A cozy tasting at Citizen Cider


Agathe Fredette

The Samples

Located in the corner of an unassuming parking lot along Pine Street is the Citizen Cider tasting room.


Citizen Cider started pressing apples to make cider in 2011, and by early 2014 they had quadrupled production to meet the high demand for their products and opened up their first tasting room in Burlington. Offering cider made from only the freshest local New England apples, Citizen Cider is a Vermont company dedicated to supporting local business and farmers. A couple friends and I had the pleasure of visiting the tasting room to try out some of their ciders on tap.

Walking up a metal staircase, we entered a dimly lit dining space lined with long, old wooden tables and a stylish wooden bar against the right side of the room. Wooden racks hung above each table with old, dimly lit bulbs dangling from them. Large windows along the left side of the room let in natural light to illuminate the room and look out into a wooden patio offering tables and seating with a view of the Burlington skyline. We arrived in the late afternoon and the view through the windows of the pink and orange sunset along the skyline was breathtaking.

After we seated ourselves at one of the long wooden tables, we were greeted by a smiling and relaxed waiter who offered us a variety of their uniquely named ciders on tap. All of the flavors that can be bought in stores are offered, as well as some specialty cellar ciders only available at the tasting room. However, we were there specifically to try the cider tasting.

The tasting menu offered ten ciders, out of which you could choose five. I have tried a few Citizen Cider flavors before, so I decided to pick the flavors I had never tried. On the little piece of paper listing the flavors, I checked off The Olmsted Apple Product, Mr. Burlington, Northern Spy, The Americran and Citizen Cellar: Citra Star. A tasting of five ciders was seven dollars, with about four ounces of cider for each flavor.

While waiting for our ciders, we looked over the food menu, which looked hearty and delicious to have along with some cider. Burgers, poutine, chili, sandwiches and soup were some of the dishes offered. However, the prices were pretty high, with a burger and fries at about $14. We decided to skip the food and simply enjoy our cider.

Our drinks arrived in about 10 minutes, and the presentation was very pleasing. We each had five small glasses stamped with the Citizen Cider logo lined up on wooden boards with little indents for the cups to sit securely. Each tasting board had the tickets we had each checked off tucked between the glasses so we could once again look over and read our cider choices as we tasted.

First off for me was The Olmsted. It was an off-dry, light golden in color and somewhat sweet. While this was a nice light and refreshing cider with a light apple flavor, I prefer my ciders to have a stronger bite and be a bit more flavorful, so I would probably not try The Olmsted again.

Next up was Mr. Burlington. According to the description, this cider had been aged in American oak bourbon barrels and finished with orange peel and Urban Moonshine bitters. Stronger than the Olmsted, I immediately took a liking to Mr. B. Light citrusy orange flavors mingled with a bitter bite, giving it a refreshing, smooth and tangy aftertaste.

Americran was an appropriate pinkish color, being fermented with Vermont cranberries. The Americran was a nice palate cleanser from the sweet apple flavors of the other ciders, offering a tart and refreshing aftertaste, somewhat like the aftertaste of wine. This was definitely one of my favorites.

Northern Spy was up next. While it was made with 100 percent Northern Spy apples, this cider tasted more like a beer to me. It was light yellow and somehow seemed more carbonated than the other ciders, with a light apple flavor, not very strong.

Finally, Citizens Cellar: Citra Star was next. This cider’s description said it was dry-hopped with citra hops. This was the driest of all of the ciders, more like a light beer than a cider, and was incredibly refreshing. It had a nice smooth and light aftertaste that lingered nicely.

Overall, the tasting was very enjoyable, the service was somewhat slow but very friendly, and the tasting room was cozy and relaxing. The ciders I tasted were distinct and offered a nice variety of dry to sweet levels and different flavors to satisfy a variety of preferences. I would definitely return another time to taste the other flavors I have not tried yet.

If you are looking for a cozy and rustic atmosphere in the Burlington area to relax, enjoy some cider tasting and splurge on some expensive but tasty-looking food, give Citizen Cider a visit and enjoy the pleasant atmosphere and a drink with some friends.