What a Trip Souvenir! The Story of Delicious South City Ciderworks

What would you tell your spouse if they came back from a European business trip with an unquenchable thirst for cider?

From Souvenir to Successful

Just one sip and Alex Martell was hooked. He tasted cider while away on a work trip and a quest began. He tried cider after cider back in the U.S. none of these tastings lived up to his European expectations. On a trip to Virginia, he and Jenn toured a cidery. Back at home he began experimenting making ciders. The ciders he created were delicious.

South City Cider Team - Jenn, Alex & Greg - CKJY Exports Wine & Spirits Blog

In 2015, Alex and Jenn started South City Ciderworks with the goal of making an easy and approachable cider that many would like. Also, they purposefully chose cans for their cider. They are an option for their active lifestyle and that of their friends. Though there were no ciders in cans on store shelves, cans are much easier to take with you on beach picnics, mountain hikes or if you are going away on vacation. Their good friend Greg Ruth joined them as their head cider maker and worked with some industry experts to create their cidery carefully.

South City Ciderworks Tank & Filter - CKJY Exports Wine & Spirits Blog

Working closely together, they created their first semi-sweet cider. It was so well received that they have added two more flavors that are available year round – dry and dry-hopped to satisfy wine and beer drinkers looking for a cider to try. Customer appreciation for their cider line has continued to grow. Now, additions to their line are Oaked Pomegranate/Spider Bites with lavender and honey, Yerba Buena with lime and mint and Winter Warmer with orange peel and mulling spice are South City Ciderworks seasonal flavors.

South City Ciderworks - Cider Line Grows - CKJY Exports Wine & Spirits Blog

As you can see Alex’s taste for cider blossomed into a lovely business, South City Ciderworks. This close knit team works together to share their tasty cider creations with thirsty San Francisco and beyond. Keep reading to learn more about their cider flavors or to contact us about importing them. Cheers!

South City Ciderworks - CKJY Exports Wine & Spirits Blog

Main South City Ciderworks Flavors – 

Here are heart and soul of the South City Ciderworks line. Obviously, these are their most in demand ciders by their customers. If you like your cider in cans, bottles or kegs, they offer them all.


South City Ciderworks - Original Blend - CKJY Exports Wine & Spirits Blog

Original Blend is their very first cider, formerly known as “South City Cider”. Alex and Jenn started the company because we wanted an easy-drinking cider they could bring camping, while hanging out at the beach, to the dog park, or really anywhere that glass wasn’t a good idea, and this blend was the result. Their semi-sweet, dry finishing cider is known for it’s easy drinkability without being overly sweet. Truly it pairs well with spicy dishes and just about anything our team has tried it with. (Food Pairing Suggestion: Everything – especially pizza.)


South City Ciderworks - Dry Me A River - CKJY Exports Wine & Spirits Blog

When the folks asked if  South City Ciderworks had something less sweet that the OG, they said no and got busy making it! Thus, “Dry Me a River” is their interpretation of an American dry cider. It starts crisp with light carbonation and finishes dry but not overly acidic. Using fresh-pressed West Coast apples and fermenting them with a white wine yeast retains a light apple nose but creates a crisp finish. However, the name itself is also meant to raise awareness for the CA drought and the challenges that face our natural habitat.  (Food Pairing Suggestions: Tapas, BBQ and roasted meats)


South City Ciderworks - All Good Hopped Cider Names Taken - CKJY Exports Wine & Spirits Blog

With this dry-hopped hard cider the South City team focuses on bringing forward the citrus and tropical notes from a blend of several different types of hops and then letting the crisp apple bring the dryness at the end. This combination brings forward fruity aromatics but maintains the dry cider finish without any added bitterness. After months of naming puns failing the trademark test, the team settled on “All The Good Hopped Names Were Taken.” After all,this fun loving team tries not to take themselves too seriously, just our cider making. (Food Pairing Suggestions: Cioppino or Seafood dishes)

South City Cider - CKJY Exports Inc. Wine & Spirits Blog

Of course if a large export order is of interest, our CKJY Exports team will work with the Martells to investigate the possibility of different packaging that appeals to different overseas markets.

Are you Cider Curious?

Would you like to learn a bit more about them? Check out a few of our other Wine & Spirits blog posts on cider.

Why Try … Hard Cider? by Todd Wetzel

Ace Cider – High! Naturally, a Bottle of This Cider is Winning in Your Hand …

Taking a Closer Look at Creating a Private Label Wine, Craft Beer or Hard Cider with CKJY Exports

If you are interested in importing delicious South City Ciderworks ciders, CKJY Exports is happy to help. We represent the Martell’s tasty ciders abroad. Please contact us and let’s talk.

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