Looking for a cocktail with a fall flair? Visit a local orchard or cidery specializing in hard ciders this season. There are plenty around northern Illinois from which to choose, to quench your thirst for fall!
Here are just a few to get you started:
15 North Washington Street
Four varieties of hard cider, plus one non alcoholic version (called El Nino) fill the taps at Aftermath. Enjoy your cider with one of several flatbread pizzas, antipasto plates, or even a cider float. Live music and other special events are a regular occurrence at Aftermath. Visit www.aftermathcidery.com for details.
Monday - Thursday12 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday - Saturday 11a.m. - 11p.m. Sunday 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.
2 Fools Cider
1665 Quincy Ave #155
Naperville (entrance around back)
2 Fools Cider opened in December 2016 in a small industrial complex on the north side of Naperville. Prior to opening, co-founder, Monte Summers, studied the science of cider-making at Oregon State University. He and partner, Jeremy Smith, traveled through Michigan to find the perfect apples for cider. They wanted to create recipes that don't taste like mass-produced hard cider. Look for subtle sweetness and crisp, balanced flavor.
The 2 Fools Cider tasting room is outfitted with barn wood from a millennial farm in Galveston, Ind. as a way to pay tribute to farmers and orchardists.
Monday - Thursday 3 p.m.–10 p.m.
Friday - Saturday 12 p.m.–11 p.m.
Sunday 12 p.m.–8 p.m.
Jonomac Cider House
19412 Shabbona Rd, Malta
The Jonamac Cider House, located on the grounds of the Jonomac Orchard in Malta, is the perfect place to sample our apple wines and hard ciders while enjoying an ambiance that could only be created in a one-of-a-kind on-the-farm experience. Stop on by to see the apples as they are pressed into cider and then taste and explore the wide range of apple wines, hard ciders and apple ale made from apples grown right here in Illinois at Jonamac Orchard! The Cider House is open seasonally and for special events throughout the year.
Monday – Friday: 11 a.M. – 5 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday: 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Right Bee Cider
1830 N. Kostner, Chicago
Tours by appointment. Reserve online.
Everything at this urban cidery, from the vintage brick building to the location along the rail lines feels about as "Chicago" as you can get.
Try the signature semi-dry cider, made with just a hint of honey, supplied on site.
That’s right, there are five bee hives on the roof that supply all the honey for the cidery, and the bees pollinate the wildflowers that grow on the train tracks outside the cidery doors. Cool, huh? We recommend you try the blueberry cider, made with blueberries purchased from the Logan Square farmers market, and of course, honey from the rooftop.
AEppelTreow Winery & Distillery
1072 288th Ave.
(about 30 minutes north of Gurnee)
AeppelTreow is a producer of small batch cider, perry and spirits. (Perry is the pear analogue to cider.) Using a variety of types of fruit, some modern, and some heirloom to create a range of styles: sparkling, draft, still/table, and fortified/dessert. Within a style, AeppelTreow leans to the dry end – but also has some medium-sweet offerings. In addition to cider, it also is a distillery, using Wisconsin grown crops and wood to make whiskey and brandies. When folks visit, the staff will talk about the products and how they are made, in addition to the tasting. If there is work going on, visitors may watch, and tours are informal.
Visitors are free to stroll through the orchard, except on those rare days they are posted off limits for pest control. There are walking paths through the woods, and folks are welcome to picnic.
Parties of more than 10 should call before their visit to make arrangements.
Eris Brewery and Cider House
4240 W Irving Park Rd., Chicago
If you’re looking for a full dining experience with your cider, check out Eris Brewery and Cider House in Chicago. It boasts one of the most expansive menus in the craft business, from handmade sausages to smoked portabella sliders, salmon, steaks and truly outstanding snacks.
Wash it all down with one of Eris’ delicious ciders on tap. Choose a dry cider, a semi-sweet called “juice box” or there’s even an apricot blend. For a special treat, enjoy a combination of ale and cider, an Eris specialty of the house.