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Oct 7, 2009 06:34 PM

Where to find unfiltered apple cider?

I grew up (on the east coast) with unpasteurized, unfiltered apple cider (not alcoholic) available in the refrigerated section of all the grocery stores starting in early fall. Since moving to the Bay Area a few years ago, I look for it every year to no avail, and whenever I ask someone working in the grocery store, thinking maybe it's just located somewhere different from what I'm expecting, they point me to something in the unrefrigerated juice section that looks to me like apple juice, not apple cider. A couple times I've found something that looked right (darker, unfiltered, refrigerated), but ended up having a ton of sugar added, and I'm looking for something that's made with 100% apples. In past years I've looked at Safeway, Whole Foods, Andronico's, Trader Joe's, but have never been able to find it.

Anyone know of a good place to find what I'm looking for? I'm in Menlo Park, so somewhere on the Peninsula would be nice, but I'm willing to travel to satisfy my craving if needed. Thanks in advance!

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  1. The farmers' market is the best place to start. The apple people at Alemany sell cider.

    Berkeley Bowl sells unfiltered cider under (I think) their own label. I suspect Rainbow carries it too. Try a local natural foods store rather than a national chain.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Windy

      I second the apple vendors at Alemany. The cider is just what you want, Melting.

      1. re: Windy

        Yes, Rainbow Grocery carries some. Could be the same supplier, but Rainbow doesn't do its own store brands and I haven't noticed it yet this year.

        I think I've also bought cider at the FP farmer's market, but I know for sure I've gotten it at Alemany.

      2. Gizdich from Watsonville is unpasteurized. It's available at Nob Hill/Raley's stores.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Melanie Wong

          +1 in a big way - Gizdich in Watsonville's the real deal. Their juice changes through the year as you might expect - now's the time. A pleasant trip from San Francisco -- South on Rt 1. Only eats to consider in town: Green Valley Grill, lunch weekdays only; dinner Mon-Sat.

          But - no New England cider here. Is there anything better? As a kid near Philadelphia, was fascinated with cider fermentation in the sun - sure miss it. The apple press everyone went to in the fall's no longer there...too bad we didn't get the operator's secret apple mix formula.

          If you can get the tour of Martinelli's in Watsonville, old plant, you can sample fresh pressed, unfiltered juice. That'll light your fire....

        2. On the Peninsula you might check out Milk Pail Market or somewhere similar (health food, organic produce) or the farmer's markets.

          Milk Pail Market
          2585 California St, Mountain View, CA

          1. Voila Juice has a great spiced apple cider with 100% pressed apples...They can be found at Berkeley Bowl but they have an cafe/outlet for juice in Oakland


            1. Thanks for all the suggestions everyone! I forgot to say that I've tried some of the farmer's markets down this way and Milk Pail in past years, but I will check again this year, and definitely try to find an excuse to go to the city soon and check out Alemany. So excited to hopefully actually find some this year!