Beer Alternatives: Hard Ciders & Gluten Free Options

By Jon Jonckers & Derrick Knowles

Traditional beer and all its varieties are not for everyone and their taste buds. Which is where hard ciders and gluten-free alternatives fill the gap and meet the needs of discerning drinkers. (OTO)

Cider Please

Washington has a reputation for delicious apples, and regional cider houses are quick to promote this fact. Hard ciders are a popular alternative to beer that range from dry to sweet.

Award-winning One Tree Hard Cider features bold flavors, and they offer ciders in bottles as well as cans. “We buy apples from all over the Yakima Valley,” says co-founder Grant Barnes. “Most importantly, everything comes from real fruit, no extracts or syrups.”

One Tree ciders are available at most grocery stores, but we highly recommend visiting their cider house in downtown Spokane near the Martin Woldson Theater to sample their rotating seasonal ciders and try their eclectic selection of appetizers. (Jon Jonckers)

Line of 6 hard cider bottles, and one can, of all the different flavors of hard ciders made by One Tree Hill.
Photo courtesy of One Tree Hill.

No Gluten, No Problem

Drinking gluten-free beer no longer has to feel like some sort of sick, beer-lover’s torture. New, 100% gluten-free breweries like Seattle’s Ghostfish Brewing and Portland’s Ground Breaker Brewing offer several styles of delicious brews in both bottles and cans.

This past year, Ground Breaker began selling several of their beers in 16 oz. cans, including their excellent IPA No. 5, all the more perfect for packing along on your next outdoor adventure.

Ground Breaker uses a mix of mostly-local ingredients, including chestnuts, lentils, sorghum, and hops. Look for either of these gluten-free brews at many Inland Northwest natural markets, grocery stores, and restaurants and pubs that make an effort to serve gluten-free foods. (Derrick Knowles)

Photo courtesy of One Tree Hard Cider.

[Updated Sept. 2021]

Originally published in the “Beer & The Great Outdoors Northwest Guide” special section feature in the April 2019 print issue.

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