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The Cider Craze Comes to Colorado

Europeans have long quaffed hard cider. Colorado is finally catching on.

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When St. Patrick’s Day rolls around this month, revelers across the Mile High City undoubtedly will reach for a pint of Guinness or a swig of Jameson. But did you know it’s just as Irish (and far less cliché) to knock back a hard cider? You can certainly find the Emerald Isle’s most prominent brand, Magners (known as Bulmers across the pond), here in Denver, but Colorado’s homegrown ciders are equally notable. To really drink like the Irish this Paddy’s Day—or any day—take a sip of one of these.

Big B’s

Hotchkiss-based Big B’s offers funky, complex flavors like Cherry Daze, Lazy Daze Lemon, and Chester Hoppearcot, a strong, fruity mix of apple, pear, apricot, and hops. The drinks are delicious and unorthodox inventions for the true cider lover. Big B’s also came up big at the Good Food Awards in January by taking home medals for its Orchard Original and Pear Supply.  386 High St., Hotchkiss, 970-872-3065

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C Squared Ciders

Having set up shop barely eight months ago in the Bindery on Blake (see page 79 of “Denver Rising”) in RiNo, C Squared Ciders is one of Colorado’s newest cider producers. And yet the Siren line boasts some of the strongest, most profound apple flavors around, with varieties such as the rich and floral Alma and sweet but tart Nona. 2875 Blake St., 720-437-1428

Stem Ciders

Stem’s bustling taproom on Walnut Street looks as though it were designed expressly for RiNo hipsters. Whether you have a sleeve of tattoos or not, stop in and sip an inventive beverage such as Le Chêne (a complex cider aged in red Zinfandel barrels) or the raspberry-flavored Branch and Bramble. 2811 Walnut St., 720-443-3007

Colorado Cider Co.

With its flagship Glider Cider carried at dozens of bars and restaurants here and beyond, this local cider maker is the Centennial State’s most prominent. At the cidery itself, look for dry, crisp drinks in a variety of flavors, from the beer- and floral-inspired Grasshop-ah to the Colorado Bartlett pear–made Pearsnickety. 2650 W. Second Ave., 303-759-3560

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