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Citizen Sweet: A Cider With Sparkle, No Alcohol


Published January 13, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.
Updated January 14, 2016 at 9:06 a.m.

Citizen Sweet nonalcoholic sparkling cider - COURTESY OF CITIZEN CIDER
  • Courtesy of Citizen Cider
  • Citizen Sweet nonalcoholic sparkling cider

Just after Christmas, Citizen Cider delivered its first canned shipment of a nonalcoholic sparkling cider to a handful of Chittenden County retailers. Called Citizen Sweet, the new cider is pressed from the same multi-apple blend as most of the Burlington cidery's other offerings.

While Citizen Sweet has been on draft at the cidery's Pine Street taproom for a few months now, getting the product to a wider market took some tinkering. "We've been trying to figure this out for a while," says Citizen Cider co-owner Kris Nelson. "We're still in beta-testing mode — it's been tough to scale up with the pasteurization process."

Why go liquor-free? "It was kind of an evolution," Nelson says. "[Co-owner] Justin [Heilenbach] and I both have kids, and it's nice to have a nonalcoholic option." Plus, Nelson adds, "It's a great alternative to some of the gross carbonated beverages at lunchtime."

The crisp, sweet cider is available in six-pack 12-ounce cans and larger bottles at Burlington's City Market/onion river co-op, South Burlington's Healthy Living Market and Café and Cheese and Wine Traders, and Winooski Beverage Warehouse. It's on draft at Citizen Cider and Switchback Brewing.

Nelson says he hopes to scale up production soon, though he declined to offer a timeline. "There are things we'll need to do to take it to the next level," he says. For now, "It's a new thing, and we're testing it out, but we're just so excited to have something that really everybody can have — you can drink this at any point in the day and not have a problem. And it's delicious."

The original print version of this article was headlined "Fizz Without Buzz"