Hard cider made from seedling apples was an important part of everyday colonial American life and settlement of the western frontier. Seeds brought from Europe produced trees that adapted well to their new home. Some of the better selections from these early apple trees and their offspring survive today. Today the states and province bordering on the Great Lakes produce about one quarter of all apples grown in North America.
Historical and modern American apples generally lack the astringency characteristic of many European cider apples. This makes the question of what makes the “best” cider a matter of personal and regional perspective. As North America reclaims its cider heritage the Great Lakes Cider & Perry Association seeks to help people understand and appreciate ciders and perries made with locally grown fruit under a wide range of traditions. This melting pot of traditions is reflected in beverages that show a high degree of diversity in character.