Cider & Spirits

The Central Coast deserves its reputation as a hotspot for craft hard cider, with a range of hard cider companies, both in size of production and style.

To explore the cider world, we share notes from tasting room visits as well as Cidermaking Spotlight stories that take you behind the scenes and introduce you to the personalities in the cider world.

We cover annual events showcasing the range of cider artistry. Check out our Cider Festival Guide to Enjoyment and Great Flavors Central Coast Hard Cider Guide (coming soon) for a tasting map, cider-making steps, and tips for cider tasting.

Spirits is another booming Central Coast beverage option, often made from the “must” (grape skins, seeds, and stems) remaining after the wine production process, as well as other ingredients. Distilleries are popping up all over the Central Coast, and we share our visits.

Cider & Spirits Special Features:

Resources & Guides

  • (Coming Soon) The Great Flavors Central Coast Cider Map

Videos

Articles and Reviews

  • From Apples to Artistry: The Bristols Cider House Way

    Feature Video In just six steps, Bristols Cider House blends apples, artistry, and a joyful approach to life that’s captured in every hard cider they make. The Bristols Way: Creativity and Quality As one of the most established and respected hard cider makers on the Central Coast, this Atascadero-based producer has been creating quality ciders—and […]

  • Hard Core Cider Tour: Experience the Sparkle

    Nine Ways the Hard Core Cider Tour Creates a Sparkling Guest Experience  Feature Video There are oodles of beer festivals, wine-tasting events, and even a bubbly fest or two. But there aren’t many events devoted to quality hard cider and the people who make it possible. And that’s a shame. Because gathering hard cider makers […]

  • Ticket Contest: Grab a friend and head to the Tour

    What’s better than attending the SLO Hard Core Cider Tour this Saturday, Oct. 21? Attending for free! With a friend! How, you ask? Simple—just Like our Facebook page (@gr8flavors), and Tag & Share this post with a friend for a chance to win two free tickets. The hardest part might be choosing just one friend. […]

  • Drink Cider. Do Good: Hard Core Cider Tour Benefits Bike SLO County

    When you buy a ticket to the San Luis Obispo Hard Core Cider Tour on October 21, you may change a person’s life for the better, forever. Every stop on the Hard Core Cider Tour designates a bike-related nonprofit as its event beneficiary, and Bike SLO County will again benefit from proceeds earned from the […]

  • Branch to Bottle: Gopher Glen’s Hard Cider Journey

    Feature Video Fernando puts his arms through the shoulder straps of the canvas apple carrier and pulls the cords to cinch up the bottom opening. His team does the same, ready for another day in the orchard. Today’s focus: Nittany apples. It’s still early but the day promises to be hot. For now, dappled shade […]

  • SLO Hard Core Cider Tour / Newcomer Profile: Gopher Glen Cider Company

    The Hard Core Cider Tour gathers some of the best hard cider makers from California and beyond, and shares the great tastes with cider fans on its tour stops in lucky California towns. Each year, the event grows, as does the list of cider makers participating—which means we all get to experience and explore even […]

  • SLO Hard Core Cider Tour / Newcomer Profile: Two Broads Ciderworks

    The Hard Core Cider Tour gathers some of the best hard cider makers from California and beyond, and shares the great tastes with cider fans on its tour stops in lucky California towns. Each year, the event grows, as does the list of cider makers participating—which means we all get to experience and explore even […]

  • SLO Hard Core Cider Tour / Newcomer Profile: Krazy Farm Cider Company

    The Hard Core Cider Tour gathers some of the best hard cider makers from California and beyond, and shares the great tastes with cider fans on its tour stops in lucky California towns. Each year, the event grows, as does the list of cider makers participating—which means you get to experience and explore even more […]

  • Your Taster’s Guide to Fun at the Hard Core Cider Tour

    Brilliant blue sky. Warm autumn sun. Notes of live music hanging in the air. Friendly groups playing lawn games. Smells of good cooking luring you to the food trucks. And a slew of some of the best craft hard ciders just waiting for you to sample. All this and more awaits you at the Hard […]

  • Bristols Cider House: The Art of Hard Cider

    Quick. Name a hard cider maker on the Central Coast. If you’re like many people, the first place that comes to mind when you think of hard cider is Bristols Cider House in Atascadero. Today, Bristols Cider House is an institution—one of the oldest, biggest, and well-respected hard cider companies on the Central Coast, as […]

  • Some Ciders and Cheeses Meet in a Pub, and Here’s What Happened [Bristols Cider House and Fromagerie Sophie Pairing Event]

    Ever wondered if hard ciders play well with cheeses from the around the world? Learn the outcomes of this uncommon pairing. Spoiler alert: deliciousness ahead. Event Recap: Cider and Cheese Pairing, June 3, 2017 Hand-crafted ciders made true to English standards? Hand-crafted cheeses from around the world? Both in one place overflowing with the friendly […]

  • 2nd Annual Central Coast Cider Festival [16 Local Cider Crafters]

    Feature Video Some of the best cider crafters and brewers on the Central Coast and our California neighbors in one room with dinner and music, you say? We’re in! Hard Cider. Easy Decision. Flavor Team members Kara and Andrew heeded the call and excitedly signed up for the 2nd Annual Central Coast Cider Festival in […]

  • Hard Core Cider Tour 2016 Comes to SLO County

    When Flavor Team member Andrew shared the Facebook post for the Hard Core Cider Tour’s first-ever stop in San Luis Obispo, I voted an enthusiastic thumbs up. What possible reason could the Flavor Team have for not attending this monumental and flavorful event? Nada. Zilch. None. We bought tickets that afternoon. And a good thing, […]