The Definitive Guide to Austin Area Cider
Central Texas’ vibrant craft alcohol scene has drawn national praise for at least a decade. While not as numerous as craft breweries or as well known outside of the Lone Star state as Central Texas distilleries, Austin’s cideries are quietly flourishing. From single-apple, barrel-aged ciders to unconventional combinations of fruit and hops to crushable cans, there’s something for every cidery fan in Austin.
8201 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78745
Argus is the granddaddy of Austin cider, dating all the way back to 2010. Founder Wes Mickel could not find the dry, bubbly ciders that he loved to drink anywhere in Texas, so he decided to make them for himself. Argus started out using only Texas-grown apples before expanding their horizons to other varieties of apples that are grown in the South. Argus mainly uses these apples in their large bottle Orchard Lot series. Argus also produces a Fermentables line of cans and small ciders with a wide range of flavors and techniques, including a unique lagered cider. The cidery closed due to financial and logistical difficulties from the COVID-19 pandemic. In the spring of 2022, the cidery resumed production under a new operational partnership with Thirsty Planet and has returned to shelves and tap walls across Austin after a 2+ year hiatus.
979 Springdale Rd, Ste. 130, Austin, TX 78702
Austin Eastciders is the best-known and most ubiquitous cider maker in Austin. The cidery was founded in 2013 by Englishman and former cider bar owner Ed Gibson. Eastciders uses European apple juice concentrate and white wine yeast as base ingredients, yielding a drier cider than standard American recipes. In addition to their Original cider, Eastciders produces nine other core ciders with hops, honey, and fruit variations. They also produce four-light cider varieties clocking in at a mere 100 calories per can. Seasonal and limited-release flavors can be found at the Eastciders Collaboratory Tap Room on Springdale Road in East Austin, or on tap throughout the city. Eastciders also distributes throughout Texas and to 21 other states.
Texas Keeper Cider
12521 Twin Creeks Road, Manchaca, TX, 78652
Texas Keeper Cider was founded in 2013 by a trio of fermentation experts and Austin natives: winemaker Nick Doughty, homebrewer Brandon Wilde, and pickling enthusiast Lindsey Peebles. The trio works closely with small growers to incorporate heirloom apples into their ciders. The resulting ciders are nuanced, wine-like, and only available in small batches. Texas Keeper Cider also has a barrel-aging program at their South Austin taproom and production facility.
Moontower Cider Company
1916 Tillery St., Austin, TX 78723
Moontower Cider Company’s East Austin taproom is the newest cidery in the city. Founded in 2017 by Benjamin Weaver, Moontower draws inspiration from the American cidermaking tradition that abruptly ended during Prohibition in the 1920s. Weaver’s appreciation for cider history is paired with a scientific rigor toward developing optimized yeast cultures. Moontower uses a combination of European and American culinary apples and other fruits to produce semi-dry, balanced ciders. In addition to their core Semi-Dry cider, Moontower makes a wine grape and apple combination cider (vinous cider), a mead-cider hybrid (cyser), and a pear cider (perry).
Fairweather Cider Company
Located in the tiny town of Hye between Austin and Fredricksburg, Hye Cider Company is the brainchild of Cherry Graham, her husband Travis, and their long-time friend “Captain” Brian Came. The Grahams came to cidermaking from previous careers as chefs and brewed their first batch of cider in their Austin apartment. The trio, joined by GM Don Ransey, relocated to the Hill Country and opened their cidery in 2018. All of Hye Ciders’ products are cysers, a mead-cider hybrid. Despite the copious amount of honey used in the fermentation process, Hye Ciders are tart and dry. In addition to a sweet and dry cider, Hye also produces ciders with hops, figs and peppercorns, and bay leaves.
Bishop Cider Company
600 East Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78704
Bishop Cider Company was started by husband-and-wife team Joel and Laura Malone in the Bishop Art District in Dallas. The cidery has expanded its footprint to Fort Worth, Houston, and Austin. Instead of conventional taprooms, Bishop Cider has set up Cidercades, a combination of a cider bar and a full-sized arcade. Arcade games are free to play with a $ 10-day pass. There are 48 varieties of cider, hard seltzer, and hard kombucha on tap at the Austin Cidercade as well as non-alcoholic artisanal sodas. The Cidercade also serves pizza and wings.
Lost Horizon Cider Mill
Lockhart, TX 78644
Lost Horizon Cider Mill is a small batch cidery nestled in the woods outside of Lockhart, Texas, which was established in 2019 by Al and Shawn Jones. With early support from the Lockhart community, Lost Horizon’s reach is quickly expanding to Austin and San Antonio, with availability in Houston and Dallas planned for 2023. Lost Horizon produces flavorful adjuncted ciders, including orange and oak aged vanilla “Lucid Dream”, coconut/ginger/lime “Secret Handshake”, and pear/fig/vanilla/rum infused oak “Old Haunt”, as well as their more traditional tart cider “Sneak Thief”.