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Hot And Hard
Hard Cider

Cider has long been perceived as nothing more than a beer-hater’s beer substitute: sweeter relief from a brew’s watery blandness or intense hoppiness. But now it’s being recognized for its true mouth-whetting merits, and a fresh offering of craft ciders that nod to classic European styles has cropped up at refined restaurants — like Bergamot (118 Beacon Street, Somerville, 617.576.7700), where Trabanco, a Spanish variety from Asturias, issold by the glass. The Independent (75 Union Square, Somerville, 617.440.6022) serves Maine’s Downeast Cider on tap. And Hungry Mother (233 Cardinal Medeiros Avenue, Cambridge, 617.499.0090) and Local 149 (149 P Street, Boston, 617.269.0900) are two of about 40 bars and restaurants that offer Wunderkind from Bantam Cider, a local tipple launched in January by two Cambridge women who use Massachusetts apples for the cider and produce it at a nearby winery. Sounds hard to resist.

_ Stuff Boston