Over the past year, Boston Beer Company’s hottest brand wasn’t Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Boston Ale, or even seasonal offerings like Octoberfest. In fact, it wasn’t even beer.
Boston Beer’s recently launched cider, Angry Orchard, has taken off like a rocket since its national introduction last year, quickly becoming the country’s most popular hard cider brand and capturing roughly 40 percent of the small, but rapidly growing US market. Some 15 years in development, Angry Orchard has displaced European stalwarts, such as Magners, which have dominated the hard cider market.
Hard cider remains a niche product, accounting for less than 1 percent of the nearly $100 billion US beer market, but some analysts project sales will grow to about 3 percent of the beer market. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.