Origins of Angry Orchard

Cider has a rich history in Europe as well as in the US.  In colonial times, hard cider was a staple and by far the most popular alcoholic beverage because of the prevalence of its main ingredient—the apple.

Our cider makers have been making ciders for decades.  Eager to learn more about the art of cider making, our team has experimented with different styles, crafting ciders for themselves and sharing them with close friends.

After years of experimenting with different types of apples from all over the map and different cider-making techniques we learned along the way, we came up with a really imaginative, creative recipe.  We knew we had something different and special…and decided we had to share these great recipes with cider drinkers across the country.


We searched the world to find the right orchards, with the right attitude and the best combination of apple types. Our search for particular flavors led us to the traditional growing regions of Europe, where we hand-select bittersweet apples from France and culinary apples from Italy. These areas were ideal because of their soil composition and climate. Each of our core ciders, Crisp Apple, Apple Ginger, and Traditional Dry, uses a combination of French bittersweet and Italian culinary apples. We also found that certain regions within the United States, such as the Pacific Northwest and foothills of the Northeast, share characteristics with the apple growing regions of France and Italy in their rich soil and ample sunshine. We experiment with these American apples in our seasonal ciders, Elderflower and Cinnful Apple, and our Green Apple cider. The wide range of apples used in Angry Orchard cider contributes to the complex flavor profile of each of our cider styles. Our cider makers taste every delivery/batch of juice that comes in.

Bittersweet Apples

French bittersweet apples from Normandy are specifically selected and grown solely for making cider. These apples provide more complexity and wine-like characteristics and qualities to a cider, like grapes would to a wine. They impact aroma and contribute to the amber color. They also provide acidity, tannins that impact mouth feel, astringency, and real fruity cider notes. Bittersweet apples feature several French varieties, including Amere de Berthecourt, Beden, Medaille d’or, Michelin, Binet Rouge, and Brairtot Fuji. Unlike other apple varieties, these apples are small and unattractive as table fruit, aggressively sharp and drying, to the point of looking angry.

Culinary Apples

While culinary apple varieties may be relatively common, the unique growing conditions in Italy produce fruit with a juicy, luscious, ripe apple character, the sweetness of which is complimented and balanced by a bright acidity for a crisp, refreshing cider. Grown in Meran, at the foothills of the Alps, these apples feature several varieties, including Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Elstar, Granny Smith, and Gala.