As much as this time of year is great for beer, it is also an excellent time for cider. And, if you enjoy hard cider you are well aware of the great ciders available in the northeast. From New York to Maine this part of the country makes outstanding liquid from its fermented apples. Vermont, in particular, is certainly home to a brand or two that have become ubiquitous in the past couple of decades but also has had a few exciting new cideries open within the last few years.

One such business is Stowe Cider, hailing from ... you guessed it: Stowe, Vermont. Founded in 2013 with the goal of "bringing something different to the cider scene," the company was initially focused on producing a drier portfolio of ciders. And, in a region where most of the apples produce sweeter ciders, this created a solid niche for growth.

Six years later Stowe Cider has expanded its horizons with a range of offerings from dry and preservative - free to barrel-aged, fruited and even dry-hopped ciders. Making up the core of their portfolio is: High & Dry, a preservative-free cider aimed to be as dry as it gets; the semi-dry, balanced Tips Up; and a personal favorite, the dry-hopped Safety Meeting.

Just what the "safety meeting" name implies I cannot say but rest assured I will continue my research on the topic. (The cidery could not provide any more information other than that it is "loaded with Citra and Galaxy hops to add complete notes of tropical and citrus fruit.") This is the first hopped cider that I have really enjoyed, the outcome, in my opinion, being very dependent on the hop selection and their interaction with the apple profiles.

Beyond core offerings, Stowe also has a Rotating Tracks line of ciders which includes a shandy interpretation, unfiltered and fruited ciders; plus another line of limited releases known as the Hit Singles, which are one-offs, collaborations and Vermont-centric fermentations. Finally, if that was not enough to tantalize your taste buds seek out their highly experimental Brainwaves line consisting of small, pilot batches, where the head cider maker plays around with combinations of everything from different yeasts and hot peppers to aging ciders on blue raspberry gummies.

If you're itching to take in the Autumn scenery and all the harvest season has to offer, few trips match the views from a drive north to Vermont along Lake Champlain and the border of New York. And, should you undertake this pleasant cruise to beer country don't forget to sample some great ciders along the way.

This week's recommendation: Stowe Cider Safety Meeting, a dry-hopped cider presenting notes of tropical citrus fruit. 5.6% ABV. Stowe, Vermont.

Colin Hubbell is co-owner of the Green Onion Pub and The Beer Hub in South Utica, N.Y.

Stowe Cider Safety Meeting, a dry-hopped cider presenting notes of tropical citrus fruit. 5.6% ABV. Stowe, Vermont. [Stowe Cider]