Bent Ladder Cider and Wine
Why we love it: Rittman Orchards co-owner Matt Vodraska opened Bent Ladder Cider and Wine two years ago with a rotating selection of hard ciders. “We’re always coming out with new ciders,” Vodraska says. Try this: The fruit-forward Cherry ($7 per glass) has a bright acidity with a satisfying, refreshing taste. 13550 Mount Eaton Road N, Doylestown, 330-485-1089, bentladder.com
Bottlehouse Brewing Co.
Why we love it: For mead and cider maker Jason Kallicragas, it all comes down to the apple. “Our real passion is cider apples,” he says. “If you taste these things side by side, the difference is quite remarkable.” Try this: The Ohio Gold Reserve ($22 per bottle) is fermented in honey for a year with 12 varieties of local heirloom cider apples. 13368 Madison Ave., Lakewood, 216-926-0025, thebottlehousebrewingcompany.com
Griffin Cider House and Gin Bar
Why we love it: Co-owner and founder Richard Read spent his youth picking apples from his parents’ orchards and has been making hard cider since he was 14. “That’s what you do in the countryside when you get bored and there’s an abundance of apples and you have a scientific mind,” says the native of Herefordshire, England. Try this: The Lemon Blues ($6 per 16 ounces) is a tart lemon shandy cider. 12401 Madison Ave., Lakewood, 216-767-5444, facebook.com/griffinciderhouse
Platform Beer Co.
Why we love it: Owners Justin Carson and Paul Benner develop a new flavor of apple ale every three months. These seasonal ciders — such as the Becky Blueberry Apple Ale or Paul, a dry cider — are also a fun way to pay tribute to Platform staffers. “Every name we were trying to name it didn’t work out,” says Carson. “So at the end of day I said, ‘We’ll name it after you, Paul.’ ” Try this: The Rosellini ($9.99 per six-pack) is a rose-inspired apple ale. 4125 Lorain Ave., Cleveland, 216-202-1386, platformbeer.co
The Winery at Spring Hill
Why we love it: Co-owner Thomas Swank experiments with eight to 10 seasonal flavors such as hot cinnamon at the winery’s Spring Hill Cider Works. “When you’re making wine, a riesling is supposed to taste like a riesling,” says Swank. “But with the cider, you can do whatever you want.” Try this: The Bourbon Barrel Maple cider ($6 per 16 ounces) is aged in local barrels used to store bourbon and maple syrup. 6062 S. Ridge Road W, Geneva, 440-466-0626, thewineryatspringhill.com