Heineken Acquires Strongbow Cider

Something new is brewing for American beer

Strongbow Cider was acquired by Heineken.

Cider, for Americans, has always indicated a family-friendly effervescent apple juice. A great fall treat for kids and adults alike, whether you said apple cider or cider, you meant juice. Well, no more. Hard cider has gained popularity in the U.S. recently with strong, consistent growth over the past four years.  Following the trend of breweries releasing their own cider, Heineken has acquired Strongbow, a classic U.K. cider, and plans to increase the drink's stateside distribution.

Heineken announced Wednesday that it will be taking over production of Strongbow from Vermont Hard Cider Co.  While the drink is currently available in the U.S., Heineken hopes to make it the No. 1 cider, surpassing Vermont Hard Cider Co.'s Woodchuck brand.  

Hard cider sales in America still have a long way to go in order to become a major market sector, but their rapid growth demonstrates that cider’s potential to rival beer in bars across the US. Currently, hard cider makes up only 0.5 percent of all beers sold in the U.S., but with retail sales jumping up 23 percent in the past year, the amount of hard cider produced in America will certainly swell in the coming years.

Although cider has a historic significance for America, the drink was forgotten during Pohibition. Heineken hopes that America’s ties with cider — the drink was being made as early as the 18th century in Colonial America — will help fuel the drink’s renaissance.

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(Photo Modified: Flickr/Tim Bartel)