In Australia, cider is a very popular drink. If you don’t like beer (like me), a pint of cider is often your drink of choice on a hot summers day down at the pub with your friends. The craft beer and cider industry in Australia is big, likely due to our British roots.
So when I first moved to Paris just over three years ago and tried to order a cidre in a bistro or a bar, I was disappointed. Usually they wouldn’t have any, or if they did, there would only be one option and it would be in a bottle, not on tap like back in Australia.
I discovered that French cider is quite different to its Australian or British counterparts. Traditional French cidre usually comes from Normandy or Brittany, and the French often drink it while eating crêpes or galettes. You can get brut or doux, but even brut is a bit sweeter than what I’m used to. And doux is often only 2-3% alcohol, while in Australia cider is usually between 4.5-6%.
France has made some headway in the craft beer industry, but it still has a lot of catching up to do, and even more so when it comes to cider. But over the years, I’ve discovered some great French cider brands that are leading the way:
Maison Sassy claims to be the new, modern face of traditional Normandy cider. They are based at the Château de Sassy in Normandy, which has preserved the tradition of cider-making since 1852, thanks to the co-founder’s family. Their vision is to revolutionize the perception of artisanal cider.
The founders collaborated with a renowned cellar master to rework traditional recipes. The result is an authentic and high-quality handcrafted cider. Their cider is free from additives and concentrates, made from 100% natural juice, and is 100% locally sourced and produced.
Launched in 2015, Appie wanted to put cider back in the spotlight by creating a drink we can enjoy on a terrasse at apéro time. They aimed to create a well-produced, 100% natural cider made from French fruits. They have le brut, le brut au miel (with honey), l’extra brut, le poiré, le poiré gingembre (pear with ginger), and le rosé. For those that want a little buzz with their cider, their l’extra brut is 6.5% alcohol.
Co-founder Théo is the heir to the family cider-making tradition dating back to the end of the 19th century. His partner, Valentin, spent summers in Brittany with his grandparents, who introduced him to cider-making and taught him to taste the family production. Together, they aspire to create new ciders that both revive and respect the French cider tradition.
Fils de Pomme are ethically minded. Their cider is 100% certified organic and natural, made from fruit 100% grown in France and as close as possible to the cider house. Their cider contains no added sugar, preservatives, or chemicals. Their waste, such as apple pomace, is 100% recycled and used to feed cattle in the region. They also deliver using ecological vehicles.
Le Coq Toqué! creates 100% organic cider from natural ingredients that is 100% produced in France. They are based on a farm that has been producing cider for five generations, the Terres d’Orval orchard in Normandy. They also choose sustainable agriculture: Their orchard is untreated, they prune their trees manually, and they collect fruit from the ground when ripe. Options include cidre du patron, cidre bergamote, and poiré guinguette.
If you’re looking for something a little more traditional, La Mère Poulard, who’s famous for her sablés, also makes a great Normandy cider.
- If you prefer beer, check out Paris’ best craft beer shops.
- For wine lovers, discover our favorite Paris wine bars.
- Read about the difference between French and English cider.
Written by Ali Postma for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates or click here. Looking to bring France home to you or to learn online or in person (when possible)? Check out new marketplace shop and experiences.