our gluten-removed products using the same process Omission Brewery uses for its gluten-free beers, which is the same as the process used to make Estrella’s award-winning Daura gluten-free beer. For more information on the process, check out the links.


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