About Real Cider & Perry
What is Real Cider?
Real cider is traditional drink with a long and rich history in Britain and Europe with some of the earliest English works on cidermaking arising in the 1600’s and 1700’s. Apples were growing wild here in Neolithic times and probably reached Britain via a long circuitous journey from their origins in central Asia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
At its simplest the ingredients list is one item. Fruit. Apples are crushed in a press called a mill and the resulting juice fermented, traditionally from the autumn when the apples ripen till the following spring. Although, ageing and blending are key tools in the cider makers craft. Nothing else is added. Some back sweetening with juice or sugars is sometimes necessary.
Historically cider is a wild fermented drink. Only the yeasts present in the atmosphere in the orchards, on the skins of the fruits are left to turn the sugars in the apple juice into alcohol. Like brewers cider makers have the ability to choose between a wild ferment or using specific cider or sparkling wine style yeasts.
CAMRA’s definition of Real cider requires a cider to be made from the freshly pressed juice of apples, not syrup, and not to have been pasteurised or artificially carbonated. Whilst many mass produced ciders do not meet this definition there an increasingly greater choice of session and fine ciders available at pubs, taprooms and restaurants across the country.
A glass of real cider or perry represents generations of traditional production dating back hundreds of years. The basics of cider production have remained the same the whole time – simply pick and press the fruit, allow to ferment and enjoy.