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Boston cider excitement at center of Craft Beer Fest

The Fall to Winter beer festival will highlight New England's history of hard cider.

Organizers of an upcoming craft beer festival hope to broaden the palates of Boston beer lovers by introducing them to the bright, bubbly luster of craft hard ciders.

The Drink Craft Beer Fall to Winter Fest kicks off Friday at Revere Hotel's Space 57, offering festival goers roughly 70 beers and more than 20 different hard ciders. According to Drink Craft Beer co-founder Jeff Wharton, the amped up cider offering is in response to an uptick in demand.

"Almost all cider brands are quite local. They’re part of the community," said Wharton, who expects 1,650 people to turn out over the course of the weekend.

"It has such a history here. Two-hundred years ago, cider was far more common than beer," said Wharton. "It's very much a New England beverage."

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Many beer drinkers may discount hard cider, Wharton said, because they've had limited experience with it.

"A lot of people will tell me they don't like cider. I'll ask what they've had, and they'll tell me they've tried an industrial brand. There is so much more to it than that," said Wharton, urging first-time cider drinkers to come out this weekend.

"We will have everything from unfiltered sweet cider to very, very dry, traditional-style cider," he said.

Hard cider brewer Ross Brockman, 26, co-founded Downeast Cider House in Charlestown in 2011, fresh out of Bates College.

"The younger generation is not as self-conscious about drinking ciders and cocktails. They're just interested in what tastes good," said Brockman, whose cider will be featured this weekend.

The brewery produces 7,500 barrels, or roughly 233,000 gallons, of hard cider each year. But demand has been growing, and Brockman anticipates production to triple next year.

"I’d say hard cider still has room to grow," said Brockman.

If you go

Organizers recommend ordering tickets ahead of time at Drinkcraftbeer.com.

The festival has three sessions: Friday 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Saturday 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Tickets are $50 per person, per session.

The festival will be held at Space 57 in The Revere Hotel on Stuart Street

Breweries to be featured at Fall to Winter

Downeast Cider House (MA)

Aeronaut Brewing Co. (MA)

Artifact Cider Project (MA)

Bantam Cider (MA)

Baxter Brewing Co. (ME)

Citizen Cider (VT)

Clown Shoes Beer (MA)

Far From the Tree Cider (MA)

Grey Sail Brewing Co. (RI)

Harpoon Brewing Co. (MA)

Headwater Cider (MA)

High Horse Brewing Co. (MA)

Idle Hands Craft Ales (MA)

Jack's Abby Brewing Co. (MA)

Lost Nation Brewing (VT)

Notch Brewing Co. (MA)

Peak Organic Brewing Co. (ME)

The People's Pint (MA)

Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project (MA)

Shacksbury Cider (VT)

Slumbrew (MA)

Smuttynose Brewing Co. (NH)

Two Roads Brewing Co. (CT)

Urban Farm Fermentory (ME)

Wormtown Brewing Co. (MA)

 
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