The Craft of Dry-Hopped Cider

Dry hopped is a unique and innovative twist on traditional cider-making that appeals to both and cider enthusiasts. By infusing the cider with during the aging process, the final product retains the smooth and flavorful qualities of a while also maintaining the drinkability and characteristics of a cider.

The key to creating a successful dry hopped cider lies in the careful selection of hops. Just as different hop varieties are used in beer to achieve specific flavors and aromas, the same principle applies to cider-making. Choosing the right hops is crucial in order to strike a balance and enhance the natural apple flavors without overpowering them or introducing any unwanted off-flavors.

Cidermakers typically use lower volumes of hops compared to what is commonly found in IPAs. For example, at Bad Seed Cider, they use approximately one pound of hops per barrel, which translates to about 2.6 ounces per five-gallon batch or 78 grams per 20 liters. However, for their India Pale Cider, they may use slightly more hops to intensify the hop character.

The process of dry hopping involves adding the hops to the cider once it has completed its aging process and is ready for bottling. Unlike traditional brewing methods where hops are boiled, dry hopping avoids adding extra bitterness to the cider. Instead, the hops contribute primarily to the aroma and flavor, resulting in a cider with a more pronounced and fragrant hop profile.

The addition of hops during the dry hopping process imparts a range of flavors and aromas to the cider. Depending on the specific hops used, one can expect to experience a variety of characteristics such as citrus, floral, pine, or even tropical notes. These hop flavors blend harmoniously with the natural apple flavors of the cider, creating a delightful and complex taste experience.

Dry hopped cider offers a refreshing alternative to both beer and traditional cider. It combines the best of both worlds, appealing to those who enjoy the hop-forward qualities of craft beer as well as those who appreciate the crisp and fruity nature of cider. The result is a that is perfect for any occasion, whether it be a casual gathering with friends or a special celebration.

Dry hopped cider is a truly innovative and exciting development in the world of cider-making. By carefully selecting and adding hops during the aging process, cidermakers can create a beverage that showcases the best qualities of both beer and cider. The result is a cider with a unique and flavorful profile that is sure to impress even the most discerning palate. So why not give dry hopped cider a try and experience the best of both worlds? Cheers!

What Is A Dry Hopped Cider?

A dry hopped cider is a type of cider that has been infused with hops, which are the flowers of the hop plant. Hops are typically used in the brewing process of beer to add bitterness, flavor, and aroma. However, in recent years, cider makers have started to experiment with adding hops to cider to create a unique and refreshing beverage.

The process of dry hopping involves adding hops to the cider after the fermentation process is complete. This allows the hops to infuse their flavors and aromas into the cider without adding any additional bitterness. The hops used for dry hopping are typically chosen for their aromatic qualities rather than their bitterness.

The result is a cider that combines the crisp, refreshing qualities of traditional cider with the complex flavors and aromas of hops. Dry hopped ciders can range in flavor from fruity and floral to piney and citrusy, depending on the specific hops used. The level of hop character can also vary, with some ciders having a subtle hint of hops while others have a more pronounced hop presence.

Dry hopped ciders are popular among both beer and cider enthusiasts as they offer a unique drinking experience that appeals to both palates. The addition of hops adds an extra layer of complexity and depth to the cider, making it a more interesting and flavorful alternative to traditional ciders.

A dry hopped cider is a cider that has been infused with hops after fermentation. It combines the refreshing qualities of cider with the flavors and aromas of hops, appealing to both beer and cider drinkers.

dry hopped cider

What Does Dry Hopped Taste Like?

Dry hopped beer has a distinct and robust taste due to the addition of hops. The absence of boiling in the process allows the hops to contribute their aroma and flavor without adding excessive bitterness. Here's a breakdown of the taste and sensory experience:

1. Aroma:
– Dry hopped beers offer a strong and enticing aroma of hops. Depending on the variety of hops used, the aroma can range from floral and citrusy to piney and herbal.
– The aroma is often more intense and pronounced compared to traditionally hopped beers.

2. Flavor:
– Dry hopping enhances the overall flavor profile of the beer. The hops impart characteristics that can vary based on the hop variety, base, and brewing techniques.
– Citrusy hops can bring flavors of grapefruit, orange, lemon, or tropical fruits. These fruity notes can be refreshing and zesty.
– Some hop varieties can introduce floral or herbal flavors, adding complexities to the beer.
– Resinous or piney hops can provide a hint of evergreen or woody taste, giving the beer a unique character.
– The flavor can be described as bold, intense, and sometimes even juicy, depending on the specific hop selection.

3. Mouthfeel:
– Dry hopped beers often have a medium to full body, which contributes to a smooth and satisfying mouthfeel.
– The presence of hop oils can give the beer a soft and slightly oily texture, adding to its overall richness.

4. Bitterness:
– Unlike traditional hopping methods where hops are boiled, dry hopping doesn't significantly contribute to the beer's bitterness.
– However, it's important to note that the bitterness level can still be influenced by other factors such as the hop variety, hop quantity, and the overall recipe. Some dry hopped beers may still have a subtle bitterness, but it is generally not overpowering.

Dry hopped beers have a strong hop aroma, bold flavors ranging from citrusy to floral or herbal, a smooth mouthfeel, and a moderate level of bitterness. These sensory elements combine to create a unique and flavorful drinking experience.


Dry hopped cider is a unique and innovative beverage that combines the flavors of craft beer with the refreshing qualities of cider. By adding hops during the aging process, cidermakers are able to enhance the aroma and flavor profiles of their ciders without adding additional bitterness. The selection of hops is crucial in achieving the perfect balance and highlighting the natural apple flavors of the cider. Dry hopped cider is a great option for both beer and cider enthusiasts, offering a delightful and complex drinking experience. Whether you're a fan of IPAs or ciders, dry hopped cider is definitely worth a try for its unique blend of flavors and aromas. So, if you're looking to expand your beverage horizons, give dry hopped cider a chance and prepare to be pleasantly surprised by its delicious and refreshing qualities.

Photo of author

Thomas Ashford

Thomas Ashford is a highly educated brewer with years of experience in the industry. He has a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry and a Master Degree in Brewing Science. He is also BJCP Certified Beer Judge. Tom has worked hard to become one of the most experienced brewers in the industry. He has experience monitoring brewhouse and cellaring operations, coordinating brewhouse projects, and optimizing brewery operations for maximum efficiency. He is also familiar mixology and an experienced sommelier. Tom is an expert organizer of beer festivals, wine tastings, and brewery tours.