Hard Cider vs. Beer Which is Better? [Comparisons]

Hard cider is usually a popular choice among people who cannot drink beer for one reason or another. And this somehow fuels the debate of hard cider vs beer. Which is better?

Hard cider is an alcoholic gluten-free drink made from apple juice that has passed through the fermentation process.

Beer is an alcoholic malt beverage, it is made with yeast-fermented malt.

Although they are both similar in some ways, those who opt for hard cider instead of beer have a couple of reasons that inform their choices.

Hard Cider vs. Beer: Is Cider a Healthier Drink Than Beer?

Cider brewers claim that ciders are healthier alternatives to beer, but how true is this?

Vitamins and Minerals

Ciders

The main ingredients for this drink are apples and some additives like yeast, hops, and some other fruits.

Hard ciders are made from apples and according to the adage “an apple a day keeps doctors away”.  We were raised to believe apples somehow prevent you from having any health issues because of the many vitamins and minerals it packs.

It is a new year and another opportunity to make new resolutions. If making healthy beverage choices is part of your new year’s resolutions, turning to ciders might not be such a bad idea.

According to cider craft magazine, this drink has three main benefits which are; antioxidants to help fight against heart diseases and cancer, sans gluten, and vitamin C to help boost the body’s immune system.

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They appear like a healthier alternative drink for those who have decided to make healthier drinking choices. Especially those who have gluten allergies that intend to opt for a gluten-free diet.

It also has sugar, in some cases added sugar which makes it less healthy than beer in terms of carbs.

Beer

It has its share of vitamins and antioxidants, it has potassium, vitamin B, etc. Unlike cider, it doesn’t contain vitamin C and it generally contains gluten.

However, it has lower sugar content than ciders, which are made from fruit that has a high level of sugar.

Verdict

Speaking from a health perspective, ciders have more points.

Beer typically has a higher ABV and contains gluten and might not be a healthy option for gluten-sensitive individuals.

In terms of health benefits and drinking to each their own, that being said moderation is the key. Those who are sensitive to gluten can evade beer and go for ciders.

If you have sugar concerns then beer is a better option.

Hard Cider Flavor vs. Beer Flavor

Their flavor is quite different even though they are both fermented, their key ingredients are not the same.

Ciders

They are made from apple juice, which makes it sweet and clear colored, it retains the flavor of the juice and a winelike taste.

Beers

The chief ingredient is malted barley. It is bitter as a result of hops which is apart from malt, another key ingredient used in its preparation.

The color and taste vary according to the malt used but they usually have a signature bitter and dry taste.

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Verdict

Flavor and taste depend on the individual’s taste palate. Those who want to enjoy a beer-like experience without the bitter taste can opt for ciders that are milder and sweeter.

Alcohol Content

They are both alcoholic beverages, but there is a nonalcoholic option for cider.

Ciders

Hard cider contains alcohol. It is an alcoholic drink, unlike regular ones which is a nonalcoholic beverages.

However, the alcohol in this drink is mild about 4% to 8% ABV.

Beer

It can have heavy alcohol content depending on the type. There are different types of this drink, there are brown ale, stouts, IPAs, lagers, etc.

The alcohol content is usually between 4-10% ABV. IPAs usually have a high ABV of about 7%.

Verdict

In terms of alcohol content beer has more. Ciders though give you the same experience but don’t have as much alcohol in them.

Nutritional Value

Both beverages have nutritional value, although the nutrients are not specifically the same for both.

Cider

Apple is a fruit and just like most fruit, they are rich in vitamins and so are cider which is a product of apples. They are loaded with vitamin c for immune boosting as well as other vitamins.

Beer

It also has vitamins from the yeast. It is mostly rich in B vitamins, B9 and B6. It also contains iron and zinc.

Verdict

Both are matched in terms of vitamins and nutrition although not the same in specifics. They are both alcoholic beverages that reduce your chances of developing heart disease.

Sugar

Sugar is higher in ciders. The ingredients used in its production have high sugar content which makes it inherently sweet even without added sugar.

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The average gram of sugar in cider per serving is  24 grams which makes it a sweet drink.

Beer on the other hand doesn’t contain sugar, in fact, it has a bitter taste as a result of the hops added during brewing.

Verdict

Sugar, when it is too much, can cause a lot of health-related issues, for example, it can cause obesity. As regards this beer is a better alternative.

Those who have a sweet tooth would opt for cider but try not to overindulge.

Conclusion

Do you prefer cider but are worried about the sugar content? Or do you just want a gluten-free beverage and no excess sugar?

You still have another option which is dry cider. Dry ciders have less sugar in them.

Although people most recently view cider as an alternative to beer, this is not entirely true. They may be similar in some ways, but there are also a lot of differences that we have outlined and discussed above.

Put into consideration your health status and body sensitivities when making your choice between these two drinks. If you are gluten intolerant you can go for the gluten-free drink.

Alcohol when taken in excess cause some health issues. Whichever one you choose it is important to remember to drink responsibly.