for Real Cider
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 and/or Real Perry:
Bailiff's Tap, Banbury
Bell Inn, Lower Heyford
Chequers, Chipping Norton
Crawley Inn, Crawley
Elephant & Castle, Bloxham
Falkland Arms, Great Tew
Horse & Groom, Caulcott (Summer
Lampet Arms, Tadmarton (Summer
Old Town Ale & Cider House, Banbury
Pear Tree Inn, Hook Norton
Penny Black, Bicester
Plough Inn, Bicester
Plough Inn, Finstock
Red Lion, Chipping Norton
Rose & Crown, Charlbury
Rose & Crown, Shilton
Tite Inn, Chadlington
White Horse, Banbury
White Lion, Fewcott
If you know of anymore, please let the Cider Officer know by clicking