IMG_1111With the weather warming up and BBQ season upon us, it’s natural to find your mind wandering to the thought of a “nice, cold one.” Luckily for gluten-free eaters, imbibing has never been easier thanks to the many safe craft ciders available. Anthem Cider uses local dessert apples such as Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Gala and Golden Delicious to craft their four gluten-free beverages: Anthem Cider, Anthem Pear, Anthem Cherry and Anthem Hops.

Their traditional Anthem Cider is exactly what is says it is: apples, pressed and fermented. Don’t expect any frills here but the taste is clean and perfect for people who want a natural tasting cider. It’s tart and a little sweet with a medium carbonation.

Anthem Pear starts with a base of their Anthem Cider but is finished with a blend of Barlett, Bosc, and D’Anjou pears from Oregon. It has a solid pear aroma and the taste has a good mix of the two fruits. There’s not too much depth built in but is very tasty none-the-less and very drinkable. While it’s not quite a perry (a pear-based cider), it finishes well with a fizzy, tart aftertaste.

Anthem Cherry is tart and dry, made from Queen Anne, Bing, Tart and Sweetheart Cherries mixed into the Anthem Cider. This cider has a bit of a floral scent similar to a white wine, and the color is similar to a rose, while the taste is all cherry and apple. This cider is one for anyone with a sweet tooth.

Don’t let the name “Anthem Hops”fool you – this cider is still gluten-free! It’s a dry-ish apple cider made with Oregon grown Cascade Hops. You’ll pick up extra notes of grape and citrus in this cider and a smooth apple cider finish. The delicate bitter hops balance the sweet and sour notes. It’s light and not overbearing with all the flavors working well together. Overall, it tastes similar to a white wine / cider / champagne mix.

According the company’s website, because they use local apples which fluctuate with the seasons, the flavor profiles in each batch will be slightly different than the one before. So don’t expect a bottle to bought in summer to taste exactly like one you buy in the winter. The apple varieties used and their contribution to the flavor profile will be listed on their website and on each keg by the batch.

Anthem Cider is made by Wandering Aengus Ciderworks in Salem, Oregon. All ciders are brewed and bottle in a gluten-free facility. Should you find yourself up that way, their tasting room is open the last weekend of each month except December.