Surrounded by orchards filled with some of the best apple varieties in the world, the Lake Chelan Valley has seen an increase in hard cider production and consumption.
“There was a big shift. Nobody really knows for sure why that was, but people really started to notice that we’re making great ciders state-wide and country-wide,” said local cider-maker Jonathon Kludt. Kludt produces Washington Gold Cider out of Lake Chelan Winery. “There is a lot of history in the U.S. with cider, and most of that kind of went away in the 1800’s and really stopped with prohibition, and it never got its start again until now.”
There are about 426 cider-makers in the United States as of April 2015, with 297 makers producing out of traditional cideries, according to research from Statista.
Hard cider was brought to the U.S. in the 17th century as a safer alternative to water, and it now ranges in flavors and styles. Ciders can range from heavy and complex, to light and fruity, and is usually produced with fermented apple juice.