All posts by: Jim C

CAMRA urges licensees to capitalise on the growth of the cider market by selling real cider and perry.

As the cider market enjoys unprecedented growth, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is asking pubs to stock real cider and perry in October after new research revealed that 69% of pub goers will drink them if they are available at the bar.

CAMRA carried out the research to mark the beginning of National Cider Month in October. Real cider is a long-established drink which is produced naturally from apples and is neither carbonated nor pasteurised. As cider is made from apples, perry is made from perry pears.

The online survey revealed that:

  • 69% of pub goers will be inspired to drink real cider and perry in a pub when it is available.
  • 81% of women pub goers said they would drink real cider or perry in a pub when it is available.
  • 22% of people that have tried real cider did so because they heard it was tastier than fizzy, mass-produced ciders.

Gillian Williams, CAMRA’s Chair of Cider and Perry campaigning, said: “This research proves that people are keen to seek out the delicious multilayered taste of real cider and perry, but unfortunately it is hard to find in many pubs.

“The overall cider market grew by a phenomenal 33% in the last year* and an opportunity exists to build on that success with real ciders and perries. Licensees that want to attract customers by offering something truly original, tasty and natural should forget fizzy, chilled humdrum ciders and make real cider and perry a feature in their pub.”

CAMRA has put an online resource for licensees to source real cider and perry suppliers on its website at www.camra.org.uk/cidermonth

Despite overall growth in the cider market, further research from CAMRA revealed that:

  • Only 50% of adults in the UK have ever tried real cider and perry.
  • Only 36% of 18-34 year olds have ever tried real cider, compared to 63% of people aged 45-54 and 61% of people aged 55-64.
  • In London only 41% of people had ever tried real cider – the lowest number of any region in England. The highest percentage of people to have drunk real cider are in Wales and the West/South West of England (63%).

(Taken from CAMRA tracking omnibus survey June 2007 from a sample of 1000 adults in the UK)

Gillian Williams added:

“In the pub beer was traditionally drank by men, and wine by women, however in the 21st Century cider and perry are enjoyed equally by everyone. Frankly licensees that do not take advantage of this demand for real cider and perry are doing themselves and their customers an injustice. A locally produced, real cider or perry makes a welcome addition to any bar.”

Wassailing is so ancient that putting a date on when it began has been lost in time.

Wassailing however has given birth to other customs such as carol singing, and wishing others good health when drinking.

The main purpose of wassailing is to perform a ceremony to protect the trees from evil and to make them bear a plentiful fruit crop in the coming year. The event involves lots of cider, singing, dancing and celebrating trees in orchards on the 12th night.

How to wassail your apple trees

The assembled company surround a tree and toasted bread, soaked in cider, is placed in the branches of the tree (supposedly for the robins). Cider is then poured into the roots of the tree.

Everyone sings to the tree:

Old apple tree we wassail thee and hoping thou wilt bear
For the Lord doth know where we may be ‘til apples another year
For to bloom well and to bear well so merry let us be
Let everyone take up their cup and drink to the old apple tree

Then everyone calls out to the tree:

Old apple tree we wassail thee and hoping thou wilt bear
Hatfuls, capfuls, three bushel bagfuls and a little heap under the stairs
Hip hi hooray!

Then a great noise is made, customarily with shotguns being fired through the branches of the tree. The wassail ceremony is very simple and short but feel free to add your own variations.

There’s a great seasonal recipe for making Mulled Cider recipe ideal for your wassail here.

More information on what happens at a Cider Wassail on the Daily Telegraph site, and at the National Association of Cider Makers.

Visit our events page for Cider events near you.

There is a wealth of Cider information on the web as well as places and organisations to help you find learn more about how fantastic cider is!

Here are some of the recommended resources for you to explore. If you have any that you would like to see here, please contact us.

Sites run by the Real Cider Network

Cider Museums

Cider Organisations

Cider Making

  • Wittenham Hill Cider Portal by Andrew Lea. A highly recommended guide to cider production including cider making, problem solving, apple juice and vinegar making.
  • National Orchard Forum This site lists orchard groups across the country, some of which offer training and advice on the care and maintenance of orchards, and cider juice making.
  • Brogdale Orchard The home of the National Fruit Collections. Brogdale orchard offer advice on orchard management, fruit identification, events and training courses.
  • Orange Pippin The comprehensive resource for apples and orchards.
  • Bramley Apples A website dedicated to the Bramley apple, complete with recipes, tips and information about the nation’s favourite cooking apple.
  • Tom the appleman – Tom Adams Fruit Tree Nursery, Shropshire
  • Brew UK suppling equipment and ingredients for making ciders, beers, and wines.
  • Vigo Hobby Presses Cider making equipment for small scale production
  • The Homebrew Shop bottles, measurement and other cider making equipment
  • Bag in Box As the name implies buy cider ‘bag in boxes’

Cider web sites

Cider photography

  • I am Cider – Bill Bradshaw’s delicious cider lifestyle blog

Cider Making Training

Online Pub Guides

  • PubUtopia.com community driven UK pubs guide, with ratings and reviews by real customers
  • Beer in the evening UK pub listings site featuring maps, pub search, pub ratings, and reviews

Cider Industry Jobs

List of nurseries and recommended apple trees suppliers

UK Nurseries

  • Adam’s Apples Tel: 01404 841166 – A family run nursery located in Devon
  • Grown for you Tel: 0845 512 0143 – Supplying young fruit and vegetable plants and quality fruit trees to help you produce all your favourite foods.
  • Orange Pippin Tel: 01759 305079 – Offering good quality fruit trees for sale

US Nurseries

The best selection of cider apples, depending on whether you are in UK or US, if you find any of these you will not only have found a good supplier, but have wonderful cider apples growing each year for your enjoyment.

  • Binet Rouge
  • Brown Snout
  • Brown Thorn
  • Chisel Jersey
  • Claygate Pearmain
  • Coat Jersey
  • Crimson King
  • Dabinett
  • Dufflin
  • Grenadier
  • Harry Masters Jersey
  • Marin Oufroy
  • Mettais
  • Michelin
  • Muscadet de Dieppe
  • Nehou
  • Noel des Champs
  • Porter’s Perfection
  • Reine des Pommes
  • Bulmer’s Norman
  • Stembridge Cluster
  • Stoke Red
  • Vilberie
  • Yarlington Mill

Of course there are many more local vareties, but these are the apple types we have seen most widely available at these outlets and suppliers.