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Best New Zealand ciders for 2024

Nothing beats a sweet and refreshing cider on a scorching summer’s day.

Craft ciders and ginger beers are making waves in New Zealand, with local brewers drawing massive audiences who are after something sweet and warming yet refreshing. With a higher sugar content and no hops, expect juicy fruit flavours and tart sweetness.

Keep scrolling to discover the best of the best New Zealand-made ciders and alcoholic gingerbeers for 2024 plus our favourite food pairings for each.

Morningcider BLACK

Type of beer: Cider blends - cider with fruit

Brewery: Morningcider/HANCOCKS

Flavours: Intense blackcurrant and berries

Judges’ comments: In recent years, if the New World Beer & Cider Awards are on, so are Morningcider! The cidery, based in the thriving Auckland food and drink suburb of Morningside, are regulars here and this year they’ve landed with an impressive-looking black can containing two types of “black” fruit: blackcurrant and blackberry. The flavour is intense, deep and rich: reminiscent of Ribena but with more complexity and elegance. “Vibrant berry aroma and great blackcurrant flavour,” said the judges. “Light and tart but with plenty of body. Long tart berry finish. The palate is full and rich. Hints of vanilla. Cider has complexity and blackcurrant melds well. Good crisp acidity. Moreish and delicious.”

Pairing Recommendation: The rich flavour suits a gamey dish such as venison or duck.

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Peckham's Hazy Apple Cider

Type of beer: Traditional cider - medium

Brewery: Peckham's Cidery and Orchard

Flavours: Spiced apple cake

Judges’ comments: Peckham's Cidery and Orchard is owned and run by Lois and Jody Scott, having taken over from the original Peckham family in 2023. Jody was the chief cidermaker at Zeffer for many years, winning plenty of Top 30 gongs in that time. It’s no surprise he’s made the top cider in this year’s competition. This unfiltered cider literally bursts with flavour. It’s also wild-fermented which means it’s a bit “funky” on the nose, but it tastes divine. The judges said the flavour was like cinnamon apple cake. “A lovely and easy-to-drink traditional-style cider. Amazingly round body, rich and juicy fruit, toffee apples, and a great acidity balance — everything you want in a traditional cider.”

Pairing Recommendation: The rich and juicy apple in this is looking for pork loins chops and potatoes.

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Thirsty for more top New Zealand beers?

If you’re after dark beers, lagers or more unique craft varieties, don’t forget to check out the articles linked below, or browse the Top 30 from the New World Beer & Cider Awards 2024 using our Beer Finder.

Not sure what you like? Our craft beer guide will walk you through what makes craft beer special and the different styles and flavours you can find in Aotearoa.

Related articles:

Best New Zealand craft beers for 2024

Best New Zealand IPAs and pale ales for 2024

Best New Zealand lagers and pilsners for 2024

Best New Zealand stouts and porters for 2024

Best New Zealand wheat, saison and sours for 2024

Best New Zealand hazy ales for 2024

About the author

Michael Donaldson is one of New Zealand’s most renowned beer writers and was named Beer Writer of the Year by the Brewers Guild of New Zealand for a third time in 2018. He has been the Chair of Judges for the New World Beer & Cider Awards since 2016.

His writing appears in North & South, The New Zealand Herald, Stuff and Drinksbiz. He is also the editor of The Pursuit of Hoppiness magazine published by the Society of Beer Advocates (SOBA). He is the author of New Zealand's definitive beer history Beer Nation - the Art and Heart of Kiwi Beer as well as The Big Book of Home Brew: a Kiwi Guide and The Hopfather, the biography of Emerson's founder Richard Emerson.