The apple can actually fall quite far from the tree, as clearly proven by this Salem-based cidery and its slew of sometimes unconventional craft brews. All year round, you can find its classics, Macachusetts (it’s made with McIntosh apples, hence the Bay State pun in its name) and Nova (a super dry libation that boasts aromatic and floral depth, thanks to the addition of hops). But with an extra focus on seasonal ingredients, Far From the Tree releases different varietals over the course of the year, like its summer Rickey (cherry lime cider), pre-Halloween Ectoplasm (an obvious nod to Ghostbusters, it gets its neon green color from green bell pepper, jalapeño and kiwi) and wintery Glogg (it gets you into the holiday spirit with black currants and mulling spices). While you can snag a four-pack of its tallboys at many liquor stores in Mass, be sure to stop by its taproom and accompanying dog-friendly patio, where you can also sample a number of its exclusive concoctions that can’t be found in a can.
There’s been a hard cider revival sweeping the nation in recent years, especially right here in apple-abundant New England. Though it’s steeped in rich Colonial history, cider-making had a bad rap for the last couple of centuries, thanks to a handful of mass-produced and cloyingly sweet brews dominating the beverage market. Luckily, that’s all changed within the last decade, and we’ve seen a much-needed return to cider artistry, with many Massachusetts makers leading the charge. If you want a taste of true, local craft cider, we’ve compiled a list of the best cideries in Massachusetts that are pairing tradition with innovation to honor this drink’s past and bring it into the future.