Where to drink/buy cider in Vienna?

I didn’t spend enough time in Vienna to properly explore the city in terms of cider. But, I will share with you two bars, where you can find real cider.
img_6894Bars/Pubs

They usually have three ciders on tap, but in the summer they reduce the number of ciders available on tap to only one. I think that it’s rather strange as I would assume, that cider is more popular in the summer time? What else can cool you better than a glass of lightly chilled cider? As for cider available here, you can purchase the local Big Arlet from Gusswerk Brauerei. No bottled cider here. Also, they serve food here. I can recommend their pastrami. Delicious!

Mel’s is located in the centre of Vienna so if you are doing sightseeing here you will sooner or later pass by this bar. Mel’s is actually an American craft beer bar with a quite impressive selection of English cider. At least impressive for this part of Europe. Ciders available on tap feature Aspall Cyder, Westons Rosie’s Pig and Old Banger, price wise 0,25L €2.90 / 0,46L €4.80. In bottles, they offer ciders from Oliver’s Cider & Perry and Cornish Orchards. See below for Mel’s cider list. Sadly, you will not find Austrian cider here. Also, they serve food here if you are hungry, but I haven’t had the chance to try it.If there are more cider spots in Vienna worth mentioning, just drop me a line! I would be happy to update my post.

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Why cider from overseas is easier​ to get in Berlin than European cider?

Last weekend I was wandering around Berlin looking for bars and shops stocking real cider. Most bars offered the usual commercially available ciders from Aspall or Strongbow, which I refuse to drink. But then, in Neukölln, an upcoming multicultural district of Berlin, I discovered a craft beer bar called Muted Horn and made there a very interesting observation. I was standing at the bar and looking at the list of ciders available in bottles when I discovered that apart from Welsh cider, Gwynt y Ddraig they stock cider from the US company Starcut Ciders, which is based in Northern Michigan.  I was very much surprised as the distance between Berlin and Michigan is around 7000 km.

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I spoke to the bartender in the Muted Horn and asked him if they offer cider on draught sometimes. I learned that in the past they had another cider from Michigan, the Death Unicorn from B. Nektar Meadery, and also one Canadian cider on draught from Cidrerie Milton, which is located in Sainte-Cécile-de-Milton, Quebec. Wow, another cider from overseas I thought. The distance between Quebec and Berlin is approx. 5.500 km.

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It didn’t stop there. Since I was already in the area of Neukölln, I’ve decided to check out a craft beer store, Lager Lager, which was just a 15-minute walk away from Muted Horn. After having a pleasant chat with the sales guy in Lager Lager, I’ve learned that they would love to stock UK cider, but the import of cider from the UK is just too costly. However, this week they are expecting an overseas container from New Zealand loaded with imported goods, including cider from Zeffer Cider Company. I calculated the distance between Berlin and New Zeland and it is roughly 18.200km! This gave me food for thought…

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I was amazed and couldn’t help but wonder, how is this possible that cider coming from overseas, outside of Europe, shipped from really really far away, is easier to get in Berlin than real cider from e.g. Somerset, UK, which is only 1300km away! Or traditional cidre from Normandy, France, which is even closer at 1100km away from Berlin? How come is Berlin a good enough market for cider companies coming from overseas, but not interesting enough for European cider makers from Bretagne or Asturias? How come a bottle of cider that has to be shipped 20.000km is easier to get in Berlin than a bottle of cider that has to be shipped 1000km, which is only 5% of this route? Shouldn’t the shipping cost be proportionally lower for a cider from Somerset?

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I gave my observation some thought and I see a number of possible explanations for it. Firstly, the vast majority of cider makers operate locally focusing on farmers markets, local cider/beer festivals or supply of local restaurants or pubs. Only occasionally selling products to the US, but ignoring the rest of Europe. Depending on how you look at this matter, you may call it a focus on the regional market or a misfunctioning/limited sales strategy. Secondly, it might be a real-life example of the global village, where you can buy products manufactured 20.000km away without spending 20 hours on a plane. Thirdly,  the overseas cider has just reached the status that wines from Napa Valley once had to fight for. The first explanation is probably the closest to the truth.

