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The next big drink? Now on tap

Crispin Cider (Photo ©2009 Leah A. Zeldes)

So you’re all over super premium, micro-brewed, all-natural, artisan-crafted, organic, real draft ale. What’s next?

Hard cider, perhaps.

Only a handful of Chicago-area spots have the new draft Crispin Cider. This year-old, Minneapolis-based company is making its all-American naturally fermented apple brew in Northern California, using no added malt, color, spirit alcohol, sugar or preservatives. The result is a pure, fresh apple flavor, which stands up to the best European ciders.

You can find it on tap at Jak’s Tap in the West Loop, The Local Option in Lincoln Park and Sam McGuire’s in Orland Park.

Crispin Cider

Crispin in bottles is starting to be available at wide variety of local bars and retailers. The bottled cider come in four varieties: Original, a crisp, tart, clear drink, with 5 percent alcohol; Light, a refreshing, effervescent beverage with just 3.2 percent alcohol; Brut, extra-dry and, well, crisp, with 5.5 percent alcohol; and Honey Crisp reserve, a less filtered, complex brew with a heady 6.5 percent alcohol. Chicagoist named the last their beer of the week in October. (This cider is not made from ‘Honey Crisp’ apples, as Chicagoist mistakenly reports, though. According to Michael Christensen, Crispin regional manager, the product name is based on the honey used in fermenting the cider and the Crispin brand name.)