A great philosopher once wrote, "I am a cider drinker, I drinks
it all of the day". Or was it The Wurzels? Whatever... The thing
is, it could well have been written for me.
Cider Makes Yer Belly Wider!
I love cider. And it's been my drink of choice since I was 18. I
I had a misguided year in the early 90's when I drank Guinness instead
but I recovered, repented and rediscovered the joys of cider drinking
When I set up this website in 2001, this page was basically one, big
complaint! I was moaning about the lack of choice for cider
drinkers. I was also moaning about the demon brew that is
Cackthorn. This explains the dark
of cider drinking.
Fast forward five years and how things have changed. Cider is
popular again! There is choice in the pubs I visit! How did
this happen? I reckon there is only one reason - Magners Irish
cider. Their bizarre approach of selling a pint bottle and
serving it over ice seems to have captured the (feeble) imagination of
todays youth market. I have to say that I've tried Magners and
was not impressed in the slightest.
While I may not particularly like Magners, the 'halo' effect it has
created in the cider market has been profound. Most pubs I visit
now have a choice of at least two dry ciders. In my local
Wetherspoons, they have two proper ciders from Weston's on draught and
several bottled varieties as well.
Speaking of Wetherspoons, 2005 was the year the chain saw sense and got
rid of Cackthorn as their default draught cider once and for all.
Strongbow, the UK's most popular cider, is now in all their pubs.
When it comes to draught cider, Scrumpy Jack is still my
favourite. But all the fizzy versions of fermented apple juice
are nothing compared to real, honest cider. Thankfully, that too
has increased in availability. Supermarkets stock many
varieties. My favourites are those produced by Weston's Cider in
Hereford. Their plant is just down the road from where I was born
so I take the opportunity to pop into the factory shop whenever I visit
Ledbury. Last year, Claire and I took the factory tour - highly
recommended! Here are some pictures:-
Local beer festival's have always been a good place to
cider. The Worcester festival has always been called a, "Beer and
Cider Festival". Locally, the Bromsgrove festival also supports
makers. Even the Redditch Winter Ales festival had a large cider
selection! The real ciders I've tasted at these knock the big boys
brews available in the pub into a cocked hat. It's totally different
so much nicer. If only I could go back 100 years to the Bromsgrove of
when brews like these would have been available in many of the local
If you want a flavour of this type of cider I can highly recommend
Extra Strong Scrumpy available from many supermarkets. That's
it pictured on the right.
We've come a long way in five years. May cider continue its
inexorable rise in popularity and availability!