Personally, I don’t mind having a glass of hard cider from the US or Canada as long as it’s not from concentrate. Seriously, I’m happy to try a cider from New Zealand without even having to leave Berlin. Lucky me! But, I want to have a choice between cider made in Europe and overseas. Unfortunately, I don’t have the privilege of choosing because, at this moment, the only real cider on draught available in Berlin is from the US and Canada. Perhaps it’s time to rethink the marketing and distribution strategy? I know, a good marketing and distribution strategy cost a substantial amount of money. But look at the Zeffer Cider Company from New Zealand. They needed funding to expand into Asia and raised $1.2 million in a crowdfunding campaign in under a week! See the article here. Learn from them because now they are taking Berlin. How about you? When will you take Berlin?

UPDATE: Just learned that most European cider makers don’t even offer their cider in kegs, not to mention recyclable one-way kegs.

Dear cider makers, please be more flexible and widen your keg offer! Cider drinkers in Berlin want to drink decent cider as well! Don’t leave us with Strongbow being the only cider available on tap :-/

Where to drink/buy cider in Prague?

As a natural follow-up to my visit to Prague back in June when I attended Slavnost Cideru 2017, I was going to compile a list of bars, shops, where you can find cider in Prague. However, after spending four days in Prague I made an interesting observation that cider is available almost everywhere in this city. Even at a kiosk, I noticed bottled cider from a craft cider maker, F.H. Prager (I reviewed their Perry here). It might not always be craft cider or real cider that is on offer, but I think it is a huge progress and it shows that cider indeed massively gained in popularity over the last few years in the Czech Republic! Also, I must admit that in terms of availability of my favourite drop, Prague is a long way ahead of my home city Berlin.

Since cider is widely available in Prague, I have decided to focus on spots dedicated to Czech craft cider.

Bars

InCider Bar is a cider bar and, thus a must-visit spot in Prague for every cider pilgrim. Based outside the touristic area in Vršovice, which is a popular neighbourhood among locals with a great selection of bars, restaurants and cafes. InCider Bar is run by Vašek, a very warm and friendly guy, who knows everything about cider and can easily recommend you a cider that will satisfy your taste buds. Usually, there are three different ciders on tap available, the Harry Sparrow from Aspall and two rotating ciders from various Czech craft cider makers. You can find their current tap offer here. Also, in the InCider Bar you will find a great selection of bottled ciders from mainly Czech cider makers, but also Slovak cider makers, and to a lesser extent Spanish, French, English, German and Dutch cider makers. For offered bottled ciders in the InCider Bar check here. If you’re overwhelmed by their cider selection and don’t know what to go for, just ask Vašek to assist you. Overall, I highly recommend visiting InCider Bar when you are in Prague!

Another spot worth mentioning here is the BeerGeek Bar. It’s actually a craft beer bar, but they usually have at least one cider available on draught. Last time when I checked they had a cider from Edge Brewing Barcelona. Click here for their list of beers & ciders currently available on draught. In addition, they stock bottled ciders from Cidrerie Kliment (I reviewed their Demi-Sec here), Magnetic Apple and Rossbach.

Cider available in Eska restaurant is exclusively produced for them by a vineyard from South Moravia, Vinařství Mühlberger.

SHOP

Dobrý Cider is a shop dedicated to cider. They have a wide selection mainly of cider from Czech cider makers such as A.K. Cider (click here for my review of their Limonka), Magnetic Apple or Cidrerie Kliment, just to name a few of them. They also stock a number of foreign ciders featuring English cider from Aspall and Dunkertons, Spanish sidra from Bereziartua and French cidre from Le Brun or Val de Rance. If you want to drink cider on the spot, you can have Aspall, which is available on tap. In addition, they run an online-shop, but when I reached out to them via email earlier this year to ask, whether they ship abroad, there was, unfortunately, no reply to my enquiry from their side.

 If there are more cider spots in Prague worth mentioning, just drop me a line! I would be happy to update my post.

Where to drink/buy cider in Amsterdam?

Amsterdam is a beautiful and amazing city, but it’s a desert in terms of cider. Every bar/pub you would go to will have a Heineken or at least a selection of Belgian beers on offer but not cider. Don’t even bother asking for cider. However, I have managed to find a few cider spots in Amsterdam. I thought it would be a good idea to put together a short guide to cider spots in Amsterdam. I hope you will find it useful for your next Amsterdam trip.


BARS/PUBS

  • Beer Temple (Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 250, 1012 RR Amsterdam)

Beer Temple is a centrally located small bar focusing on American craft beer. However, cider lovers are also welcome as they stock a few bottles of decent cider as well. You can choose between Thistly Cross Whisky Cask Cider (500ml bottle at 9 EUR), Finnbarra’s Dry (500ml bottle at 9 EUR) and Dunkerton’s Black Fox (330 ml bottle at 6 EUR). The friendly staff will help you if you require any recommendation. Guests come mostly from the US or other English-speaking countries.

