3 Modern British Ciders
Cider has been a popular tipple throughout the UK for many generations. However, despite its popularity in certain circles, it always struggled to reach the widespread consumption of beer or wine. Whether this reflects the generally higher alcohol content of real cider compared to real ale, or it’s simply a matter of taste is unknown.
Some argue that the real issue lies in social misconceptions. For a long time, cider has been given a bad press. It’s often referred to as an alcoholic beverage for teens who aren’t keen on the taste of beer, or something cheap and strong for those at the bottom of the social ladder.
It’s unfair to tar every type of cider with the same brush; ‘White Lightning’ and its ilk are miles away from a good, locally produced, all-natural real cider. In recent years, cider makers around the UK have been taking innovative steps forward, transforming the classic cider that has long been relegated to farmhouses into an exciting, contemporary new product. In doing so, they’ve distanced themselves ever further away from the mass produced, hangover inducing 2 litre PET bottles that are marketed as cider.
Let’s take a look at 3 of the most exciting modern British ciders currently on the market.
London isn’t the first place you might expect to find world class cider, but the guys at Pilango certainly know what they’re doing. Their small scale urban cidery strives to capture the attention of the public and convert them into cider fanatics! They currently produce 2 types of cider; ‘Liberated’ which is crafted out of cider apples that have been liberated from gardens, farms and anywhere apples grow.
Their second cider is hopped with Cascade hops, giving a fantastic, citrus, floral aroma and twist to a classic cider taste. This experimentation is set to continue as the guys look to play with more different types of apples, pears, berries and other additions.
Scotland’s flag bearer when it comes to cider production, Thistly Cross have grown from a small-scale farmhouse cidery, selling at the local farmers’ market, to an only slightly larger cidery shipping out their top-class cider across the UK and abroad. Quality is never compromised and there’s a real love and passion for the local ingredients that make their award-winning cider. It’s fair to say that they are recognized for producing some of the best cider in the UK.
Besides the smooth, crisp, easy-drinking original cider, they produce a range of naturally flavoured ciders by the bottle and in bag in the box form. Strawberries, elderflower and ginger versions can all be enjoyed, but their whisky cask aged cider takes the crown. Aged and matured in Glen Moray casks, this is a cider with a full and rich flavour - well worth giving a go.
Another London-based cidery, Hawkes aim to bring cider kicking and screaming into the 21st century. They believe that cider has been neglected for too long - too often seen as either a massed produced product, or a tiny scale, traditional tipple. Their unique London cidery allows them to take cider to a new level.
They produce a variety of seasonal and experimental styles, as well as their classic urban orchard cider. Fruit ciders made with a mix of berries, ginger beers and even a pale ale/cider hybrid are all innovative takes on this traditional beverage. Head down to their taproom to check it out!
Cider fans can buy cider online at a range of online craft beer shops, or directly from the websites of cider producers. Cider houses are also cropping up across the country, showing a welcome change in the way cider is perceived by the general public.