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Mercifully, brewers label their beers with the style - lager, IPA, Hefeweisse, etc. But for whatever reason, the makers of hard ciders don't share the sentiment, and every single bottle will just call itself "cider" or if you're lucky "apple cider."

This is something of an issue because I really like sweet ciders, and can't stand sour ones. But as far as I can tell, the bottle never reveals what type the cider is, and I have to open it and take a drink before I know if I will like it or not.

So what are the styles of cider, and how can I recognize them (and avoid the ones I don't like)?

  • Interesting question. Not a cider drinker myself, but it might be something you have to do some manual Google searching for to find brands you'll like. AFAIK, the cider industry is relatively young and growing, so you might be out of luck. – Canadian Coder Jul 2 '16 at 16:37
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There are different cider styles. BJCP cider style guidelines lists several distinct styles.

However, many commercial ciders like Angry Orchard don't list a style beyond their brand names.

  • Great find! However, aside from ice cider and cider with other fruits, I've never seen any style labels on bottles, even from less "macro" producers than Angry Orchard, Ace, etc. – SPavel Jul 1 '16 at 16:09
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    Good point. I've seen the odd America 750ml bottle in specialty stores that specify a French style or something similar. Most European ciders I've seen specify area of production, which roughly maps to cider style. – bob0the0mighty Jul 2 '16 at 17:52
  • This must be an American thing. In Europe most ciders tell you exactly what fruits it was made from, and in many cases they list the process as well. – Rory Alsop Jul 14 '16 at 14:54

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