On tap: 1876


Abraham Fuentes

Gowan’s Ciders is a California company that was established in 1876. Gowan’s 1876 is one of there ciders named after there first harvest of the same year.

Abraham Fuentes, Photo editor

Kombucha, beer and limited time beers have been poured into our glass, but it’s time for something fancier, a hard cider.  Gowan’s Heirloom Ciders is a California cider company whose first harvest dates back to 1876. The cider I tried is called Heirloom Cuvée, aka “1876,” in honor of their first harvest.

The bottle and the label are beautiful and feature the history of the cider and the orchard. This label is new for 2018 and resembles a label on a wine bottle rather than a beer label.

I’ll be comparing this cider to beer. Many people see cider as a replacement for beer because it’s vegan and gluten-free, but it has more in common with wine.

The classic yellow color and carbonation are similar to champagne, making it easy to drink. If you are tired of the strong flavors of an IPA or a bone-dry red wine, perhaps this sweet and refreshing cider is for you.

The back of the bottle label recommends served the cider in a white wine glass rather than a pint glass for the best experience. However, I drank mine from a mason jar. The recommendation could come from the similarities to white sparkling wine.  

1876’s alcohol by volume is 5.7 percent, putting it at the same level as most beers, but lower than wine and champagne, where the average AVB can be 11 to 13 percent. This cider is perfect for a Sunday brunch.

1876 has won multiple awards in the North Bay, including Best in Show in the California North Coast Wine Challenge.

This cider is expensive at $10 for a 500-milliliter bottle, but the taste is worth the extra buck or two.