How has cider changed then?
“One of the most common things I hear when at a trade show is, ‘I can’t drink cider, I overindulged in my teens!’ Well, I hear you, but chances are the quality of the cider you drank back then was probably not of the quality you could find now. There are so many cider varieties and fruit-based ciders, there really is one for everyone. Trust me.” – David
So it doesn’t have to be sugary?
“No. It used to be that the consumer generally wanted an easy-drinking sweeter cider on a hot summer’s day, but that has changed a lot in recent times. The Mintel report – an industry publication – shows that consumers are now opting for a drier cider, possibly due to the saturated market for sweet cider, or perhaps in response to the amount of sugar some producers add to their cider.” – David
“Sugar is typically added to ciders that are made on a commercial scale. The ciders we produce have no sugar or water added to them – their flavour profile has been carefully controlled by temperature in our cellar, using the same cold-fermentation processes used for wine.” – Greg
Is it still as ferociously strong as it used to be?
“Cider naturally settles at around 7-8% ABV. Obviously, this doesn’t fit with those that want something a little more accommodating, so cider producers now offer a great range of products: we offer a low-alcohol cider which sits at 0.5%; single variety and fruit-based ciders at 4%; right through to the stronger, more complex ciders in our vintage range. The key is to keep the natural flavours of the cider – making the cider sing, leading with the taste of the fruit and not synthetic fruit flavourings or sugars.” – David
“As we control sweetness by fermenting for less time, there is more residual natural sugar, hence less alcohol by volume. Alcohol in cider, as in wine, gives body and mouthfeel, but it’s just one of the players in the pitch with the aroma and taste profile. Our sweet blend and No.3 Yarlington Mill cider are lower ABV and sweet, compared to our dry blend and No.1 Kingston Black that are dry and higher in alcohol. We do not make ciders to a specific ABV – when the sweetness is perfect, we filter out the yeast and arrest the fermentation.” – Greg