Three Cheers for Cider
Nothing beats an ice cold cider – fantastically refreshing and crisp, it has summer written all over it.
One of Britain’s oldest alcoholic drinks the fruity favourite is now a fashionable tipple. Make sure you’re stocked up so your punters thirst is well and truly quenched this season.
Enjoying a boom!
Cider has seen a revival over the past few years thanks to constant innovation and product development, and is seen as the drink of the future. According to Mintel, sales of cider have increased by 32% over the past few years and an explosion in growth is predicted. Not only a fashionable choice, it also enjoys an even gender split. As Simon Russell from the National Association of Cider Makers notes, “Cider is enjoyed by men and women equally as well as a broad demographic in terms of age.”
Leaders of the pack
Fruit ciders in bottles are the best sellers, with the past year seeing sales of 68.2% on value and 67% in volume. Apple cider pioneered the category, then it moved onto pear, but now every fruit is getting in on the action with weird and wonderful new flavours including strawberry and lime, pomegranate and rose ciders. Traditional apple ciders will always be big sellers but Chris Jowsey, trading director of Star Pubs & Bars says offering them alongside new ones is key. “As a starting point you should offer popular choices – an original cider and then new and interesting flavour variants to satisfy cider drinkers’ ongoing desire for experimentation.”
Food & Cider
Cider is great with food. Peter Mitchell, a cider maker who offers courses in cider appreciation, suggests matching cider with fish dishes. Fiona Beckett, who runs the website matchingfoodandwine.com, says cider goes well with dishes based around chicken, pork (belly in particular), ham and bacon, and adds if a dish goes well with Chardonnay, it will also sit nicely with a fruity cider. “When looking for good matches go for the same territory approach as wine drinkers and try pairing food and drink from the same region,” she says. For example a Somerset cider would go well with a dish that’s strong on cheddar or try some Gloucester Old Spot sausages with a Gloucestershire cider.
- 45% of all apples in the UK are used in cider making
- It is naturally gluten free
- If you double distill (i.e. distill cider), you get calvados
- There are 480 active cider makers in the UK