Just like beer, cider and perry come in a variety of styles with different tastes. It’s all about finding the right style to suit you.
An important aspect of real cider and perry is that the taste and appearance can not only vary from year to year but also vary
from batch to batch. This is because apples and pears vary from year to year, and from orchard to orchard.
The widely accepted cider styles are West Country Style, Eastern Style, and Kentish Style.
West Country Style
The apples which are used in the West Country & other certain parts of the country are cider apples, which are grown specifically for the purpose of making cider and can make the cider darker in colour due to containing tannin.
In Somerset and other areas of the West Country, layers of straw have been used in the production of cider instead of cloths. Some producers still use this method.
Eastern style cider is made from eating and/or cooking apples, which contain little or no tannin – usually resulting in a paler coloured cider!
Traditionally, Eastern style cider was made in East Anglia (Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire). However, this style is common in all areas that do not traditionally grow cider apples.
The Kentish style can be considered a sub-style of the Eastern Style. It is also made from eating and/or cooking apple, but tastes much more like wine than cider. This is achieved by using certain wine yeasts rather than cider yeasts. Not all ciders from Kent are wine-like, so do not conform to the Kentish style. Wine-like ciders can be made anywhere.