At Kildare’s in West Chester, we’ve been drinking cider for years and happily serve it every day. With the growth of craft cider in America, our list of ciders has continued to lengthen and become more varied. However, our love for cider goes back much further—especially for our owner, Dane Gray.

Dane’s time spent in Ireland was marked by drinking Guinness during the cold months and cider during the warm ones. His affection for the beverage informs our menu, and embraces dry and natural over sweet and artificial. Here are four reasons Kildare’s in West Chester is your cider authority.

1. We’ll Always Have It

With the influx of new ciders to the market, there is always something new and exciting hitting the taps. Pennsylvania recently relaxed laws on alcohol limitations on cider, so a wider variety is available now more than ever. Dane jokes, “We’re still in the Stone Age, but Pennsylvania is getting there.” He notes that recent advancements have led to more options: “We’re able to get a good variety, so we have about about 12 or 15 ciders in cans and bottles on top of our draft list.”

2. We Love Cider and Have for Years

As seasoned cider-drinkers, we stock a great variety to please any palate. When Dane drank cider during those cool Ireland months, he grew accustomed to dry ciders. “When I was in Ireland, we would drink Bulmers, which is exported as Magners, but unfortunately they sweeten that for an American palate. I do carry it here, and people love it, but I find it a little too sweet myself.”

What we look for in a cider, like our food menu, is a fresh and natural taste with only the necessary ingredients. Dane said, “One of my favorite ciders right now is from a cidery in Delaware called Rebel Seed. They make a cider out of red delicious apples, and it literally just tastes like you’re biting into an apple.”

3. We’re Interested in Exploring the Wide Variety of Styles

Now that we have access to a wide variety of ciders, we love digging in and sharing it with our guests. We hosted a cider festival in August to explore the American cider world and had a fantastic time. Dane said, “It really opened my staff’s eyes and our guests’ eyes to what cider could be. We had a tremendous range, from a mint julep cider to a brandy barrel-aged cider to a Belgian yeasted cider. Some of the stuff I was able to get my hands on was really amazing.”

With the wide variety of ciders now available in the States, we’re excited to explore them with our guests.

4. We’ve Got Food to Match

While you can pair one of our many drink options with a meal, cider makes a refreshing alternative to go with our next-level menu. Dane recommends one of his favorite Kildare’s cider pairings: “Our chicken tacos, which come with fresh apple slaw on top. Fresh Granny Smith apples will go well with any cider. Other good options are our beet and goat cheese salad or our salmon salad.”

Our affection for cider shines through in our menu, but our reason for carrying it is also a little deeper. Real Irish pubs are meant to serve honestly good food and drink that pleases their neighbors, and right now, we’ve heard the call for cider. As Dane sums it up, “We like to have something for everyone.”

Kildare’s in West Chester is a destination: an authentic Irish pub that has something for everyone. We’re a place to bring the family for weekend brunch; cheer your favorite soccer (or American football) team; enjoy next-level fare at a business lunch, dinner with friends or special event; spend happy hour (questionable dance moves and all); and, of course, imbibe great beer, whiskey and other adult libations. Join us and find out why we’re not your average Irish pub.

Jay Breslin

Cider photos: Alexandra Whitney Photography

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