With fall descending around us in a swirl of multi-colored leaves, cool breezes, and buckets, baskets, and bins full of ripe fruits and vegetables, it is impossible not to think about our most American of holidays: Thanksgiving! It is a time when we gather together to celebrate not only the harvest and the bounty that our land provides for us, but also the idea of people of different backgrounds coming together to share a meal created from their unique cultural histories.
Cider was no exception to this blending of cultures that began when the pilgrims arrived in what became New England. Cider was already the drink of choice in England and elsewhere on the European continent. There were also several varieties of apples that were already established in New England and being made into cider by Native American groups before the pilgrims arrived. That means it’s entirely possible that cider was on the table at that first Thanksgiving!
But cider’s history is only a part of the story – we’re in the midst of the rebirth of America’s cider industry! Cider makers across the country are going back to our roots and creating truly spectacular ciders that celebrate the best of what our country has to offer. So this Thanksgiving as you gather with your friends and family around the table, pick cider and raise a toast to traditions old and new!
Explore our site to discover your Thanksgiving cider inspiration. Post your cider photo to Instagram with #PickCider for a chance to win Pick Cider gear. Contact us with any of your cider questions. We’re here to help you pick cider.
This campaign is sponsored by the United States Association of Cider Makers.
While many may feel that what's for Thanksgiving dinner isn't up for debate, that doesn't mean you can't juice up your usual holiday fare with a dash or a splash or a bottle of cider from your favorite cider makers! As a representative of fall and the harvest, cider pairs well with any Thanksgiving dish and the variety of ciders available means that you can find just the right one for every course and every palate. Start with a sparkling cider to get the festive spirit going as your family and friends assemble over the appetizer trays. Then bring on a cider packed with the punch of tannin and acid to balance out the richness of your Thanksgiving meal. Finish up by pairing a complementary semi-dry cider with your pies and pastries for the perfect end note.
Want something more advanced? How about a cider-based brine for your Thanksgiving turkey? A brine will keep your turkey moist, and the cider, herbs, and spices will impart amazing flavor into your bird and into the gravy you make out of the drippings!
Don't forget to add some cider to the side dishes as well! Cider can be added to almost any Thanksgiving side and adds a brightness that can lighten up the heaviness of our favorite holiday dishes. That's right, even mashed potatoes can be jazzed up with some cider, as can carrots, Brussels sprouts, the list goes on.
Want to add a pièce de résistance to your meal? Create unique desserts imbued with your favorite cider. Unsurprisingly, cider can be a great addition to your favorite desserts filled with the bounty of fall fruits and veggies available. Turn cider into a sauce, add it to your dough, or your filling and you'll create a memorable end to our most American of meals.
- Caramelized Potato and Rutabaga Mash - Angry Orchard
- Hard Cider and Sausage Stuffing - Woodchuck
- Cranberry and Cider Sauce - Cider Culture
- Cider-glazed Carrots - Cidercraft
- Roasted Carrot and Leek Soup - Cidercraft
- Cider-braised Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta - Cidercraft
- Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Hard Cider Vinaigrette - Cidercraft
- Collard Green Arancini with Black Eyed Pea Hummus - Angry Orchard
- Caramelized Onions with Cider - Cider Culture
- Grilled Vegetable Salad with Creamy Hard Cider Vinaigrette - Angry Orchard
Find a Pick Cider event near you!
Let everyone know you're there using #pickcider!
- November 19 - Castle Hill Cider Open House 12-4pm - Keswick, Virginia
- Join Castle Hill Cider at their open house on November 19! Kids' apple-focused activities, tours at 12 and 2, cider and turkey pairing, and Blue Ridge Pizza will be onsite offering up delicious food options! With music by Hard Swimmin' Fish from 2-4, come relax and enjoy a cider, yard games, and picturesque views. Contact Kristin Hicks at 434-296-0047 ext. 106 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- November 21 - Ploughman Hard Cider @ Greensgrow Thanksgiving Market 3-7 pm - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Find Ploughman Farm Cider at the Greensgrow Thanksgiving Market and stop by to sample their ciders and pick up bottles for your Thanksgiving feast along with all the other farm fresh foods you need for your Thanksgiving table.
- November 22 - Harvest House Party: 90s Edition @ Urban Tree Cidery 5:30-11 pm - Atlanta, Georgia
- Harvest season has arrived! That means more award winning Urban Tree Cider is heading your way. Why not throw a party to celebrate this year's harvest? Urban Tree Cidery invites you to attend their inaugural Harvest House Party! This party will have all of the elements of a 90s house party. You don't want to miss it!
- November 22 - A Very Slopesgiving with Virtue Cider 10 pm - 1 am - Chicago, Illinois
- Dance it out this Cider Season with a Thanksgiving Eve party with friends at Slippery Slope starting at 10 pm. Cider on draft, of course, and a portion of cider sales will be benefiting the Greater Chicago Food Depository. DJ Johnny Walker will be weaving seasonal sonic landscapes. It's gonna be a cornucopia of fun!
- November 22 - Ploughman Hard Cider @ Headhouse Thanksgiving Market 10 am - 4 pm - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Find Ploughman Farm Cider at the Headhouse Thanksgiving Market and stop by to sample their ciders and pick up bottles for your Thanksgiving feast along with all the other farm fresh foods you need for your Thanksgiving table.
- November 24 - Friday Fill Specials at Portland Cider House Starting at 1pm - Portland, Oregon
News & Blogs highlighting THANKSGIVING & Cider
- Cidercraft's 2017 Holiday Buying Guide - Cidercraft
- Sip Northwest 's 2017 Holiday Buying Guide - Sip Northwest
- 3 Ways to Pair Cider with Your Fall Flavored Meal - Eve's Cidery
- Playing the Long Game: The Longevity, Development, and Evolution of Cider - Cider Culture
- Like To Mix It Up? Try the New Cider-Grown New England Multi-Pack - Cider Culture
- US Association of Cider Makes Introduces Style Guidelines - Brewbound
- Cider Association Issues Official Cider Style Guide - Food and Wine
- 50 States, 50 Cider Destinations - USA Today
- Hard Cider Is Replacing Rosé for A Few Good Reasons - Vogue
- The Ultimate Guide to Hard Ciders - Martha Stewart
- 5 Cider to Sip This Fall - Rachel Ray Magazine
- These Are the Ciders You Should Be Drinking This Fall - GQ
- 6 Best Places to Go Cider Tasting in NC This Fall - Trips to Discover
- These Crisp Hard Ciders Are Way Better Than Beer - Best Products
- Another Way to Get Your Apple a Day on Thanksgiving - Hard Cider - Take Part
- Wine is for Turkeys - Tasting Table
- Why Apple Cider is the Perfect Thanksgiving Wine - Saveur
- Easy Cider - Your Ultimate Cider Cheat Sheet - Tasting Table
- The Serious Eats Guide to Thanksgiving Cider Pairing - Serious Eats
- What the Pilgrims Drank on Thanksgiving - The Daily Beast