It’s no secret that the British like a good drink and as well as beer and lagers, we’re increasingly choosing cider as our poison. While cider has always been popular, this sudden boom in sales is a relatively new trend. To help you choose the right cider for your taste we’ve taken on the hard job of testing out a whole bunch to find those diamonds in the rough.
1. Twenty Year Old, The Somerset Distillery – Somerset
This brew has particular notoriety – it is produced every year on what has become known as ‘Apple Day’, meaning that there is always a 20 year brew on the go and will be until 2015. Another claim to fame for this twenty year-old is that its label was designed by Damien Hirst in 2011.
2. Black Dragon, Gwynt y Ddraig – Pontypridd
This is a special reserve Welsh cider that is lovingly hand-made ‘by traditional methods in ageing orchards’, or so says Gwynt y Ddraig’s description. The apple juice is fermented over time in oak barrels which is said to give it a delicious fruity aroma. The area of Pontypridd – 30 minutes from Cardiff – where this cider is brewed is nothing less than beautiful. Spending a few summer evenings there, drinking a cider or two (or three),makes for a very lovely time indeed. If you’re looking into other, similar weekends away in the UK, it’s worth checking out the Visit Wales site as they’ve got lots of good ideas.
3. Wyld Wood, Westons – Herefordshire
Herefordshire has produced some great ciders over the years, but none quite as good as Westons. With a long history, Westons brewery is quite a success story and has grown into a really recognisable brand. The rich apple taste of their Wyld Wood cider trumps the competition – slightly bitter with flavours linger for a nice long time, it’s a sure choice for any cider enthusiast.
4. Fanny’s Bramble, Sanford Orchards – Devon
Your first impression of Fanny’s Bramble will be that it’s very… purple. Colour aside, it’s a tasty still cider that is comprised of apples, blackberries and a little pinch of Devon’s magic. A Devonshire country pub is the ideal location to sink a few ciders after a long, post-roast dinner walk. Well done Devon.
5. Harry Sparrow, Aspall – Suffolk
Aspall is likely the most widely known cider brand on this list, but it’s safe to say one thing – the quality of the cider doesn’t suffer as a consequence of Aspall’s growth. Harry Sparrow, named after Aspall’s chief cider maker, this 4.6% brew delights. It’s full bodied and medium-dry – perfect for a warm Suffolk afternoon or evening.