What is the difference between beer and cider?

In this brief article, we will answer  the question,”What is the difference between beer and cider?,” and discuss what beer is, and how beer is made. We will also discuss the types of beer along with what cider is, how cider is made, and the types of ciders.


What is the difference between beer and cider?

The difference between beer and cider is that beer is made by the use of barley, hops and other grains, while cider is made up of apples. 

Cider is higher in sugars than beers and cider is naturally a gluten free source but beer is not (is entirely made of different types of grains).

Beer is made by the process of brewing whereas cider is made by cider makers. The naturally occurring polyphenols are maintained in cider but are removed during the processing of beers.

Beers can contain fruits alongside grains, which it is made of, whereas cider does not contain malted grains.

Beers have pale and dark colours whereas ciders consist of light yellow, orange or brown colours. Ciders have a dry or sweet flavour. Beers always consist of alcohol, whereas ciders may or may nor have alcohol added to them. 

What is beer?

Beer is an alcoholic drink which is produced by malt fermented by yeast and hops are added for flavour.

How is beer made?

Beer is made by putting the whole grains (malt, rye, barley) through a gristmill for cracking and opening the kernels. These are then transferred to the mash tun and are mixed with hot water which has a temperature of 155 degrees fahrenheit. 

The liquid is now called wort., and the wort is drained from the mash tun and transported to a brewing kettle. The wort is brought to a boil in the kettle for a period of 90 minutes. Hops are then added at different time periods for the extraction of aroma flavours and bitterness depending on the type of recipe. 

When the boil is completed, after 90 minutes the wort is transported to a heat exchanger for rapid cooling, and pumped into a fermentation vessel. The addition of yeast to the vessel is responsible for the conversion of sugars to alcohol and carbon dioxide is released. The beer is then filtered and goes through a process of centrifugation after fermentation.

What are the types of beer?

Types of beer include, ale, blonde ale, pale, ale, lagor, portar, stout, brown ales, India pale ales, wheat, pilsner and sour ales.

What is cider?

Cider is a type of beverage which can be alcoholic or non-alcoholic made from the fermentation of apple juice.

How is cider made?

The apples are harvested in the month of October, and go through washing and removing of the rotten apples, along with the removal of leaves, twigs, and other debris, to meet the standard of fruit.

The apples are mashed mechanically ( a scratter is used) or manually by hand; a pulp is created and placed in a cider press.

The juice is extracted from the cider press, and the juice is transferred directly into plastic barrels for fermentation. Yeast is not present because the apple peels and the skin and flesh have already been removed after harvesting. 

The process of fermentation occurs slowly at low temperatures during the winter season. The  production of cider is checked for in the early summers, by checking the clarity of the fluid, the taste and the percentage alcohol by volume. 

Once the process of fermentation is completed, the cider is transported to a maturation vessel,which is basically a large oak barrel, and are combined with the matured ciders produced previously completing the production of cider.

Types of cider

Types of cider which are mostly common include;

  1. Bittersweets – have a low acidity and high tannin content
  2. Sweets – are low in both tannin and acid
  3. Bitter Sharps – are high in tannins and acid
  4. Sharps – low in tannin bur are highly acidic.

Other FAQs about Beer that you may be interested in.

How long does it take to chill beer? (+5 Ways to chill fast)

How long can beer stay in the freezer?

Can you get drunk off a beer? (+7 tips)


In this brief article, we answered the question,”What is the difference between beer and cider?,” and discussed what beer is, how beer is made. We also discussed the types of beer along with what cider is, how cider is made, and types of ciders.



Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.