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Good Beer Hunting

Jan 13, 2024

When I tell people that I’m really into beer, a quarter of the time someone mentions cider despite the two being vastly different. These interactions have always left me feeling helpless because I lacked the knowledge to educate them about the differences, and I certainly couldn’t guide them to a beer style that would be similar to cider. The extent of my cider knowledge was extremely limited—until I read fellow GBH contributor and podcast host Beth Demmon's book “The Beer Lover's Guide to Cider.”

In fact, she addresses this common mixup in the first line of her book “Cider is not beer.” Cider is more like wine than beer because it’s created from fruit whereas beer is a combination of malt, hops, and yeast. Despite their differences, Beth is able to draw a connection between beer and cider to show us how vast the world of cider really is, encouraging us to look beyond what we might find in our local grocery store. Much like many of us had to do in the early days of craft beer when shelves were stocked with domestic Lager and other mass-produced beers.   

In our conversation, we talk about Beth’s inspiration for the book, which includes a trip to CiderCon, an annual conference organized by the American Cider Association. Beth also shares how she approached writing the book and how she was able to lean on her community for help. But what I love most about our conversation is how she draws parallels between those initial days of craft beer and the current state of cider here in the United States. For those of us who have explored all corners of craft beer, cider offers a new landscape of flavors, producers, and techniques to dive into, so let’s jump right in.