Campaign for Real Cider

Cider & Perry Month

Unlike real ale production, which can happen at any time of the year, real cider & perry can only be made when the fruit is ripe. Great skill goes into producing both products. Great store is placed by the Craft Brewer in the quality of ingredients and variety of flavours created by the malt, hops, yeast and water used to brew the beer.

It is a Producer rather than a Brewer that makes cider & perry. They may use a mixture of bittersweet and bittersharp cider apples or sweet dessert apples, or a mixture of the two to make cider; but perry can only be made from specialized perry pears, which are high in natural tannin.

The choosing, pressing and blending of the fruit to make cider is just as much of a craft as making beer and produces a vast range of tastes, styles and aromas, similar to those produced in fine wine. Like wine, each year's fruit produces a unique vintage, so much so that cider and perry have been sometimes called 'The Wine of the West'.

October is a very active time for producers, especially for those who make only a small amount of cider. Harvest time for cider fruit is roughly from September to November and by October production is in full flow.

What is 'Real' Cider & Perry?

Real cider is a long-established traditional drink which is produced naturally from apples and is neither carbonated or pasteurised. However real cider is in a similar situation to that which faced real ale some 30 years ago with the number of outlets for real cider is diminishing, even in the West Country.

The situation with perry (which is made from pears) is even worse, as it is rarely available away from the farm gate.

Cider and Perry FAQ's

It is unfortunate that many of the most well known ciders in the UK are cold, fizzy keg products which have been produced artificially rather than naturally. It is well worth you tracking down some real ciders and perries and more and more people are discovering for themselves how deliciously mellow, aromatic and intoxicating the flavours of naturally produced real cider can be.

Cider & Perry in North Oxfordshire
Here in the North Oxfordshire Branch of CAMRA we are equally enthusiastic about these natural products but at present there are only a few pubs in this area that stock Real Cider or Real Perry:

The Bell Inn - Lower Heyford
Crawley Inn - Crawley
Dun Cow - Hornton
Elephant & Castle - Bloxham
Exchange - Banbury
Falkland Arms - Great Tew
Fleur-De-Lis - Banbury
George - Barford
Horse & Groom - Caulcott (Summer only)
Penny Black - Bicester
The Plough Inn - Finstock
Rose & Crown - Charlbury
Rose & Crown - Shilton

If you know of anymore, please let the Cider Officer - Tracie Darke know by clicking HERE

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