I'm a hard cider guy. This is the season where my bank account tends to suffer from buying and trying different craft cider six packs. I also tend to like local ciders much more than national brands that I often find to sweet or sugary. Let the apples do the work and bring out the flavor.

Cider, like beer, can have so many different ingredients that change the taste. Lake Superior water can really make a difference when your crafting a cider or beer. I've talked with brew masters in the past and the water is a great, pure base to start with, and that's one of the reasons the craft beer scene has exploded in Duluth. However I'm not a big beer drinker, so man was I excited when cider places started opening up.

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Not only have they opened their taprooms, but we are also starting to see them sell in liquor stores. I was at the Keyport a couple of weeks ago looking through their cider section when I spotted the Duluth Cider "Gitch." It described itself as semi sweet and I figured it was worth the $10 or whatever it was to try it out.

It's got a clean look when you pour it into a glass. And by the way, if you're drinking cider out of a can at home, class it up and pour it into a pint glass. You can enjoy more senses with the way it looks and the aromas off the top.

Very few ciders have the right balance between being too tart or too sweet. This one has struck a nice balance with it being sweet but not too sweet. You can drink a few of these and feel fine. Some of those national brands are so sweet that you'll have heartburn after 2.

It's a great cider! I may even go out of my comfort zone and try some of their other flavors, but I'll always be sure to grab a six pack of Gitch too.

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