Beer Reviews


Pleased to (re)meet you.

Formerly Semi Dry Cider, Zappy (5% ABV) is our lively, crisp take on a traditionally fermented hard cider. Simple, refreshing and touched with sweetness, Zappy is a nod to fans of classic cider and those looking for a reliable, no-frills beer alternative alike. To get to the core of the first Cidergeist release of the year, read on!

Reviews are done by Travis Houston, our Sensory Specialist, Certified Cicerone, and FOBAB Judge.

We recently redesigned our cider cans to reflect the amount of experimentation and innovation work we put into the liquid—can you speak a bit about the cider innovation process? What was the goal of the entire cider lineup? 

While delicious on its own, cider also works as an excellent base to showcase unique and unexpected ingredients. Our line of Fruited Ales allows us to experiment with different fruit combinations, so we approached cider innovation with the goal of differentiating the two series by focusing on interesting herb and spice infusions. We drew inspiration from some of our favorite cocktails and cuisines, and hit on some winners pretty quickly along the process. From there, it took a few small batch iterations to lock in on the correct ratio and amount of each ingredient.

Zappy is the most “traditional” cider in the lineup, and was formerly known as Semi Dry—what (if anything) has changed? What does this recipe bring to our cider lineup?  

The main difference is that Zappy has a slightly lower alcohol content than Semi-dry, coming in at only 5% instead of the former 6.2%. Not only does this align with the rest of the ciders when it comes to alcohol, it also means the liquid itself is more nimble, making Zappy extremely refreshing and drinkable. 

What are the notable characteristics of this cider? 

Cider flavor is a balance of sugar, acid and tannin that all comes from the juice. In Zappy, the final character comes directly from the apples and the expression of their fermentation. The result is a liquid that is packed with apple flavor, while keeping acid, sugar and tannin all in balance. Some acidity keeps Zappy bright and our apple blend keeps the tannins low for high drinkability. Fruit sugars are very fermentable, so we actually use additional apple juice to add some sweetness back into Zappy so that it finishes crisp but not bone dry; a little sweet but not cloying.

What makes you want to drink this cider? 

Cider is meant to be an easy-drinking, refreshing beverage. Zappy is just that, finding that perfect balance between bright apple flavor and crisp effervescence. Whether you’re enjoying it in winter as a reprieve from heavier offerings, or to cool down in the heat of summer, cider’s versatility makes Zappy perfect for all occasions.

Appearance: Light gold with great clarity and a very thin layer of white foam that quickly disperses.

Aroma: Fresh red apple.

Taste: Fresh apple with medium-low sweetness and a pleasant lingering apple flavor.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and effervescent with a light body and quick, somewhat dry finish.

Overall: Fresh apple bursts from the glass in the slightly sweet cider that finishes crisp and refreshing.

What foods would pair well with Zappy? 

Zappy would go great with a creamy pasta dish, like alfredo. The apple is flavorful enough that the sauce won’t overpower it, and the fairly dry finish will refresh the palate with each sip.

Ideal glassware for Zappy? A standard shaker pint glass.