Pumpkin beers and pumpkin-spiced cocktails are in full swing now that fall is in the air. And while cider is often thought of as a fruity, sweet, apple-forward drink, there are many varieties that are perfect for fall. These seasonal ciders have everything you need for cooler, shorter days — from pumpkin and salted caramel to bourbon-barrel-aged goodness.
Pumpkin-Infused by BOCO Cider1501 Lee Hill Drive, Unit 14, Boulder
Pie pumpkins from local Munson Farms are roasted in the kitchens of Bridge House (a charity helping the homeless) and then infused into BOCO’s hard cider base. It doesn’t end there, though. That intense pumpkin cider is then blended with a barrel-aged cider base. Instead of cinnamon and traditional pumpkin pie spices, oak-vanilla notes and a strong pumpkin flavor predominate.
Salted Caramel Apple Cider by Boxing Brother Ciderhouse4655 Town Center Drive, #130, Colorado Springs
Salted Caramel Apple Cider has been the much-anticipated fall cider release for the last three years at Boxing Brother Cider House. It’s a small-batch cider that's both sweet and savory. Try this seasonal delight in the Colorado Springs taproom or in various bars and restaurants in the Colorado Springs area.
Pumpkin by Wild Cider11455 County Road 17, Firestone
In the summer months, the bold lemon-basil and flavorful pineapple ciders are popular choices at Wild Cider. But in the fall, it’s pumpkin’s time to shine. The seasonal cider pours a light-orange hue with an aroma of pumpkin and fall spices. Also not to be missed is Spiced Apple, with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg and orange.
Bourbon Barrel Aged Pommeau by Big B’s Hard Cider39126 Highway 133, Hotchkiss
Bourbon Barrel Aged Pommeau is a rare, small-batch cider starting off with local, organic Winesap apples, the juice of which is fermented and cellar-aged. It’s then distilled by Peach Street Distillery in Palisade and blended with fresh, organic apple juice and hard cider. Finally, the concoction ages in bourbon barrels for twelve more months. The result is similar to an apple wine brandy, with an apple and bourbon nose and flavors of vanilla and smoke.
Gingerbread by St. Vrain Cidery350 Terry Street, #130, Longmont
St. Vrain Cidery is a great place for both cider lovers and newbies, with 36 ciders on tap. For the best seasonal flare, the housemade Gingerbread cider is always a fan favorite. This sweet cider is spiced with ginger, cinnamon and dark sugars to go along with the crisp apple taste.
Chile Guava by Stem Ciders2811 Walnut Street, #150
Stem’s fall seasonal breaks away from those sweet, baked-good vibes for another autumn specialty in Colorado: chiles. Chile Guava infuses fresh pressed apple juice and guava purée with guajillo chiles. This off-dry cider finishes with tingling heat and pairs perfectly with enchiladas at Acreage, the cider company's farmhouse restaurant at 1380 Horizon Avenue in Lafayette.
Rockies Rosé by Snow Capped Cider and Molly’s Spirits5809 West 44th Avenue, Lakeside
Rockies Rosé has been a year in the making and is ready for a fall release. The third collaboration between Snow Capped Cider and Molly’s, this one is made with Colorado-grown Pinova apples pressed with elderberries and aged for six months. The cider was then aged again on malbec wine skins from last year’s harvest for another six months. Rockies Rosé is available exclusively at Molly’s Spirits.
Descuido by Colorado Cider Company2650 West Second Avenue, #10
Descuido is a pommeau, which is a combination of cider, cider distillate and apple juice. The cider company sends its cider to Deerhammer Distillery in Buena Vista for distillation, and the result is combined with more hard cider and apple juice in rum barrels to age for about a year. It's described as an apple version of a rich port.
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Alpine Winter by Talbott’s Cider Co.3782 F ¼ Road, Palisade
The Alpine Winter from Talbott’s Cider Co. is made to mimic a mulled cider. It’s classified as a spiced cider, with flavors of cardamom, cinnamon, clove and ginger, and is best served between 50 and 60 degrees (rather than piping hot). Talbott’s Cider Co. can be found at restaurants, bars and liquor stores along the Front Range.
Della’s Apple Strudel by Summit Hard Cider & Perry215 North College Avenue, Fort Collins
The ciders at Summit Hard Cider & Perry are anything but ordinary, with blueberry-lavender, chocolate-cherry and Raspbenero, a blend of raspberries and spicy habanero and serrano chiles. But the fall harvest cider is a simple twist on classic hard cider. Spices, including nutmeg and cinnamon, are added for a strudel-inspired cider.