Cider vs Beer: A Showdown of Adult Beverages

two bottles of cider and beer on the beach sand
There's always two types of people. Beer people, and cider people. Some people drink cider for the taste for the sweeter taste or because it's easier to find lower alcohol versions that taste good than it is to find non-alcoholic beer you really want to drink. But recently the cider vs beer debate has kicked up a notch as more and more people make the switch to cider.
So what are the difference between the two drinks? Is cider healthier or taster? Why are so many people choosing sides? Can we finally have an answer to the cider vs beer debate?

What Are Cider and Beer?

First, we need to understand what makes these drinks different from one another. For that, we go to the plants.

How Cider Is Made

Cider is typically made from apples. They can be made either from cider apples that are bitter and only used for the drink, or apples that are grown to be eaten. The apples are picked and then ground down into a paste. That paste is then placed into a cider press and then subjected to a high amount of pressure.

The pressure causes the juice to flow out, and the juice is caught and placed inside of large vats where it is left to ferment. We said cider is "typically" made from apples, and that's because the apples are often flavored with other fruits. Pear cider is also popular in some places.

How Beer Is Made

Beer uses wheat, hops, and yeast. Much like the cider process, the wheat grains are harvested and then dried out. Then the grains are cracked and placed in hot water to break them down. Once the breaking down process is complete, the grains look more like a paste. That paste is filled with natural sugar: a result of the wheat breaking down and expelling that sugar.

The wheat paste is boiled with hops and spices to balance out the sugary flavor. Once that is done, the paste is placed in barrels and mixed with yeast to start the fermentation.

How Are They Similar?

Cider vs Beer: A Common Fermentation

Both the watery wheat juice and the apple juice are loaded with sugar, and fermentation is the process that turns all that sugar into alcohol. Fermentation happens by simply placing the liquids inside barrels or bins in controlled environments. They are left alone to ferment, and the chemicals inside the liquids break the sugars down and turn them into alcohol.

Depending on how long the process goes on on, you will get a different taste. Once the fermentation process is complete, you essentially have an alcoholic drink. A few more items are added depending on the flavor of the beer or cider, but that's basically how both are made.

How Are They Different?

While both drinks have a lot of similarities, it's important to have an understanding of what makes each drink the right choice for you. Before you pick a side in the cider vs beer debate, you need to see what everyone is fighting over. Cider isn't beer, because the ingredients are different and the only major commonality is the fermentation process.  Both drinks are alcoholic, but you can't just lump them together under one category. That would be like saying a horse and a cow are the same because they both have four legs.

Once you understand that they are two different types of drinks, you can figure out where you'll stand on the cider vs beer debate. But if you still need some education before you make your decision, then check out these ten facts. Some are educational, some are funny, some are head scratchers, but all of them are going to make you see these two great drinks in a different light. Plus, they'll help highlight the similarities and differences between them.

10 Facts to Know About Cider and Beer

man in a brewery

Image by cerdadebbie from Pixabay 

1. They Taste Different

2. Both Can Be Healthy

3. Both Drinks Are Part of History

4. You Can Get a Lot of Ciders

5. Count Your Calories

6. Beer Can Survive a Nuclear War

7. Beer Is More Popular Than Cider

8. Beer Has Gods

9. It Takes 36 Apples to Make a Gallon of Cider

10. There's No ‘Hard' Cider


two bottles of apple cider half buried in the sand

Photo by from Pexels

The cider vs beer debate is still going on, and perhaps it always will go on. It's really a matter of personal taste. If you've been raised on fruit juices, sweeter items, and non-alcoholic cider for most of your life. Then transitioning to alcoholic cider might be easier for you because you are used to the sweetness.

Beer is bitter and made without sugar, so if you are watching your sugar intake then grabbing a pint of beer is good. Plus, beer's natural popularity also means that there are a lot of different brands and types to choose from. You'll always be able to find at least one type of beer on the menu at most bars.

The best way for you to pick a side in the cider vs beer debate, is to try both and really get your taste buds acquired to each taste. Then you can pick a side, or better yet, just enjoy both drinks the next time you are out with friends. Just be sure to drink responsibly.

Featured Image via Freepik


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