Regular & Jack is a sports bar located close to the flower market. As it is a sports bar you can watch there your favourite team playing and enjoy a bottle of cider. In terms of cider, you can choose between the Black Dragon from Gwynt y Ddraig or Henney’s Medium Cider. Both in a 500ml bottle. Both at 9 EUR. Friendly stuff.

Briefly, a typical Irish Pub with a typical cider selection for an Irish Pub. On draught Magners and Strongbow. In bottles, they stock Craigies Irish Craft Cider and Crabbies.

A beach bar, but in a good way 🙂 Just try it out!

Craft & Draft is a nice craft beer bar and shop. They even have local cider on tap, the Dry Hopped from Bear Cider. In bottles cider from Gwynt y Ddraig is available.

SHOPS

A centrally located cider shop dedicated to cider. Not sure how about you, but when I  visit a different country I try to sample local products. The same is for cider. I usually search for cider made locally. So if you are in Amsterdam and willing to try Dutch cider you will find it at Appels en Peren. They have a great selection of Dutch cider, but also UK cider and French cidre. I felt there like in a candy shop 😉 Highly recommended! Also, I heard they’re planning to go online soon. At least in the Netherlands.

It’s a supermarket, which also stocks cider. They stock mostly widely available commercial brands, but cider from craft cider producers is also available.

If there are more cider spots in Amsterdam worth mentioning, just drop me a line! I would be happy to update my post.

Note: This post would not be possible without the help of Margot from Het Ciderhuis and Mark from Ciderlab.nl. Thank you! :-)))

Cyderia – a cider bar in Warsaw. CLOSED!

17580060_10155018600140915_1766409165_nCyderia is a cider bar, which has just recently opened in Warsaw, Poland. The owners wanted to open a bar specialized in cider and resembling a typical Asturias cider bar, but with a modern touch.

What is intriguing is that right before the opening was announced on their Facebook page, they had around 1500 followers! Seems that their marketing strategy is effective. I’ve just checked how many followers they have today: 2280. Not bad!

Location-wise, Cyderia sits on Poznanska street, which is currently the hottest meeting spot in Warsaw. On the same street, there are many other good bars, restaurants and cafes. However, they usually don’t have any real cider.

So much for the introduction. This I how my visit to Cyderia looked like.

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As mentioned already, Cyderia has been open for all of around 1 month and when I walked in there on a Saturday evening around 8.30pm, I was quite surprised that literally only two tables were occupied. I sat by the window figuring out that this would be the best spot to watch people walking in and observing the situation at the bar.

The interior design looks modern, with minimalist furniture arrangements and tasteful decorations. In the background, there was lounge music playing (before the DJ appeared), which didn’t disturb conversation.

Since there is no table service I had to place my order at the bar. The bartender was being very helpful and after a quick chat about ciders available, I’ve decided to follow bartender’s recommendation. Just a little note, there are no ciders on draught here, only poured straight from the bottle to a wine glass. There is, however, beer available on tap for non-cider drinkers as well as other beverages, including cocktails. So everyone will find something for his taste.

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In Cyderia you will find a good selection of ciders from the best Polish craft cider makers such as Cydr Chyliczki (check out my blog post on their ciders here), Kwasne Jablko, Smykan or Cydr Ignacow.

Interestingly, the cider board featured also a cider that is made exclusively for Cyderia, Jablko Adama. Review coming soon!

Mlody Ignac, no. 10 on the cider board was not available, hence they don’t update the board on a regular basis.

But, if you are expecting ‘Polish prices’ here, then I must disappoint you. Cyderia has reached European standards, in terms of prices. But, at the end of the day, you are getting real cider here for the price you pay, not a mass-produced beverage, such as Strongbow.

By the time I left around 10.30pm Cyderia had a good crowd. Hence, people consider it a bar to visit before heading down to a nightclub.

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In case you get hungry, they also serve food at Cyderia, so called Polish tapas. Don’t ask me what it means. Just wasn’t into food this time.

Summarizing, if you are currently in Warsaw and you are looking for a decent place to drink cider/get to know ciders from the Polish craft cider scene, then Cyderia is the place to go. I would definitely come here again.

Cyderia

Address: Poznanska 16, 00-680, Warsaw, Poland

Open hours: 3pm – 2am

UPDATE: July 5, 2017 Cyderia closed its doors for good.