flight of cider

A Traveler’s Guide to the Best Tennessee Cider

Cider is one of the oldest alcoholic beverages in the world. Julius Caesar drank it in 55 BCE.

People in Spain and England drank it in 1066. The first settlers in Plymouth drank it in 1620.

Today, Tennessee cider breweries continue the tradition of crafting hard cider. When visiting Tennessee, you too can participate in this centuries-old pastime of enjoying a glass of cider. This list of the best ciders in Tennessee will help you find the perfect one to excite your tastebuds.

What Is Hard Cider?

Hard cider is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented apple juice. While cider apples are the best apples to use, any apple type can work. The alcohol content of the cider can vary significantly depending on the apple type and production process.

Typically, the alcohol content is between 4.5 and 7 percent. However, some ciders have an alcohol content as high as 12 percent. The drier the cider, the higher the alcohol content because the yeast consumes the sugar.

Types of Cider

There are three categories of ciders. The categories define ciders based on their level of sweetness.

Dry ciders will have the most acidic flavors and are not very sweet. They are typically aged in oak barrels to enhance their flavors.

The next category is off-dry ciders, which have a smoother texture and a slightly sweet flavor. These ciders are rounded and bolder in flavor.

Finally, there are the semi-dry and semi-sweet ciders. These ciders are similar because they fall between the other two in terms of dryness and sweetness. They have heartier profiles and feature bold apple flavors.

Apple Barn Cider House in Tennessee

The hard ciders from the Apple Barn Cider House are unlike anything you have ever tasted. The team at this cider house focuses on using sustainable practices and retaining as much fresh apple flavor as possible. They use a sterile filtering method instead of full pasteurization, which can break down the flavor compounds.

The apple flavor is fresh, clean, and smooth. This gives it more of a wine flavor profile than a cooked apple juice flavor.

Red LemonHead

This semi-sweet cider is flavored with refreshing strawberry and lemon. It is perfect for summer with its lighter, fruity flavors.

Sip Gingerly

This cider will have just the right amount of bite for those who love ginger. The ginger flavor in this cider creates a bit of spiciness without becoming overwhelming.

Blue Barb

This zesty hard cider harnesses the succulent sweetness of blueberries, highlighted by notes of rhubarb. These layered flavors of Tennessee fruit create a unique twist to traditional hard cider.

 South Cider

This is the flagship cider for the Apple Barn Cider House. It is semi-sweet and made from 100 percent apples. The flavor is as pure as you can get, with a balanced acid to keep it from becoming too sweet.

Honey Basil

This herbal apple cider has an extra layer of complexity to it with strong pops of basil. This award-winning cider brings sophistication to cider.

Mill Bridge Hard Cider Company in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Spend a summer afternoon sitting along the Little Pigeon River in Pigeon Forge at the Mill Bridge Hard Cider Company. It is located in the Old Mill Historic District. There is a relaxing outdoor patio that is perfect for enjoying the beautiful Tennessee summer weather.

This cider brewery makes seasonal flavors, so if one sounds enticing, you must visit before it goes away.


This classic cider is a perfect place to start for beginners. It features a semi-sweet flavor profile by using a blend of apples.


The name sounds strange, but the flavor is anything but. This unique cider combines the flavors of apple and pomegranate. Its complex flavors make it perfect for sipping during fall.

Blue Raspberry

Combining the flavors of apple and blueberry ciders, this hard cider is an explosion of flavor in your mouth. Completing the flavor profile are hints of raspberry.

Iconic Tonic

This delicious tonic will become your spring and summertime go-to beverage. It combines the flavors of honey and lemon to give the apple flavor an extra boost. Perfectly balanced, your senses will delight in the slightly tart yet sweet flavor profile.

Straw About That Basil

Nothing says summertime more than the combination of basil and strawberries. Add the refreshing crisp of apple, and you have the best cider for a picnic, cookout, or any other summertime activity.

Dolly Llama

Enjoy a tropical take on cider with this pineapple-infused variety. Ripe pineapples create a sweet and slightly tangy flavor profile. Instead of being in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, you will feel like you are on a sunny day at the beach.

Honey Ham

Do not get thrown off by the name. This cider does not have pork flavor notes. Instead, it combines the earthy sweetness of honey with the bright citrus notes of orange.

Fat Bun

If you love peaches, you will be in heaven trying Fat Bun cider. It is an artfully crafted fusion of peach tea and apple cider. The bold flavors of peach and apple make their presence known upfront.

As you sip, the subtle underlying flavor of brewed black tea comes through. This unique twist on a traditional beverage will have you sipping it throughout the year.


The Whiskers cider formula combines apple cider with the intense flavor of hard blackberry cider. The result is a burst of berries in a glass. The apple acts as a flavor enhancer for the blackberries, creating a bold and intense flavor profile.

Attend a Tennessee Cider Tasting

You need to add a cider tasting to your list of things to visit in Tennessee. Like beer, wine, and whiskey tastings, you can sip Tennessee cider to experience the different flavor profiles.

At Rocky Top Wine Trail, we can help you taste some of the best ciders in Tennessee. From self-guided tours to VIP experiences, we can help you create a customized tasting experience.

Book your VIP experience and create lasting memories as you sip your way through the Rocky Top Wine and Cider Trail.

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