More Americans Turn to Hard Cider Sales are soaring as big companies get on board By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Nov 10, 2012 1:18 PM CST 20 comments Comments Bottles of hard cider line a booth at the Taste Washington wine festival in Seattle. (AP Photo/Shannon Dininny) (Newser) – NPR checks in on the rising popularity of hard cider, with numbers and quotes suggesting it's more than a fleeting fad: Booming sales: They're up 65% over last year, coming in just short of $90 million over the last 12 months. Big players: Pretty much all the major beer companies, including Miller, Coors, and Anheuser-Busch have rolled out at least one offering. Woodchuck's hot: Ireland's C&C Group plans to buy fast-growing Woodchuck Hard Cider of Vermont for $305 million. Room to grow: Cider still makes up only 0.2% of the US beer market—well below that of the UK—meaning there's a huge opportunity for more growth. Millennials help: A market research analyst says hard cider appeals to both men and women, and is especially popular among this key demographic. "People who were born in the '80s and '90s—which we call millennials—they really want what's new, they're always looking for the next big thing."