The Story of Kickback Hard Cider

Next weekend we are releasing our Kickback Hard Cider Apple and Kickback Rosé in 6pk cans. The taproom will be transformed into a Kickback Orchard Experience complete with a few great music acts including Arlo McKinley and The Lonesome Sound and delicious Cider inspired food and dessert options from Alto Pizza Kitchen + Bar, Holtman’s Donuts and Graeter’s.


Co-Founder and Brewmaster Richard Dubé has spent years developing the perfect cider, and we are proud to finally release in cans. We sat down with Richard as he explained the inspiration and the style in-depth along with the journey of Kickback Hard Cider. Learn more from Richard below:

Hard Cider, and more significantly Hard Cider Rosé, is currently going through a resurgence of interest and appeal. Every brewer now wants to jump on the bandwagon and steal of piece of the market.

That being said, my personal affinity for hard cider goes way back to my early drinking days. It was definitely more flavorful, and less filling than the beer offerings of that “era” (yeah that long ago: 1975). While continuously appreciating, i.e. consuming, the different styles of hard ciders (French, English, Farmhouse, Ice), several years later, I had the great opportunity to work with two well-known English cider makers.

At that time, it was made abundantly clear, that hard cider making and beer production are two totally different processes, that should not even be compared to each other. You cannot “brew” a hard cider, you have to create and reconstruct a hard cider. For the new consumers wanting to give it a try, they must be made aware that it has nothing to do with beer: no malt, AND PLEASE, no hops. Hard Cider is not an “apple beer”, nor a “beer with apple”. It is a fermented drink in a class of its own. We wanted to fully respect that fact, and for that reason we took our time to develop a recipe that my cider maker mentors would be proud of.

We are now able to offer you two great ciders, Kickback Hard Cider and Kickback Rosé, that perfectly balance the 3 primary layers that all true ciders should be based on: acidity for freshness, tannins for mouthfeel, and sweetness for support. Our first hard ciders are highly carbonated, almost reminiscent of a Champagne (BTW Kickback is great for Classic Mimosas, and any other Champagne-inspired cocktails), with a responsible alcohol content of 5%.

I will not tell you where and when to enjoy our ciders because the possibilities are endless. They can be great companions to any food, spicy or mild, and of course enjoyed by itself as well, while relaxing around the pool this summer (no fear of becoming skunky), or in front a roaring fireplace during the colder months.

Last note: hard cider is also very versatile when comes to cooking with: sauce, steaming, desserts, the list goes on.  Take a sip, forget about beer for a moment, and fully appreciate this old traditional fermented beverage freshly re-invented.