The numbers are in and it seems this year, hard cider is more popular than ever – even among dudes. What was once considered second best to the pumpkin beers and other seasonal alcoholic beverages is moving up in the world of tasty autumn libations. And we’re a-okay with that.

After all, what could be more refreshing than a bottle of crisp apple alcohol. Fortunately for us, there’s no shortage of hard cider in our city. And while there’s quite a variety of hard cider on the market, we’ve chosen to compare two of the more popular options. The Boston Beer Company’s Angry Orchard and the classic Woodchuck Hard Cider, brewed in Vermont.

So which is really the most refreshing hard apple cider out there? We’ll find out today in the This vs. That gauntlet.

Angry Orchard

For this taste test, I tried Angry Orchard’s Crisp Apple Hard Cider. The light golden amber pour had a sweet apple aroma, but not an overly sweet taste. In fact, I noticed that it tasted somewhat dry (in my opinion) for a hard cider. While the first sip had a distinct sweetened apple taste, it was immediately followed by a strong and overpowering aftertaste. I did, however, appreciate the true-to-form “crisp apple” flavor that the hard cider promised on its label.

And as far as nutritional content is concerned, one bottle of Angry Orchard Crisp Apple contains 210 calories (but who’s counting?). The hard cider also has a five-percent alcohol content. Rate Beer, an independent world site and source for craft beer enthusiasts, gave Angry Orchard’s Hard Cider an overall ho-hum rating of 48. But if you’re looking for a less sweet, drier hard cider, then this drink is for you.


Many consider Woodchuck the staple hard cider of fall. As soon as the leaves start falling, you’re sure to see cider-loving gals (and even dudes) swiping six-packs of this seasonal favorite off the shelves. The Woodchuck Hard Cider, brewed in nearby Middlebury, Vermont, is a tad sweeter than Angry Orchard, and (in my opinion) tastes more akin to non-alcoholic apple cider than Angry Orchard.

Just like Angry Orchard, the Woodchuck Hard Cider “Amber” has an alcohol content of five percent. So the two ciders are tied in that regard. Rate Beer gave Woodchuck an overall rating of 36. Slightly less than Angry Orchard but at least a bottle of Woodchuck has less calories than its competitor. The hard cider comes in at 200 calories.

Winner: Woodchuck

I can’t help it – it’s sweeter and I’m a chick. I just don’t do strong aftertastes. And after drinking one Woodchuck Hard Cider, I found myself wanting another. The hard cider is smoother, sweeter and, overall, better. But that’s my cider-loving opinion. What’s yours?

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